“Love, I want you to take a deep breath,” Harry instructs once we're alone.
“Harry, I need you to trust me,” I persist, shaking my head rapidly. “Why can’t you trust me?!”
“Sophie calm down and breathe,” he repeats.
Shutting my eyes, I find myself obeying him, inhaling and exhaling loudly.
I breathe in and out again, a sense of calm spreading through me.
“Are you calm now?” He enquires, nuzzling into my neck. “Your heart’s still pounding fast...” He holds me tighter, caressing my back softly.
I even my breathing, letting his presence invade mine.
After a minute, the curly-haired boy pulls back slightly.
“Now I want you to listen to me alright?” Harry whispers, tossing a strand of hair away from my face. “I love you Sophie,” he sighs, his thumb caressing my bottom lip. “So much,” he continues, his forehead leaning on mine. “And my greatest fear right now, is to lose you. I need you Soph. I need you or I might lose it.”
“But I won’t leave you,” I reply, words tumbling rapidly out of my mouth.
“I know that love,” he exhales, his thumb moving to touch my cheek. “But most people around you want you too. And I don’t think I’d be able to deal with the emotional trauma of losing you again so soon. I don’t need my heart wrenched out of my chest once more.”
I shut my eyes. “It’s the letter right? The letter Anne and my father left for you when they took me... that scared you the most didn’t it?”
“Sophie I was so sure you had taken advantage of my feelings towards you,” he nods, cupping my cheek. “I’m sorry if you feel like I’m acting like an arse right now, locking you up and such, but you have no idea how much it actually reassures me to do this.”
“But for how long? For how long will you have to take precautions like that?”
“I don’t know...”
My shoulders sag, and I dig my face into his chest.
“You don’t hate me for acting like this, do you?” He adds more quietly, lifting my head up.
“No. Of course not,” I shake my head, wrapping my arms around his neck. “I’ve never been able to truly hate you, Harry,” I mumble, looking at him. And sometimes I wonder if it’s a good or bad thing, I add mentally.
A smile forms on the corner of his lips.
“I love you so much,” he mumbles, approaching his face slowly.
“I love you too,” I reply, before closing the distance separating our lips.
“Come on, let’s go to the movies,” he smiles, before pecking my lips once more.
Much too Louis’s and Anne’s displeasure, Niall ended up being the only one to stay with my sister in the tour bus. Liam had decided to join us at the very last second, and Zayn was still firm about not letting Anne tag along.
“That’s unfair!” Louis’d protested. “She was only expressing her opinion! She should be allowed to come!”
“Louis I know you and Anne have been getting... close. But you can’t simply overlook her punishments when she steps out of line or she’ll slip out of our grasps,” Zayn had sighed in the car. “Besides, she can’t even walk... Would you have carried her in your arms the whole time?”
“Yes. I don’t see why not,” he retorts, annoyed.
Once we arrive at the cinema, it’s with a lot of interest that I watch the boys greet Little Mix. I mostly focused on Zayn and Perrie, curious about their relationship. My eyes meet hers over Zayn’s shoulder. I smile and wave, but am surprised when I see her frown. She grabs Zayn’s hand, and pulls him away for a bit, taking rapidly as her eyes dart between me and Zayn. I’m suddenly very uneasy.
“I’ve got the tickets,” Harry declares, making me flinch. “Do you want popcorn? Something to drink?” He continues, placing himself in front of me to grab my attention.
“No thank you,” I answer, my gaze meeting his. “Can’t I go present myself?” I enquire, motioning the girls who were now chatting with Louis and Liam, Perrie still chatting nervously with Zayn.
“After the movie,” he nods. “We should head to our seats, it’s is going to start any minute now,” he ends, wrapping his arm around my shoulder.
My stomach starts twisting into unhealthy knots when we’re all seated, the situation feeling uncanny. Harry’s to my right, Louis to my left and Liam and Zayn are right below us, beside the four girls. I can’t help but notice Zayn’s tense position.
Harry’s hand moves to my thigh, giving me a squeeze.
“You look apprehensive... Are you okay?” He whispers as the movie starts.
“I’m fine,” I lie. “I’m just tired.”
He nods, but keeps his hand on my thigh.
Halfway through the movie though, he moves it upwards, nearing my center.
Keeping my gaze fixed on the screen, I move it back to its initial place, rolling my eyes. He slides it back up.
“Come on Soph,” he purrs, rubbing sensuous circles on my skin. “I’m pretty sure Mr. Grey has aroused you...” he continues, the smirk evident in his voice.
I couldn’t deny it: the actor playing Christian was one hell of a guy and the movie was filled with erotic scenes. I was aroused. Yet playing with Harry seemed amusing...
“This movie is boring,” I murmur, pushing his hand away once more before crossing my legs.
“We can go back to the bus if you want?” He proposes quietly.
“No, I need to talk to Perrie,” I shake my head, my eyes drifting to the very rigid couple below us.
“Then I’ll have to make this worth your time,” he responds cockily, his warm hand sliding to uncross my legs
My breath hitches as I feel him skim my sensitive skin, mounting dangerously. My own hands clench around the armrests as I try focusing back on the movie. A lone digit dips into my pants, making my heart-skip a beat.
“Harry,” I groan lowly, uneasy. “Not here...”
“Why not? The room is practically empty...”
I jump as Harry’s hand is shoved away from me by Louis’s.
“If I’m not allowed to have my fun, you’re not either,” the Doncaster boy declares. Harry chuckles.
“Fine. Though I’m not restraining on the bus later.”
I frown for the rest of the movie, thoughts jumbling messily in my mind.
“Christian is so hot!” Jade, I think, gushes when we’re finally sat at Starbucks with our orders. “I mean, couldn’t you just feel the heat emanating from him?”
I listen to the girls talk with fake interest, more focused on the boys: Harry looked bored and ready to head back, Louis was practically pouting and Zayn was anxious beside Perrie, just like she was rigid beside him. The blonde seemed to constantly glower at me and it made me uncomfortable. I had briefly talked to her, but she always seemed to hate what I had to say. Something was definitely off. Might be jealousy.
Only Liam and the three other girls seem to be enjoying themselves.
“Their wedding night was so intense!” Jesy smiles, pretending to fan herself.
“Yes and oh my gosh at the end, with their two adorable children! And when Anastasia pretended to hate Christian to protect him! I swooned!” Leigh-Anne intervenes, twirling her finger into her mass of black hair.
“And all that lip-biting...” Jade shivers, smiling. “I wish I could have a man like that...”
“You mean you’d like a man with a BDSM fetish? One who’s overly protective and practically doesn’t let you make your own decisions?” I scoff, rolling my eyes.
All gazes are on me suddenly and I blush, taking a sip of my frappucino.
“I mean, we women shouldn’t be controlled by men like that,” I explain quietly. “But hey Christian was really hot,” I continue, wanting to get the attention off me.
“He was wasn’t he? Those eyes and that chest!” Jesy trails on.
“I’d do him.”
Wow these girls really aren’t shy...
“Sophie I was wondering, how did you meet the boys? And why are you always attached to Harry?” Perrie questions boldly. “If you two are in a relationship, shouldn’t it be announced to the media?”
I choke, bewildered.
“We don’t feel the need to share our relationship with the others right now,” Harry supplies. “It’s still a little shaky.”
“But how did you meet the boys, Sophie?” Perrie probes.
“They had a show in Canada nearly three years ago and I got the chance to meet them backstage...I guess I was just great company: they kept me around. It suited me perfectly, I had nobody to take care of me,” I answer carefully.
“How old were you?”
“Perrie that’s enough,” Zayn drops angrily.
“Well I was just asking...”
“No you’re being unnecessarily nosy.”
“Well we’re leaving,” Harry states, standing up. Everybody could feel the frustration emanating from Zayn and Perrie.
“I’ll follow you,” Louis sighs. “Liam?”
“We’ll wait for you outside Perrie,” Leigh-Anne says.
Harry’s hand grips mine tightly as he leads us out, the girls of Little Mix confused once we exit the building.
“That was weird.”
“They never fight.”
“Perrie’s never been so strange...”
Looking through the windowpane, I catch a glimpse of Perrie yelling at Zayn.
I gulp. This isn’t good.
Harry tugs me, into the car waiting for us outside, not wishing to discuss the matter with the girls. Louis and Liam swarm in afterwards.
“We can go,” Louis calls out to the driver. “Zayn’ll be awhile. We’ll just send another car.”
I grimace as the car hums to life. Oh how this day sucked.
“Well that was quick,” I mumble to myself, looking outside the car window.
“That was risky you mean,” Harry grumbles. “I don’t think we should organize anymore get-togethers like that... Nobody can be trusted.”
My shoulders sag. Yet another privilege taken away from me. All I had wanted was to be Perrie’s friend.