“This better be the right number this time, Lou.” I gruffly spoke.
“Haz mate, relax. We haven’t tried that many.” He reasoned.
“Twelve.” I sharply replied. “I thought you were supposed to be good at this sort of thing. It took you all of three minutes to find that girl’s number and address.”
I couldn’t help but laugh. Louis remained silent.
“You know, the one with the massive..”
“I know, I know.” He cut me off rather curtly. “And I thought we agreed to never speak of the incident again.”
The phone was still held to my ear as I walked into my bedroom again, a mug of tea in hand. I took small sips of the steaming liquid, my gaze locked on the beauty still asleep in my bed. Her body now tangled in the sheets.
“I’ve got it.” Louis spoke up.
He recited off a number which I hastily copied down.
I didn’t really want to go through another unsuccessful phone call.
“Yep, says “Styles” on the database.” There was a pause.“Haz, you owe me one. If I get caught hacking in..”
“Mate, relax.” I spoke using the same tone he had earlier. “We both know you’ve done it before and will probably do it again.”
“That’s beside the point.” He replied, but I detected a hint of humour in his voice.
I placed my mug on the bedside table, glancing at Bo to make sure she was alright before walking from the bedroom to the kitchen. My nervousness was clear as I gulped. I knew Louis could tell.
“Harry, goodluck.” He spoke quietly, the amusement draining from his voice.
I hung up the phone, staring down at the numbers scrawled across the bit of paper. My fingers raked through my messy curls, hand rubbing over my face. All my fears came bombarding to the forefront of my mind. Rejection, my family not wanting me. That’s what I feared the most. I guess I had put it off all this time because a small part of me hoped that they would lovingly take me back. But I knew this wasn’t the case.
My heart sunk at the realisation this might be the final time I would speak to them. But I shoved the thought away, inhaling a deep breath and typing the numbers in to dial.
I waited for mum to return back from the shops, something about buying more tea bags. My feet aimlessly wandered through to the living room. She always kept the house tidy, remembering how she would constantly nag Harry to pick up his dirty socks from the carpet and how he would groan in complaint. I weakly smiled as my eyes landed on the picture that always stood on the small table in the corner. It was of Harry and I, his curls tousled as he had just broken out of my playful headlock. We grinned at the camera, my mum taking the photo.
I often wondered where he was now, what he was doing, if he missed us. It had been four years since we’d seen him, four years since he left. My baby brother, only sixteen when he lashed out at my boyfriend at the time. I shook my head, desperately trying to evade the horrible memories. We were shocked. He had to grow up faster than his years, taken on the responsibility of the only male in the house. It had taken witnessing Harry beat him nearly to death, for me to realise what a cruel and disgusting man I was dating. But it was too late. Harry left that evening.
We had desperately tried to search for him. But it was like he had fallen off the face of the Earth. I jumped as the phone rang, quickly wiping away the small tears I hadn’t noticed falling from my eyes. I cleared my throat before pressing the green button.
“Oh, hi, does umm, is this Kathy Styles?” I raspy voice stuttered.
I frowned slightly before replying.
“No, she’s just popped out for a bit. This is her daughter, can I take a message?”
My hands rummaged for a note pad and a pen from a drawer. I cleared my throat, trying to get some response out of the mystery called. The line was silent on the other end.
“I can get her to call you back?” I suggested.
I was about to put the phone down, thinking the call had died before the male voice spoke again.
“Jessy?” He whispered.
I swallowed back the lump in my throat, my heart pounding against my chest. It can’t be. The only person who called me that…. I suddenly began to feel faint.
“Oh my god.”
The phone dropped from my hand, clattering to the floor. My eyes squeezed closed, reality falling away for a short time as I became lost in my whirling thoughts. After a second my mind caught up with my body and I fell to my knees. My hands urgently gripped the phone.
“H-Harry?” I desperately pleaded.
“Are you alright?” He asked.
I could hear the slight amusement in his voice. Always the cheeky one.
“My baby brother.” I mumbled, tears in my eyes. “Where are you?”
“I’m in my flat.” His tone told me he was rolling his eyes.
“Oh my gosh, you have a flat.” I quietly confirmed. “And your voice has gotten so deep.”
To me he was still just a sixteen year old boy. Awkward teenager with crazy curly hair.
“Jessy, I’m twenty.” He said matter-of-factly.
The tears had started again, rolling down my cheeks. We’d missed out on four years of his life. My heart lurched at the thought of him being all on his own. He’d left when he was still a boy. I couldn’t bear to think of what had gone through his mind four years ago. Our reactions to the event in the back garden forcing him to believe the people he loved were terrified of him.
“We’ve missed you, Harry.” I whispered. “My God, we’ve missed you so much.”
My sobbing became a little erratic as I attempted to rein in the emotions. I slowly slid to the floor, tightly clutching the phone to my ear, desperate to hear his voice. Desperate not to lose him again.
“Please Jess, don’t cry.” Harry mumbled.
“I want to see you.” I gushed.
I couldn’t wipe the smile from my face as I strolled back to the bedroom. We were going to meet. After four years I was going to see my mum and sister again. My eyes lit up as I spotted Bo. She was the reason, the beautiful, stubborn girl in front of me. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have tired. I would have carried on with the rest of my life, continuing to think my family wanted absolutely nothing to do with me. A feeling of being lost, unloved constantly aching in my chest.
She was awake, sitting up, knees bent as she leant back against the headboard. Her hand hastily travelled up to her hair, attempting to tame the wavy locks.
She shyly smiled, speaking a quiet “good morning”.
I crawled onto the end of the bed, Bo taking her bottom lip between her teeth.
“Is that my tea?” I asked amused, raising my eyebrows.
“It’s mine now.”
I loved it when she was playful with me. A smirk broke over my face, taking the mug from her grasp, placing it to the bedside table once more. Her innocence shining through as I watched her eyes widen. My hands gripped her ankles and in one swift movement I yanked her down to lie flat on her back beneath me. I smiled down at her, touch running over her body through one of my t shirts she wore.
“Well, you’re mine.” I whispered.
“Do you think he’ll come?” I asked anxiously to my mum.
“Course he will.” My mum smiled reassuringly, but I could tell she was as nervous as I was. “He might be a bit late though.”
We laughed, Harry had never really been one to keep on top of time. I twiddled my straw round, watching the bubbles float to the top as we conversed together. My mum and I had grown closer with my little brother’s devastating departure. The thought of losing another member of the family was completely indescribable. To be on your own…my baby brother on his own.
“Do you think we’ll recognise him?” I asked.
I hoped his hair hadn’t changed; his curls and dimples something of a signature look, along with his cheeky smile. When my mum didn’t reply I looked up at her. But her focus was now on the door, mouth slightly agape before she covered it with her hand. I turned on my stool to see a tall guy, dark curls flopping over his forehead before he pushed them back. His green eyes scanned the area, his mouth forming into a cheeky grin as he spotted us. I couldn’t move from my position and neither could my mum. I might have fallen to the floor if I attempted to stand.
He made his way over to us, denim shirt buttoned up to the top, white converse. Our heads tilted up as he came to stand in front of the stools we were sat on. He looked so much older, taller. My eyes furiously absorbed his face. His jaw was more defined, smooth skin displaying a hint of stubble. Harry’s hair was longer, still holding curls but not the tight ringlets he displayed in his younger years. But it was his eyes that caught my attention. A deeper shade of green..darker.
My mum was up first, wrapping her arms tightly round his waist, burying her face into his side. He held her closely to his body. Harry smiled, looking to me as he raised his other arm, offering me a hug. I jumped up, quickly accepting the offer. I rested my head on his hard chest, tears rolling down my cheeks.
“Harry.” I cried softly.
My mum was still clinging to him as I drew back, peering up to his face. I couldn’t believe it was really him. After all this time, we never thought we’d see him again.
“You’re so tall.” I commented.
“Either that or you’ve both got shorter.” Harry playfully retaliated.
“Your voice is deeper.”
“You told me that on the phone.” He laughed.
I couldn’t help but smile upon hearing his laughter again. My gaze wandered over him, hands reaching out to his free arm. I felt my mouth drop open slightly as I squeezed his bicep.
“Holy shit, your muscles are massive.” I gushed in disbelief.
I still couldn’t shake the thought of him being an awkward sixteen year old teenager. His body had lost all the puppy fat he once carried. His muscles growing and defining.
“You might not be able to get me in a headlock now.” He teased.
“I can’t believe it’s you.” I whispered.
But as I thought about the time we had spent apart, I couldn’t stop the horrible memories of hearing my mum cry herself to sleep for nights on end. Wishing she had done something to stop Harry from leaving. Both of us were distraught at his disappearance. The hurt returned with full force. It was almost as if he’d died. The feelings both my mum and myself had been left with, were identical to experiencing a loved one being harshly ripped from life.
I yanked his arm off; Harry’s face holding confusion. My fist punched him hard in the chest.
“Oww.” Harry rubbed over the sore spot.
“You left us.” I sobbed. “When we needed you, you left us.”
The teasing in his eyes disappeared. My mum standing back from him as we both peered up and the guy who had walked out on us. We stood closer together, my fingers lightly gripping hold of her hand. My mum had been quiet during this reunion. It was a lot for her to take in, especially as she hadn’t gotten a chance to speak to him on the phone.
“I-I didn’t think you wanted me.” He spoke quietly. “Not after what happened.”
Harry’s words clenched at my heart. He looked like a lost little boy; his stronger physical appearance not being able to hide the obvious vulnerability he still held.
“You’re a bloody idiot, Harry. Of course we wanted you. Y-You’re my brother, I’ll always love you.”
He bit his lip as his head dipped down. Curls falling over his face as he gripped both of our hands, almost too afraid to let go.
“I’m sorry.” He whispered.
I desperately tried to hold back the tears. I knew Harry had arranged to meet in a public place to try and prevent a scene.
“Oh god.” My mum mumbled.
Her free hand caught hold of the back of his neck, tugging him down. His head rested on her shoulder as she stroked his curls. I heard him sniff lightly, his large hand holding mine tightly.
“I’m sorry.” His voice breaking as he repeated the words.
“It’s alright, Baby.” My mum comforted.
We had moved from the bar to one of the many tables at the restaurant. The shock of seeing Harry again, slowly starting to sink in.
“Where’s your chain?” I asked.
The necklace had been given to Harry for his sixteenth birthday. The gift was never taken off.
“Someone else wears it now.”
I frowned, not really understanding why he would have given it away. It had meant so much to him. But my mind suddenly caught on to his loving words. A gasp fell from my lips, smile spreading across my face as he shyly smiled back.
“What’s her name?…H-His name?” I rushed.
He shook his head laughing.
“Jessy, I like girls.” He whined.
I was about to speak again before a busty waitress came over with our drinks. She only glanced at my mum and myself, her attention fully on Harry who seemed unfazed my her attention seeking attempts towards him.
“Is there anything else I can get you?”
Her top was low, cleavage on full show as she peered at him through her fake lashes.
“No, I think we’re good thanks.” Harry looked to both of us.
My stomach had been churning all day at the thought of seeing my brother again, I had hardly eaten anything. I had no appetite for food. We nodded in agreement and the waitress huffed quietly before departing. I looked to Harry who didn’t seem to notice the not so subtle advances the blonde was giving him.
“And apparently girls like you too.”
He shook his curls, smiling. I scanned round the other tables. It was true, a number of female eyes were giving Harry curious glances. Lustful gazes travelling up and down his body. I suddenly felt protective, it was my baby brother that they were ogling. I gave one particular woman a hard glare. She looked a little flustered before returning back to her conversation with who I presumed was her boyfriend.
“Tell us about her.” My mum smiled.
My focus came hurtling back to our table. I suddenly became intensely curious as to who Harry was clearly smitten with.
“What’s her name, how old is she, where did you guys meet?…Can we meet her?”
“Jessy, stop.” Harry chuckled.
His bottom lip was nervously taken between his teeth, his eyes glancing from my mum to myself. I smiled as he shuffled in his seat. Harry’s apprehension making him look younger, the boy I remembered.
“Her name’s Bo.” His head dipped down, trying to conceal the pink splashing his cheeks. “She’s beautiful.” He mumbled quietly.
“Awww, Hazzzz.” I cooed, to which I was quickly told, rather rudely, to shut up.
End of Flashback
His mouth was slightly agape, soft snores falling from his plump lips. I smiled at Harry’s hair, messy curls adorned the pillow. My mind wandered back to what he had told me the night before. I was elated to hear he had contacted his family. And by the look on his face when he had told me, I had a feeling everything had gone alright. It shed some light on the constant phone calls, obviously his mum or sister wanting to make sure he was alright.
Harry lightly groaned as I carefully moved, wiggling down the bed. The covers went with me, revealing his toned chest as it rose up and down, but he didn’t seem to mind the loss of duvet, still fast asleep. He looked adorable.
My lips ghosted over the smooth skin of his stomach before moving lower. Small bursts of kisses were peppered over his left hip. Harry stirred slightly with the affection. I glanced up, long eyelashes still fanned over the top of his pink tinged cheeks. Smiling, my fingers gently hooked into the elastic on his hip, slowly pulling it down for more access. I continued with my small pecks. Then moving to kiss down his happy trial.
I had to bite my lip to prevent myself from giggling, my fingers gently easing down the elastic from below his belly button. I didn’t quite manage my goal. Harry’s large hands catching hold of my wrists and tugging me up the bed. His eyes were still closed as I lay on top of him. My giggling caused him to moan.
“What are you doing to me, woman?” His raspy voice asked.
I brushed my fingers over his cheek, gently encouraging him to allow me to see the sparkling green orbs I loved.
“Mornin’, Handsome.” I smiled.
He ginned, focus locked on my face. It was a few minutes before he spoke, forehead creasing in confusion.
“Were you going to wake me up with a blowjob?”
My cheeks blushed as I nuzzled into his neck, embarrassment taking over. It hadn’t been my plan to wake him in such an intimate way. But I didn’t deny it, I would allow him to believe it was my intention, simply because it was more fun. Maybe I would indulge him in the heated wake-up call another time. My face redden at the thought.
“Because I can always go back to sleep and you can try again.” He cheekily suggested.
I gasped at his proposal, lightly hitting him on the chest as he laughed.
Shortly after the tickling Harry had initiated I had gotten in the shower, quickly getting ready for work. My wet hair was plaited down my back, fingers holding the end as I finished it off with the band Harry left out for me. I was just about to go and find him in the kitchen when a hard knock was heard from the front door.
“Bo, will you get that?” Harry spoke.
I tugged the front of my low top up before walking down the hallway. My fingers gripped the cold handle before swinging the door open. I couldn’t help but take a step back. The man in the doorway was huge, his height looming above me, much like Harry. My mouth seemed to dry as I peered up at him, his lips holding a smirk.
“Hmm, I was expecting someone a little taller.” He joked. “Harry in?”
Tattoos trailed up one of his strong arms, a sleeve of dark colour swarming on his skin. The ink stopped at the fabric on the arm of his t shirt. I swallowed down my fright before turning my head back round into the flat.
“Harry.” I called.
My focus snapped back as I felt a large, sweaty hand on my shoulder. I stood frozen, his touch running up my neck to cup my chin. His smile was far from friendly as his icy eyes trailed down to my chest.
“You Harry’s girl?”
I thought back to the last time someone had asked me that. Jake. My answer had been a strong no. But so many things had changed since then. The guy with unmistakable darkness hidden in his stunning green eyes had swept me off my feet; quite literally in some instances.
“Yes.” I replied rather sharply before yanking his wrist away from me. “Harry!” My voice shouted, rather urgently behind me.
The curly-haired guy hastily appeared moments later. Joggers slung low on his hips and he yanked a t shirt over his head before striding swiftly in our direction. He looked less than happy at the current situation in front of him. My upper arm was taken in his large hand, gently tugging me behind him. He stood tall and protective before turning to me.
“Go and wait in the living room.” He spoke quietly.
I gently squeezed his hand before complying, feet moving quickly to the lounge. Harry’s focus was now on the, what looked to be, uninvited guest. My fingers hung onto the doorframe, peeking out to watch the interaction.
“What the hell do you want?” Harry asked through gritted teeth.
“I was sent to make sure you don’t pussy out of this evening.” He almost laughed.
“I’ll be there.” Harry’s voice hard.
I anxiously watched the exchange between the two towering males. My heart thumping as I noticed Harry’s long fingers slowly curl into a tight fist by his side. But my vision was diverted to the other man who peered round Harry to me. The smile on his face put me on edge, even though I knew Harry would never let him get to me. Harry’s overly protective nature would have the large man pinned to the floor in seconds.
“I’d like to see her there too.” The guy smirked.
My body stiffened. Harry’s green eyes found mine. Their softness hardening before he spun and shoved the guy in the chest. The man stumbled back slightly.
“Fuck you.” Harry angrily spat.
“Nah mate, I’d rather fuck her.” He laughed.
The door was swiftly slammed in his face. Harry’s breathing was erratic as his back pressed to the wood. I could tell he was desperately trying to cling on to any calm he possessed. I hesitantly moved towards him, aware he was still angry.
My voice was quiet. His head remained bowed, not meeting my gaze as he concentrated on finding an equilibrium. My hand slowly rose to his head, my fingers soothing stroking his curls; I knew it calmed him from previous experience. His deep sigh told me my attempts were succeeding. My face dipped slightly, finding the warmth of his cheek before placing a small kiss to the skin.
His head rose to meet my cautious gaze. I gasped as he caught hold of my hands, squeezing them as his thumbs rubbed over the backs.
“Did he hurt you?” He gushed, anxiously waiting for my answer.
“No.” I replied, not wanting to provoke any unnecessary reaction.
I stared down at our hands, Harry’s span so much larger than mine. The simple gesture made me feel safe in his presence.
“When I heard you shout my name..” His voice cracked.
“H-He just frightened me.” I interrupted.
Harry’s posture seemed to relax a little, his lips planting a soft kiss to my mouth. Our foreheads pressed together, inhaling each other’s breath. Long eyelashes tickled at my skin.
“Is he the guy you’re fighting tonight?” I asked quietly.
“No, no that’s his wanker of a brother.” Harry’s tone holding distaste.
My fingers tightened round his, a lump forming in my throat.
“I don’t want you to fight.” I whispered, tears brimming in my eyes.
Harry’s strong arms brought me into a protective hug, my body being engulfed by his.
“I know, Baby.”