“Tell me allllll about it,” I said as sarcastically as I could all the while balancing my phone on my shoulder and trying to wash dishes in the sink at the same time. Harry and I bought takeout the night before from my favorite Chinese restaurant in the city and had a candlelit dinner in the apartment. It was nothing too romantic… almost cheesy if you ask me, but I loved it. It seemed like that was how I would end up feeling about most everything we would do would – it would be cheesy and yet I would love it. I was washing the dishes we used from the night before as quietly as I could as to not wake Harry.
Anna returned from her honeymoon and was gushing with every tiny detail about the places she and Tim went (which she paid for), the things they did (which she paid for), and the expensive foods they tried (can you guess who paid for those?).
“Tim bought me a shirt. I love it. On the front it says, ‘Someone who loves me bought me this shirt in Cancun.’ Isn’t that the cutest?!” Anna screeched over the phone.
I groaned. “Ann, they make those in like every country. It’s nothing special.”
“Well damn, Scotty, you could at least pretend to be excited.”
“I’ll be excited the day you find a real man who actually wears the pants in the relationship.” I giggled though I was being completely serious.
Anna huffed on the other end. “Well what did you do this week? Who’d you fuck?”
I laughed. “Louis.”
I laughed again and looked at the hallway to make sure Harry wasn’t near by. “Yes, Louis Louis. I think I split his lip open though. I kinda feel bad but he was being rough as ever. I couldn’t help it that his lip was in my mouth when he slammed into me.”
Anna moaned. “You are so lucky. I swear, he can be the sexiest thing… I would fuck him so hard-“
“Anna…” I cut her off. “You’re married.”
She chuckled, and I knew that if she was standing next to me she would have swatted me playfully. “That doesn’t mean much. How was the Calvin Klein shoot?”
“Fine,” I answered shortly. Christina popped into my head, her nasty naked body rubbing all over Harry’s back.
“Well that’s good. How was the reunion?”
I grumbled. “A disaster. Therese managed to find my wrecked Volvo and mentally fucked me up for a few days-“
I nearly dropped the phone into the sink. When I caught it in my soapy hands, I slapped the faucet off and stepped away from the sink. “Jesus, you don’t have to be so loud!”
“THAT BITCH DID WHAT?!” Anna screamed again, ignoring my annoyance toward her volume level.
“Talk to Harry about it, I’m not getting into detail.”
Anna stuttered on the other end, trying to contain her questions for Harry. I could tell she was struggling.“Well what the hell else happened while I was gone?!”
I bit my lip. “Harry and I are together.”
I frowned. “Yes.”
“Well what are you doing?”
I leaned against the island in the kitchen and shook my head. “No, we’re together.”
“At the apartment?”
“NO ANNA. Together physically, yes, he is in the apartment with me. But we are TOGETHER. Together. T O G E T H E R. Like-“
“LIKE A COUPLE!?”
I nearly hung up the phone as Anna’s voice bellowed through the earpiece of my phone for the millionth time that morning. “Yes!” I hissed, peeking down the hallway to see if Harry was awake. “Like a couple!”
“Jesus Christ. Maybe I should just leave more often, it seems like good things happen when I’m not there. Well, except the reunion… Is Harry awake? I want to know what happened.”
“He’s not I don’t think,” I said, poking my head down the hallway again. “Just talk to him later. We might go out tonight, you should come.”
“Tim probably won’t want to.”
I rolled my eyes. “Fuck Tim.”
Anna laughed. “I did that in Cancun about a hundred times.”
I grimaced. “And that’s my cue to hang up. Text me, okay?”
Anna was still laughing on the other end, so I shook my head and hung up. God love her.
I do have to admit that I was a bit sad that Anna didn’t show up at La Mirage later that night. For as much as I loved boys (MY boys, I might add), I also loved to have some girl time with Anna. I always had a hard time complaining to Harry about the horrors of a period and the millions of emotions I had running in my head about boys and… well, him. However, I know it would have been completely awkward if Tim had shown up with her. Louis would have been able to find some way to poke fun at Tim (without Tim catching on, of course) and keep a light conversation going but it would have been weird for the rest of us. I was happy to see, however, that Liam turned up again. There was something about his ever-glowing face that just made my day. I admired him from across our table in the corner as Harry and Louis got drinks.
“Liam, quit your job with Mr. Kyrie.”
Liam’s eyes widened at me. “What did you say?”
I laughed. “I said quit! Leave the old man. He’s got other models.”
Liam chuckled uncomfortably and shifted in his seat. He turned and looked at Niall, who was bouncing in his seat already too drunk to understand our conversation anyways.
“But why would I do that?” Liam asked, leaning over the table so I could hear him over the music.
“Because you can come work for me! You’re hired!”
Liam’s eyes widened again, but this time with a more positive energy than before. “You would hire me?”
“Yes! Of course! Have you seen yourself??” I grinned at him and stuck my right hand out for him to shake.
He beamed and grabbed my hand quickly, shaking it vigorously. “Oh god, Scotlan, this is amazing.”
“Hey now,” Harry shouted as he approached the table. “What kind of deal is going on here?” I admired his hands as he carried and distributed at least ten drinks around the table, including a decent sized glass of water for him and myself. It amazed me how much he could do with his hands.
“Shaking on a dollar amount that would get Scotlan into bed with you?” Louis asked as he plopped down beside Niall and slid a few drinks around the table to no one in particular.
Next to me, Harry tensed and shot Louis a nasty glare. He put his arm around me and gripped my side tightly, a gesture that didn’t go unnoticed by everyone at the table.
Zayn “ooh”ed and eyed us closely. “Got something to tell us, do you two? Harry’s been mighty protective tonight…”
All of the boys, including Niall in his drunken stupor, turned and waited for either of us to say something. I shrugged and tried to hide my grin, but Harry, as usual, was a little more outspoken. “No one can mess with her anymore right now. She’s my girl.” He pulled my chair closer to his and hugged me more tightly to his body like he was afraid I might get up and leave him. My chest tingled when his voice echoed in my head… “My girl.”
Niall began to laugh across the table, causing Harry to furrow his brow, but Zayn and Liam quickly distracted us with grins and congratulations and handshakes and side hugs. Louis cocked and eyebrow at me and remained silent but gave me a thumbs-up. As he turned to look at the dancing crowd, a light shown on his face and we could all see his swollen lip.
“Mate…” Zayn gasped, leaning toward Louis with his eyes wide. “Didja get into a fight? I didn’t notice your lip before now.”
Louis chuckled and touched his lip where it puffed out more than usual. He winced and looked at me. “Not really a fight.”
“What the hell happened?” Liam asked, leaning sideways to get a better look at the discolored spot on Louis’ mouth.
Louis sat back and crossed his arms over his chest, clearly preparing some great story in his head. I prayed to God and pleaded at Louis with my eyes not to tell them it was me. At least not in front of Harry.
“The other night, yeah? I had just escorted Scotlan back to her apartment. I wanted to make sure she made it there alright without some creep trying to take her home and sex her up, you know?” He nodded at me. “I came back to the club to find you lads… but this girl stops me at the front door. Smoking hot. Kicking body. Gorgeous eyes… I remember seeing her before a few times… actually more than a few times before in my life.”
“At the clubs?” Niall slurred.
Louis grinned. “Yeah, Niall. Sure. The clubs. That’s where I’d seen her before.” He looked back at me, a confident smirk plastered across his face. “So she tells me she wants to leave. Naturally, I lead her to my place. We get in the door to my apartment and I turn around to offer her a drink and this girl already has her clothes off. She wanted it bad. She had this bra on too that made her boobs look like they were sculpted by Michelangelo himself. Perfect.”
I rolled my eyes and crossed my arms over my chest defensively, but no one seemed to notice. Even Harry was laughing at Louis’ tale. I’m sure he wouldn’t have been laughing if he knew it was my “perfect” chest that Louis was exaggerating.
Louis continued. “She jumped on me. I pushed her up against the wall and slammed into her so hard that she just couldn’t take it I guess.” He motioned toward his lip. “She nearly took my lip off.”
“Shit,” Liam swore, looking again at Louis’ lip. The more I looked at it, the worse I felt. I didn’t know I had done that much damage.
“Ahh but don’t feel bad. It was some of the best sex I’d ever had… until she started talking about her feelings,” Louis said, his eyes landing directly on me. I gasped and scowled at him.
All of the boys, even Harry groaned. “She didn’t,” Harry said, shaking his head.
I pouted for a moment as they all laughed. “Ugh, that is so annoying,” Liam said, rubbing his face with both hands.
“Well I think she was smart,” I almost shouted, sitting forward in my chair.
Niall began to laugh uncontrollably again. I glared at him until Liam slapped him upside his blonde head and asked, “Why do you think that?”
I shifted back against Harry’s body and glanced up at him. He stared down at me with big, green eyes, waiting for me to answer as well. I shrugged. “Well maybe she just needed a male perspective about something. If she came up to you and just asked out of the blue, you would think she was weird and annoying and probably wouldn’t give her solid advice, if any at all. Instead, she got you halfway into sex where she knew you wouldn’t leave or ignore her and then asked you.”
All of the boys sat in silence as I made my point. Harry grinned down at me and gave me a kiss on the forehead. “I think Scotlan wins this round, Louis.”
“Obviously…” Louis leered, looking me in the eyes and touching his lip again. He winced melodramatically, making me feel bad on purpose. I scowled at him.
“LET’S DANCE!” Niall shouted, scaring all of us. He shoved Louis out of his seat, shot up out of his own seat, did a pirouette, and continued to the dance floor. He approached a group of girls all dancing on each other and raised his hands up above his head before bellowing drunken slurs about how awesome of a night he was having. All of the people around him laughed and copied him, raising their drinks above their heads and shouting.
Harry and I both laughed as we watched Niall begin to pop his hips forward and shake his arms all around. Harry pushed me up off of his chest and took my hand. “Let’s dance, Fancy Pants.”
It was so weird being in a club with Harry. I mean, usually I was with him but not actually with him. I was so used to standing across the room and watching him use that stupid pick-up line on some unfortunate, lonely girl - so used to it that even while we were dancing together, I couldn’t help but look around for him. It was like I had forgotten I was dancing with him. It didn’t feel like this was actually happening. I was expecting to look up and see him through the crowd, grinding with another girl. But he wasn’t. This time, he was grinding on me. I grinned and turned to face him.
“I never realized how good of a dancer you were, Miss Ray,” He purred into my ear.
I giggled and placed a small kiss on the far corner of his mouth. “You haven’t been watching me these last couple of weeks?”
Harry slid his hands down my sides and looked at my green form-fitting dress, paying close attention to my chest where the fabric of the dress sagged to reveal some skin. He bit his lip as he watched my hips sway against his own. “I have, but there is a huge difference between watching-“ I spun around and planted my hips in his backside. Harry nearly choked. He gripped me more tightly as he chuckled and leaned forward to breathe in my ear. “-and actually dancing with you.”
I grinned. I felt relaxed. I didn’t care about anything for most of the night. It was nice to be able to go out and not have to hunt down some poor bastard just because I wanted to have sex. I liked being with someone I didn’t have to impress, especially since Harry knew everything about me. I had nothing to hide from him and I didn’t have to act like some suave bitch just for him to come to bed with me. For more than half the night, Harry and I danced awkwardly and made faces at each other in the flashing lights trying hard to make the other person laugh. I didn’t notice anyone around us until Liam tapped me on the shoulder. Harry and I continued to dance as we turned and watched him dancing with some girl. He waved ecstatically at us and pointed down at the girl who was completely bent over in front of them. If they didn’t have clothes on I would have thought they were doing business right there on the dance floor. I shot Liam a wink and a thumbs-up.
Harry stopped dancing after a while and pointed in the direction of our table. I shook my bangs out of my face and spotted Zayn waving us over excitedly. Harry took my hand and I grabbed Liam’s, taking him away from his girl as we made our way to the table.
“Hey, you wouldn’t at least let me say goodbye?” He laughed behind me, turning back to look at the girl he was dancing with who was standing puzzled in the crowd.
“You’re a handsome guy, you’ll pick up another girl no time,” I laughed.
Before we even got to the table, I knew what Zayn was excited about. I could smell it. Louis, who had got to the table first, turned to face Harry, Liam, and I as we approached. I was surprised at how quickly his eyes turned bloodshot with just a few inhales. He grinned slowly and handed the weed to Liam, who eyed the bud suspiciously but pinched the end of it with his lips after a moment and breathed in. He choked and coughed the air out of his lungs, bending over to clutch his chest. “Pass me some water, quick,” He croaked.
Zayn took the bud from Liam’s hand as he and Louis laughed. “Never smoked weed before?”
Liam shook his head as he gulped down the water. “Is it supposed to burn your throat?”
Zayn took a final drag on the bit of weed he was holding as Louis rolled another bit. “Just a little. You’ll get used to it.” Louis lit the new bud and held it out to me. I took it and studied it for a moment before looking up at Harry. He shrugged. The first time we smoked together (which was also the last time) was somewhat of a disaster. Someone in our dorm left a large bag of weed on the counter of the bathroom – probably a drunken mistake from the night before – but instead of just ignoring it or turning it in to someone like we should have, Harry and I smoked some of it. For a while, it was funny because I had a strange urge to just sit on the floor and rock back and forth. Harry, on the other hand, ended up eating three entire packages of Oreo’s and then getting angry. I don’t know why. He slammed things around and nearly broke his desk in half. He was shouting about some girl he had a crush on and tearing his pillows apart and crying about how his grades were shit, and all I could do was rock back and forth, listen to his tantrum, and laugh. It wasn’t until the next morning after we had slept our highs off that we really realized exactly the amount of damage that he had done.
I figured that maybe this time it would be different. He didn’t have grades to be stressed about and he had me as a girlfriend. He would have nothing to be angry about. Apparently, Harry had the same thoughts because after letting me take the first drag on the blunt, he pinched the paper between his lips and inhaled. We both held the smoke inside our lungs until our heads spun and then slowly let the air back out into the club atmosphere. My mood was almost instantly improved and my body relaxed, making the dancing much more interesting once Harry and I got back to the dance floor. I needed to rock though. I needed to bounce or swing my hips. I laughed as I realized that being high made me this way. I enjoyed feeling Harry behind me, clutching my sides protectively and rubbing hard against me like a genie would pop out of my ass. I would turn around occasionally and tease him with my lips, pressing them to the skin revealed by the open collar of his black shirt or leaning in close to his lips and letting them just barely touch before spinning around again and forcing him back away from my face with my bum. He teased me with his hot breath, dragging his parted lips down my neck and panting into my skin until goose bumps appeared.
I threw my hands in the air and squealed as I spotted Liam making his way toward us. Liam hugged me tightly and then lightly pushed me back into Harry. Liam’s eyes were bloodshot now, and I could tell he was feeling the high. Louis and Zayn must have given him another shot with the weed after Harry and I left.
“Have you seen Niall?” He shouted over the music.
I was so wrapped up in Harry that I had forgotten all about Niall. I looked around for some sort of commotion – crazy dancing, anyone doing body shots, someone in a pathetic fight, obnoxious yelling – the things you would usually find Niall in the middle of in the club.
“There he is!” My eyes followed Harry’s hand as he pointed across the club. At one of the booths, we could see one of Niall’s large, white shoes sticking out of the end of the bench. The rest of his body was hanging under the table.
I laughed. “He’s passed out. He’s not going anywhere.”
I kept my back pressed against Harry as we continued to dance. I watched Liam in front of me, dancing with any girls who might dare to approach him with his wild dance moves. I giggled and cheered him on as he attempted a head spin and a few handstands as well as other moves that I’m pretty sure he invented on the spot. I couldn’t stop laughing, especially when he approached me and shimmied his upper body so hard that his batman hat fell off of his head. Liam seemed honored that I would be laughing at him and grinned, his face red from all of the work he was doing. When I finally seemed to get a hold of myself, I looked up at him and noticed he wasn’t grinning anymore, but rather looking off into the crowd behind me. “Where is Harry going?” He asked.
I hadn’t even recognized that Harry was no longer with me. I turned and looked through the crowd which had just parted for Harry who was making his way quickly to the exit. “Harry!” I called, chasing after him. The crowd began to close in on me but I kept pushing through. “Harry, wait!”
When I finally looked up again, he was gone. By the time I made it out the door, I could see the tail lights of the Celica all the way down at the end of the street. I frowned and hurried back to the table where Zayn and Louis were completely spaced out.
“Drive me home,” I half-asked, half-commanded Zayn.
He squinted up at me. “Why not Harry?”
“He just left me here and I don’t know why,” I whined, looking at the doors to the club again.
Zayn crossed his arms. “Well why not Louis?”
“I know you’re high 99% of your life and I trust you more to drive,” I said, pulling at his wrist and picking up my handbag from my chair. Zayn rolled his eyes and grunted.
“Okay, okay. Just help me get the Irishman first.” He stood up slowly. “LOUIS-“ He called, slapping Louis’ cheek. “Keys, mate. I’m driving.”
Zayn and Louis argued over who would drive as we collected Niall and Liam and even as the valet got Louis’ car.
“It’s my car!” Louis bellowed.
“But I have more experience driving high!” Zayn replied calmly.
“It’s not like drunk driving, I know what I’m doing and where I’m going…” Louis said, closing his eyes as we still waited for the valet.
“I’m just talking about reaction time. You’re slow when you’re high,” Zayn pointed out.
Louis frowned. “I am not slo-“
Zayn slapped Louis in the face. Louis took a deep breath and prepared to defend himself, but he remained silent. When the car rolled up, Louis jumped into the passenger’s seat without arguing at all. Liam helped to keep Niall’s unconscious head off of me as Zayn drove us through the dark streets. Liam tried to get me to sing along with the music on the radio, but I was too pissed off to sing along with him. Why would Harry leave me like that?
I was glad the boys simply dropped me at my apartment and left. I didn’t want any of them there when I screamed at Harry. I kicked the Celica as I passed it in the garage, slammed open the door, and kicked my heels off. I stomped through the apartment, looking around the living room, the kitchen, the bathroom, and my even room for Harry. When I got to his room, it was an atrocious mess. His sheets were torn off his bed and his colognes and other miscellaneous bedroom trinkets were scattered everywhere. He emerged from his closet half-clothed, but didn’t look at me as he walked by to grab his sweat pants from his dresser.
I threw my hands up and brought them back down quickly to slap my sides. “Care to explain what the fuck is going on?”
Harry growled. “Don’t act like you’re mad at me. You have no reason to be mad.”
I threw my purse across the room at him, hitting him square in the back. “You just fucking left me at the club! You left me!”
Harry took two giant steps toward me and forced me against the wall. “Don’t throw your shit at me-“
I lifted my hand to try and slap him but he pinned my hands to my side. “It’s that weed turning you into an angry bastard,” I spat at him.
He snarled and gritted his teeth, his hot breath blowing into my face as he panted angrily. “It had nothing to do with the weed, Scotlan.”
I used all of my strength to force my body off of the wall and pushed Harry backward. “THEN WHAT THE FUCK IS IT?! Tell me!”
“IT’S LIAM, DAMMIT!” Harry screamed at me. I gulped. I had never heard him yell so loudly in my life, and especially never at me. I wanted to ball up and cry. Harry didn’t seem to notice. “You’re all dancing with me and as soon as he comes over it’s like I wasn’t there! You were not even paying attention to me but giggling at his dancing and telling him he’s handsome and he’ll find another girl and shit and… UGH!” He roared through his teeth and punched his bed.
“Cripes, Harry, he’s a friend! He was being funny so I laughed! It’s not like I was flirting with him!”
“Well it sure sounded like you were!”
I huffed at him and stomped to my room, taking my dress over my head and throwing it down on the floor.
“Don’t walk away from this! We have to talk about this!” Harry yelled as he emerged in his doorway.
“I’ve said all I needed to say! I was laughing at a friend!” I shouted across the hall at him.
“You told him he was handsome!”
I laughed coldly. “I tell Anna she’s beautiful all the time but that doesn’t mean I’m flirting with her!”
“That’s different,” Harry said, the volume of his voice relatively lower than where it had been for the last minute.
“It’s not any different, Harry! I’ve told lots of guys that they’re attractive and it hasn’t bothered you before!”
Harry’s jaw was clenched but his eyes were surprisingly calm. “You’re right. Scotlan, you’re right. I’m sorry. I guess I’ve just never really paid attention.” He gripped his door handle and stared at the floor of the hallway separating us. “I think this was all a mistake. We can’t make this work.”
I frowned. “What? Make what work?”
“Us,” Harry answered softly.
“Shit.” I rolled my eyes. “Don’t tell me you’re giving up again.”
Harry looked up at me. “Again?”
“Yes! You always give up on everything!”
The fire returned to Harry’s eyes. He curled his fists into balls. “I do not-“
“Yes you do! It started with giving up on your damn family. You walked away from them just because they didn’t give you the attention you wanted!”
Harry shot me a nasty glare. “I don’t talk about your family and you don’t talk about mine.”
I ignored him. “You almost tried out for the X-Factor. You practiced singing “Isn’t She Lovely” for AGES. You and I got backstage – and then what?! You gave up! You quit because you thought the guy before you who got through ‘was horrible’ and you said ‘there wasn’t even a competition.’ What sense does that make? You could have been a singer, Harry.”
“But now I’m a successful model! So what the fuck does that matter!?” Harry said, slapping his doorframe.
I widened my eyes. “You almost weren’t a model! You almost gave up on me when I was struggling to make it in the photography world!”
Harry gawked at me. “I didn’t almost-“
I held up my hand. “Don’t you fucking lie to me. There were nights I went to sleep crying because I was scared I was going to wake up and you would be gone. I know you thought about leaving too. You thought you were too good for your parents, you thought you were too good for the X-Factor. You thought you were too good for me. Even now, you think that I’m the one messing all of this up. You think you’re too good for me right now too-“
Harry stepped into the hall. “Scotlan-“
“Fuck you-“ I yelled before slamming my door. I pushed against it as he threw his body into the door and tried to turn the handle.
“Scotlan, please open the door-“
“Go away.” I let a tear escape down my cheek. I couldn’t believe I just said all of that to Harry. He was my best friend in the whole world. He was my boyfriend… and for some reason, the thought of him giving up on me after a single day made me want to scream. I watched him give up on so many things in his life and never said a word, but I couldn’t let him give up on me. I wouldn’t.
Everything in the apartment was silent, but I could still feel the pressure from his body against the door. I slowly let go of the handle and pressed my head against the wood. I imagined Harry doing the same thing, holding his fists up like he was about to pound on the door but resisting.
I breathed slowly.
I still didn’t say a word.
“I.. I’m sorry.”
“I give up on a lot of things…” He continued. “But you would never be one of them.”
He got me. I relaxed my body just enough for him to push through the door quickly and snatch me up into his arms. He hugged me more and more tightly, rocking slowly back in forth as he pressed his lips to the top of my head and breathed deeply into my hair. “I think we need to start this out the right way,” he said, pushing my shoulders back to look me in the face. He stroked my hair. “We need to go on a real date like a real couple would. Not to a club and not Chinese takeout.”
I giggled. “Well if you insist.”
Harry nodded. “I do insist.”
“Tomorrow?” I asked, peering up into his eyes. They flickered around each little part of my face as he watched me, so calm and full of energy, as always. While I was much calmer now too, I still couldn’t shake his horrible scream out of my ears.
“Tomorrow is great.” He kissed me on the forehead and grabbed my hand as he walked backward out of the room. He let my fingers fall from his own as he crossed the hallway and stood in his doorway, admiring me. “It’s a date,” he said, nodding to confirm. I nodded once at him and let a small smile form on my lips. I flipped off my light and climbed into my bed, facing away from the door. I listened to Harry shuffle around his room for a few minutes and then heard him switch off the light and climb into his own bed. I flipped over silently and looked across the hall at his bed. I couldn’t tell for sure, but I thought I saw his green eyes glowing in the darkness as he stared across the hallway at me too. Could we really make this work?