Harry and I are sat in the taxi driving us to the hotel, hands intertwined and my head resting on his shoulder. I grimace when I think about what the doctor told me.
“What are you thinking about,” he mutters, pressing a kiss to my head.
“My father,” I respond, sighing.
“What about him?” He stiffens,
“I don’t know...He’s willing to harm me to realise how deep I’ve fallen for you... Who even does that to their daughter? Who will ultimately resort to harming someone they love to prove a point?” I frown. Harry stays silent for a few seconds before answering.
“People have different perceptions of what is right and what is wrong... Maybe he thought he was doing the right thing even though we think he wasn’t.”
“Are you defending him?”
“No. Not at all. I hate your Dad. Not only did he make me feel like shit for a month, but he actually hurt you,” he replies quickly, furrowing his brows. “But people can act extremely when they think they’re doing the right thing... Take the Islam extremists, or even the Christian ones: they are ready to kill so many people, spread fear, in the name of their God. We find it completely insane, yet it seems like the right thing for them.”
I nod. “But why are there extremists in the first place? I mean, couldn’t they act like the general Muslim or Christian, just making peace with the others, no matter their religion? Like why does my father have to act so extremely?” I reason.
“I have no idea.”
“It’ll be 20.75 sir,” the driver says as he slows the car to a stop. Putting his sunglasses on, Harry hands him a ten and a twenty.
“Keep the change,” he ends before we both get out of the car. He pulls his hood over his head and hugs me to him. “Just look down alright? I don’t want anybody to recognise us,” he instructs, moving his hand to my hip.
I nod and lower my head, looking at our feet as he leads us in the hotel. He’s very tense as we cross the lobby, many people turning to look at us.
“Keep looking down,” he mumbles, walking us towards the elevators. Harry very visibly calms down once the doors of the elevator shut, removing his sunglasses and pulling his hood down. I watch him as he gazes up at the floor number escalating. I stare at his messy brown hair, his tall frame and his simply perfect face. His eyes meet mine, a dimple peeking out of his cheek. “What are you looking at?” He says, a faint smile on his lips.
“You,” I answer, also smiling.
“Because you’re pleasing to the eye.”
“Well Miss Miller, you are too,” he whispers, getting closer to me. His large hands cup my face. “I’m so sorry again for last night.”
“My brain’s messed up,” I shrug. “It’s not your fault,” I continue, eyes drifting to his lips. He chuckles before leaning in to press a soft kiss to my lips.
“I love you,” he says quietly.
“I love you too,” I respond, moving in to kiss him again. The elevator doors open as our lips meet.
“Oh my God.”
Harry rapidly moves in front of me as a small group of teenage girls enter the lift.
“Harry Styles?!” Excited chirps echo throughout the small chamber.
“Girls please keep your cool... I’ll sign anything you want and take pictures but I don’t want you to freak out,” Harry says calmly, still standing in front of me. The girls hastily pull out random stuff from their pockets while Harry swiftly pulls out a sharpie from his coat.
“That girl...I’ve seen her before,” one of them remarks as they get their things signed.
“Where did you see her?” the British boy frowns.
“Twitter...There was a group of girls from here that posted it a few hours ago... It was blurry but it sure as hell was her.”
“Who is she?” Another asks.
Harry shoots me a quick glance. Is he going to tell the truth or not?
“She’s a very good friend of mine,” he lies.
“She was with Niall in the picture.”
“She’s a good friend of the band,” Harry rectifies.
“Then why we’re you kissing her when we entered?”
“She’s French. It’s one of their foreign traditions...They kiss to say hello,” he says, coming up with something quickly.
“I didn’t know that.”
“Only some parts of France do that,” I explain, faking really bad English.
“Oh.” The girl shoots me a sideways glance. “Remind me never to go to France,” she whispers to one of the other girls. She nods in understanding and the elevator stops at their floor, opening its doors.
“It was a pleasure meeting you,” Harry waves. “Can you keep this whole encounter a secret though? We don’t want too much drama...” he trails on.
They all nod in unison, giggling and holding their freshly signed items tightly in their hands.
“Thank you,” he smiles, waving again and again until I press the button to close the door.
“Seriously?” I laugh once we’re going up again. “A French tradition?! It’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.”
“Well they bought it,” he smirks, trapping me in the corner. His finger presses on the fifteenth floor button. “You aren’t angry I didn’t say you are my girlfriend?”
“Nope. Because if you would’ve, there’s no way these girls wouldn’t have posted it on Twitter or something... And then we would’ve had way too much media attention and my father would’ve found me again. The less people know about me, the better,” I sigh.
“But it does annoy you?”
My heart lifts as the elevator halts. The doors ding, arriving at the final floor.
“A little. I mean, you’re mine. If the situation would’ve had allowed me to, then yes I would’ve loved for you to tell every living soul that I’m yours and that you’re mine,” I continue, walking beside him in the hotel corridors.
“When the time comes, I’ll let the world know,” he promises, knocking on door 1567.
Niall answers, munching on a piece of bacon.
“Right on time,” he remarks. “Breakfast is still steaming,” he states, letting us in the large suite. He doesn’t add anything else and goes back to the small dining room where all the boys and Anne were eating pancakes, French toast, bacon, eggs and fruit.
“Hiya Soph!” Zayn greets, biting into a piece of toast. “How are you?”
“Better than last night,” I admit.
“I bet you are. What was it?”
“The drug my father forced me to take,” I explain. “I was having a nightmare at the same time my body tried removing it from my bloodstream so my brain just lost it hence why my ears bled.”
They all stop chewing.
“Yeah. But I’m all good now.”
“Your ears started bleeding... because of a drug?!” Louis exclaims, astounded. “They could’ve been fatal! Did your father even know about these secondary effects?!”
“I don’t think he did,” my sister intervenes. “He wouldn’t have risked her life like that.”
“That’s what you think.”
“No that’s what I know,” she spews at Liam. “He’s always wanted but the best for us!”
“Of course the best is leaving one daughter alone with an alcoholic mother and the other at an orphanage at the other end of the world. Then going to fetch the one across the globe and reassuring her before bringing her on a journey that’ll rip her long lost sister from people who cared for her more than her family did. Or course he’s done the best he could you,” Liam scoffs sarcastically.
Niall catches Anne before she jumps on the brown-haired boy.
“You don’t know anything!” She yells, struggling against Niall. “You fu―”
Niall places his hand over her mouth, silencing her.
“Come on Anne. Calm down,” he says.
“No! He fu―”
“If you’re going to swear, don’t do it here,” the blonde boy advises, dragging her in another room.
“She just can’t seem to open her mouth at the right time,” Zayn shakes his head once they’re out of sight.
“She’ll learn,” Louis sighs.
“And on this note, Sophie wants to take a bath, so I’m going to run a bath,” Harry declares, grabbing a couple fruits from the table.
“Don’t take too long,” the Pakistani boy recommends, pulling his phone out. “We’re leaving in about two hours.”
“No problem.” Harry takes me by the hand, leading me into a grand bathroom. Placing the fruit on the counter, he opens the bath tap and the warm water flow. The curly-haired boy holds his finger under the water for a few seconds before plugging it shut. “Lots of bubbles?” He enquires, a daring smile on his face as he holds up the bubble soap.
“I’ll be right back,” he says once the bath is full, shutting the tap. “I’ll just go get some clothes for after.” I watch him as he leaves the bathroom, removing my shirt, pants and underwear as soon as he’s gone.
I exhale in satisfaction when I slip under the water, relishing its warmth. Shutting my eyes, I lean my head on the bath’s rim and empty my mind. All I can see is a cloud on which I’m peacefully drifting.
“You look content,” Harry points out, pulling me out of my dreamlike state.
“I am,” I admit. “Last time I’ve took a bath like that goes back to so far away,” I trail on, sighing. “I think I was about fifteen or fourteen.”
“Hmm,” he smiles, sitting on the counter. “Want a fruit?” He asks, motioning the raspberries.
“After the bath,” I reply. There’s a short moment of silence. “Want to join me?” I enquire finally.
“Please,” he acquiesces, pushing himself off the counter and removing his clothing. I scoot forwards in the tub, letting him fill the space behind me. “There,” he sighs once his body is also under the water, under mine.
I rest my head on his chest as he places his legs so I’m in between them. He presses a kiss to my shoulder.
“You’re perfect, you know that right?” He whispers, his wet hands slowly sliding the length of my soapy arms. I shut my eyes, moaning softly as his mouth leaves butterfly kisses in my neck. “You know that trip I planned two months ago?” Harry starts, hands still roaming my body at an unhurried pace. “The Christmas one? Well I was planning on taking you to the Maldives, a small group of islands near India where the hotels are underwater and most importantly, where no one knows us. No paparazzi, no fans, just you, me and the boys. It would’ve been epic. No doubt we would’ve taken plenty of bubble baths like this one, swam with turtles and relaxed on the beach.”
I smile, keeping my eyes shut as Harry’s hands keep gliding over my skin.
“Then we would’ve flown to Australia and celebrated New Year’s Eve twice, going in two different cities where the time zones aren’t the same,” he trails on.
“What were your New Year’s Resolutions?” I ask, curious.
“Taking care of the people I love,” he responds quietly, hugging me to him. “Yours?”
“I didn’t have any... we didn’t even celebrate the New Year. Barely had a proper Christmas too,” I mumble, shifting so my hands could caress his torso. I lift my head up to look at his eyes. “It sucks being restrained to a chair while your father and sister share gifts,” I sulk.
“I bet it does,” he nods. “You tried running away from your father I hope?”
“More than once,” I chuckle. “He was mad. Just kept adding bindings to hold me down until I barely could breathe. And then, after a couple weeks, he slacked off a bit since I acted somewhat more docile. I never stopped wanting to be in your arms though,” I sigh, pressing my ear to his chest and wrapping my arms around him.
His finger slides under my chin, lifting my head up.
“I promise I’ll never let that happen again,” he whispers before bending down to kiss me sweetly. I inhale, shutting my eyes and letting him hold me. “Want me to wash you?” he enquires after a couple minutes, digits tracing figures on my shoulder blades.
“Only if you let me wash you,” I reply, the corner of my mouth quirking upwards.
“Deal. You wash my hair and I wash your body, then we switch?” he proposes, holding the body wash. I nod, shifting in the water so I’m straddling him, my hand reaching for the shampoo. I can’t wipe the smile off my face as Harry soaps his hands and starts massaging the top of my shoulders, moving down my arms before going back up to rub the back of my neck. He seems to be focused on his actions, hands sliding down my body leisurely.
I proceed to squirt shampoo in my own hands, before digging them in Harry’s rowdy curls. I rub his scalp getting shampoo everywhere I can.
Concentrated on the British boy, I whimper as his hands suddenly slide over and under my breasts.
“What?” he smirks, repeating the movement.
“Harry,” I moan softly, taking his hand and pressing it directly to my own chest.
“We’re not doing this in a bath, we’ll get water everywhere,” he warns cocking his eyebrow up as his fingers trace soapy circles around and on my mounds of flesh.
“I like it when you touch me,” I mumble. “Doesn’t mean I want to have sex all the time.”
“I know that, I was just teasing you,” he smiles, pressing a long kiss in the hollow of my neck, hands cupping my breasts. I move his face so I can kiss him on the lips, my hand holding his neck. He wraps his arms around my waist, pressing our wet, naked bodies together in an intimate embrace. “I love you,” he whispers. I grab a bunch of bubbles a place them on his nose.
“I love you too,” I answer. Little by little, we begin rinsing ourselves, cupping water in our hands and lifting it over the other to wash the soap off. Once we’re done, it’s my turn to wash his body and his to wash my hair. Squeezing body wash into my palms, I press them to his chest and start painting circles on his skin.
“You are so perfect,” he states, his fingers combing through my tangled hair.
“I’m far from perfect Harry,” I mumble, hands soaping his neck, shoulders and arms.
“You’re perfect to my eyes. That’s all that matters,” he responds, his gaze piercing mine.
It’s raining bucketfuls when we’re back on the road in their comfy tour bus. Louis and I are sat in front of each other in the miniature living room and soft music is playing in the background as I caress Fate’s head thoughtfully. Niall is sitting in the small kitchen with earphones and his guitar, Harry’s taking a nap due to the lack of sleep he had yesterday and Liam’s surfing Twitter in his bunk. Anne and Zayn on the other hand, are inside the bedroom having a major discussion.
My gaze shifts from my cat to Louis as he moves to take a seat beside me.
“So what’s new Sophieboo?” he sighs, sitting lazily on the couch.
“What’s wrong with you?” I frown, looking at him worriedly.
“What do you mean?”
“Louis I can tell when you’re feeling down: you look like this,” I state. “Miserable.”
“Your sister. She’s what’s wrong,” he admits, shutting his eyes and rubbing his forehead. “I don’t understand her,” he gives up with a very heavy sigh.
“I don’t always understand her either,” I say after a moment of thought. “But try to put yourself in her shoes maybe?”
“I’m trying my very best to be nice to her, yet she still wants me to end up behind the bars.... I don’t want to go to prison Soph,” he continues morosely. “She just doesn’t seem to be adapting like you were... Why?”
“Well she does have someone to look forward to if she gets out whereas I have nobody. Plus, I think I’m a little kinkier than her, so all this,” I motion around, “was easier to live with,” I chuckle. A faint smile draws itself on his lips.
“Oh I strongly doubt that you’re the kinkiest love... Anne may not like nakedness but she definitely has a clothed sex kink as well as a blindfold one and I’m betting she’d love sensation play. Probably even a Daddy kink,” he shakes his head, grinning.
“Maybe the sensation play, but the Daddy kink? No way,” I scoff.
“I’m betting she does.”
“Oh really? How much are you betting?” I enquire playfully.
“10 thousand pounds that’d she’d adore it.”
“Well I’m betting all my clothes she won’t like it.”
“So if I win, you’re prancing around naked and if you win, I’m giving you 10k?” he proposes, holding his hand out for me to shake.
“Yeah,” I shrug, placing my hand into his and shaking it. “Why not?”
“This is the stupidest bet I’ve ever heard of,” Niall intervenes, putting his earphones in his pocket. “And believe me, I’ve heard a lot,” he sighs, taking a seat on the couch with us. “She doesn’t even want to talk to you Lou,” the blonde sighs. All our eyes drift to the television as he turns it on, opening a bag of chips.
“It won’t last. Nobody can give me the silent treatment for longer than a couple hours,” the Doncaster boy states. “She’ll talk to me tonight.”
“Wanna bet?” the Irish boy responds.
“Why doesn’t she want to talk to you?” I frown.
“I kinda shoved my dick in her throat this morning you see and―”
“That’s it, I’m on your side Niall: she won’t talk to you Lou,” I interject quickly. There was no way in hell she’d forgive him that easily.
“Well I’m on Louis’s side,” a tired Harry intervenes, stretching his arms. “I think he can be really persuasive when he wants to.”
“But Anne is stubborn. Really stubborn,” I counter.
“What are you four even betting?” Liam sighs, joining us. I gaze at Niall.
“We’re betting some of Sophie’s freedom,” Niall supplies. I scoff. What?!
“Perfect. We’re betting the exact opposite,” Harry nods. “So if Anne does speak to Louis before the end of the day, you won’t complain about my safety measures,” he continues, looking at me.
“But if she doesn’t, we’re letting her attend one of our concerts,” Niall warns. “Front row. With her sister.”
“We’re going to win,” The curly-haired boy shakes his head.
“And what do I gain in all this?” Louis whines.
“The satisfaction of having Anne talk to you.”
We all become silent as the bus stops. I glance outside.
“We're in the middle of nowhere,” I frown, eyeing the pouring rain outside. “Why are we stopping?”
“That's weird,” Liam nods, checking his phone. “I'll go ask the driver.”
The four boys and I all stay silent as we wait for Liam to return with the news, Harry squeezing between Niall and I on the couch. He reaches over to hug me but I keep him away.
“Why?” he complains. “Let me love you.”
“We're betting against each other Harry... I will not be fraternizing with the enemy,” I declare, teasing him as I stand up and move to sit beside Niall once more. Liam comes back in just as Harry's about to retort something cheeky.
“There's a minor leak in the gas pipe. The driver's calling the garage nearby and they'll fix it up in no more than fifteen minutes,” the brunette informs. “We’ll only be about half an hour late on our schedule. I'll just let Paul know, if he doesn't already,” he continues, tapping on his phone before bringing it to his ear.
“I'll go and tell Zayn what's going on,” Harry states, standing up with a yawn.
Louis suddenly grabs my cat and she mewls in surprise.
“Give me Fate, you're scaring her,” I protest.
“Fate's on our side.” he responds, petting her small head. “She doesn’t want to ‘fraternize with the enemy’, as you so poetically put it.”
“She is not on your side.”
We cease our bickering as Harry walks out of the bedroom, scowling.
“Your sister is so frustrating,” he sighs in my intention, slumping on the sofa.
“Tell me about it!” Louis agrees.
“She just can't seem to obey the rules. She and Zayn were in a heated discussion when I barged in and―”
The curly-haired boy is interrupted by Anne storming out of the bedroom, closely followed by Zayn. Louis, Niall and I hurry to the window, watching as Anne walks in the drenched meadows.
“Anne come back in here!” Zayn orders. My twin responds something but it's silenced by the pittter patter of the rain on the windows. The darker boy walks under the rain after Anne.
“She's going to catch a cold,” Niall remarks over my shoulder before Louis and him sit back down on the couches. I keep my gaze fixed on the wet duo outside, curious. My eyes widen as I witness Anne initiate a kiss with Zayn which is inevitably returned.
Still shocked, I grab my own seat. Zayn? Why kiss Zayn? He hasn't even been slightly nice with her!
The bus door opens few minutes later.
“Zayn did you-”
Louis stops in mid-phrase, watching a wet Zayn holding Anne's hand and leading her to the bedroom, both of them clearly aroused. I watch his grip tighten on the armrests.
“Nah let them be. For once, she didn’t seem to be protesting,” Harry cuts Niall off with a shrug.
“What if she regrets it?” Louis agrees after a moment of thought. “We should stop them. Anne isn't very stable when it comes to her relationship with us. This won't make things better.”
“Maybe it's exactly what she needs. No strings attached,” the green-eyed boy replies.
“And how do you know it's no strings attached?” I enquire.
“It's Zayn. It takes him awhile to get over an ex... And for some reason, shagging many girls helps. It's just his way of getting by a break-up,” Liam supplies, ending the call and slipping his phone into his pocket. “You know more than anyone that we all have our ways of coping with pain.”
My eyes reflexively divert to my wrists and I feel Niall tensing beside me.
“Don't worry though, it’s just a phase.” I hope it is Liam, because I have a feeling things might turn sour if it isn’t.