Bo had been a little odd the last couple of days. It appeared as if her mind was on other things. I prayed it wasn’t because she regretted having sex with me. My gestures towards her had been a slightly reserved, cautious, not wanting to hurt her any further than I already had. I still was a little uneasy with the thought of what happened in her bedroom, angry with myself for losing control. Bo should never have been subjected to that side of me.
When I entered the living room Bo’s back was turned to me, fumbling around in her bag. Her top-half adorned a dark plaid shirt of mine that she had grown rather attached to. The cuffs had to be rolled up, the sleeves far too long for her arms. Bo’s jeans clung perfectly to the curves of her figure, something I always loved about her. I smiled, walking up behind her. Her body jolted in my arms as I wrapped her in my embrace. I lightly squeezed her, resting my chin on Bo’s shoulder. Our position allowed me to inhale her sweet smell.
“It’s only me.” I lightly laughed.
One of my hands travelled up to her chest, pressing my palm above her breasts. Her heart was racing, thumping against my touch.
“Are you alright?” I asked a little concerned.
“I-I’m fine, you just scared me.” She stuttered.
My lips pressed delicate kisses to her neck in an effort to calm her down. But I grew a little disappointed as she wriggled away. She stood back from me, thrusting her laptop in between us as I attempted to move towards her. Bo absorbed my frown, my confused features prompting her to talk.
“I’m having trouble with my iTunes, I was wondering if you could have a look?”
She peered warily up at me, her question ending with the bite of her lower lip. Bo shyly smiled as I took the device from her grasp. Our fingers brushed momentarily.
“Sure.” I replied.
Her hand was placed on my shoulder as she leant up, planting a small kiss to my cheek. The warmth of her lips lingered on my skin.
“Thanks. I’m going to the bathroom.”
I sat down on the sofa as Bo hastily departed from the room. I shook off my worry, curls falling round my face before I swept them back. Her laptop rested on my thighs as I opened the lid, pressing the power button.
I shut the door as quietly as I could. Not wanting to alert my boyfriend to my presence in his bedroom. It clicked closed as I spun around, scanning the space surrounding me. I immediately started searching, pulling open his drawers and rummaging through the clothes. It had to be here somewhere.
I abandoned the storage that held his t shirts, frantically spinning to be faced with the wardrobe. The doors were yanked open before I got to my knees, searching at the bottom. When I had no luck, my vision shifted to above my head. I got to my feet, stretching up on my toes, straining to reach the top of the wardrobe. A huff emitted from my mouth as I was unsuccessful, my fingertips nowhere near my intended target. I worked quickly to drag a chair over, teetering upon it and reaching up for a second time. With my new found height my hand blindly felt over the wood, cursing at my empty discovery.
I stumbled down from the elevated position and over to his small bedside table. My cheeks flushed at my findings, scanning over the variety of condoms Harry kept. All different colours, lubricants, textures. I shook my head, dropping a purple one back into the draw before fumbling round to reach the back. I ceased my movement momentarily, straining to hear bare feet pad down the hall. Curse words slipped from my mouth as I quickly shut the drawer before rushing over to the wardrobe. I didn’t have time to drag the chair back to its previous position.
“Bo, your iTunes is fine, there’s nothing wrong with it.”
My distraction hadn’t provided me with nearly as much time as I had hoped. I knew Harry must have been searching for me, his voice repeating my name before the handle of the door pushed down. I barely had time to shut the wardrobe, let alone fix the clothes I had haphazardly yanked from drawers in my haste to find answers.
Harry looked a little bewildered as he entered; staring at the mess I had created. The frown that creased into his forehead made it clear he wasn’t best pleased. When I left his questioning gaze unanswered, his complete focus landed on me. I gulped as he shut the door with his foot, slowly stalking over to me. Warm breath fanned on my face as I resisted Harry’s eye contact. He stood directly in front of me, height shadowing over.
“Did you find it?” He lowly asked.
I attempted to appear calm, despite the anxiousness I was desperately fighting down. It was astonishing how he could transform in a matter of seconds. Harry’s usually comforting, large frame, now felt intimidating; just like it had when we first met.
“Find what?” I weakly asked.
“Whatever it was you were looking for.”
“I wasn’t looking for anything.” I whispered.
My breathing began to shallow as my curly-haired fighter stepped impossibly closer. He nudged my head to the side slightly, lips brushing the tingling skin of my neck. My eyes squeezed closed as I battled to stop the tears.
“You and I both know that’s not true.”
His tone was controlled, but the sense of authority behind the raspy words was evidently clear. Afraid I would cave, my body moved back from his. I glanced around when the back of my legs bumped into the wooden frame of the bed. When my vision flickered to Harry, his narrowed gaze was upon me.
I nervously shook my head.
“I wasn’t searching for anything.”
“Don’t lie to me!” He barked.
Harry’s sudden raise in volume made me jump, his rough voice bouncing off the walls. The thick vein in his neck was protruding, a sign of his obvious annoyance. As well as the hardened stare I was currently being held captive by. I shuffled to the side, attempting to manoeuvre round his frame. My heart thumping as his large hand clasped around the door handle before I could reach it. It was then I realised he wouldn’t hurt me. The most extreme gesture Harry could enact was to shout at me and he’d already done that. I pushed my hair back over my shoulders, standing taller.
“Let me go.” I instructed calmly, meeting the burning green.
“Not until you tell me what you were looking for.”
His agitated frown subtly transformed at his surprise, my body nearly pressing to the front of his as I boldly stood my ground. I wasn’t scared of him.
“What did you say to Dan?”
It was his turn to look a little uncomfortable. His touch fell away from the handle, almost as if now he actually wanted me to leave. Harry was avoiding the question.
“Harry.” I prompted.
He remained silent, unsure on where to look.
“It’s true then.”
My words were barely audible, confirming it for my benefit rather than Harry’s. A part of me was hoping what Dan had told me was false, a silly attempt at causing trouble. But in the moment of standing before Harry, I knew it was true. It pained me to ask my next inevitable question.
“Do you have a gun?”
The words seemed to linger between us. I could tell Harry wasn’t used to being confronted like this, especially by a female. If it was some guy he was having this conversation with, he would have had him on the floor in seconds. I needed to know, so I pressed on.
“You threatened to shoot Dan.”
The accusing statement drew Harry’s focus to me. His eyes were bright, desperate. Full, pink lips parted to speak but the words were left unspoken. Harry had no idea how to handle the situation. My hands were beginning to shake, the thought of what a weapon could do to a person and the effect if would have upon the person pulling the trigger.
I bit my lip, turning away in fright, disgust, sadness. The emotions swirling in my body were overwhelming. Harry was dangerous. I aimlessly wandered over to the drawers left in disarray. Harry was still stood by the door, his head bowed, unsure of what to do.
“I’m sorry about your clothes…I-I’ll tidy up then leave.” I spoke quietly, my voice wavering slightly.
I began to pick up the t shirts from the floor, folding them and placing them back into the wooden confines. The last one was replaced, taking a deep breath to calm me before turning back.
Harry seemed to have grasped what was actually happening. His body moved forward to me, reaching out before thinking twice and lowering his touch. He looked like a small child, frightened and desperate not to be left alone in the dark.
“Please don’t go.”
The vulnerability in his voice made me want to take him in my arms and cuddle him. But I didn’t.
“I wasn’t thinking, I was angry at him.” He spoke.
I remained quiet, Harry nervously biting his lower lip. I presumed he thought I still wanted to leave as his presence abandoned the spot where he guarded the door. Harry moved behind me, taking a seat on the end of the bed in defeat. I just stood there for what felt like minutes, eyes locked on my escape. It would have been so easy for me to walk straight out. But I knew the emotional pain would be excruciating. I was falling in love with a boy I knew was dangerous. But there was absolutely nothing I could do about it.
I sharply turned to Harry, his sparkling eyes, impossibly wide as his head rose to my gaze. His surprised gaze held hope. It was almost as if he couldn’t comprehend my actions as I took a seat beside him, our thighs brushing. His warmth emanated with our touch, but he made no move to connect our fingers like he normally would.
“Harry, do you have a gun, o-or is it someone else?”
Both of us were staring at the floor.
“Someone else.” Harry’s raspy voice echoed.
I wasn’t quite sure if I should be relieved by the information given, or petrified Harry had acquaintances that dealt in weapons.
“Why the hell do you know someone who owns a gun?”
His head turned to me, our eyes catching one another. He absorbed my face for a moment, taking comfort in the fact that I had chosen to stay, given him the benefit of the doubt.
“You remember how I told you about being arrested by the police?”
My mind travelled back to the funfair and how Harry had casually slipped it into conversation. At the time I had thought the incident was down to his short temper, a silly, ego fuelled fight.
“You were taken into custody.” I confirmed
He nodded. Harry pausing, almost as if to gauge my reaction. He anxiously fiddled with his finger in his lap.
“There was a fight at a club I used to go to…It got a bit messy that night, people were intoxicated. One of the guys from the group I was with fired a few shots.”
I hadn’t really noticed, but while Harry was talking I had taken his left hand in mine, squeezing as I patiently waited for him to continue.
“No one was hit.” He gushed. “And I had no idea about the weapon until then.”
I nodded in understanding. He looked a little relieved with my reaction.
“The police arrived and took everyone to the station…I wasn’t charged though.”
We sat for a short time, my mind processing what had escaped Harry’s mouth. When he shifted, my attention came hurtling back, taking my other hand in his. I found it difficult to comprehend how someone could look as beautiful as Harry, but still contain such an unmistakeable darkness. The two seemed to heavily contradict each other.
“I was angry.” Harry shook his head. “I didn’t like the way he was acting towards you.”
I didn’t understand, Dan had been nothing but nice to me, but Harry refused to see it. I had taken notice of his possessive behaviour; it had heightened since the night we spent together in my room. Whenever we were in each other’s presence, I would always find myself sharing his body heat. Harry’s arm would drift around my back or shoulders, drawing me in, fingers subconsciously entwining. Even when we slept, Harry felt like an extra blanket, his lashes brushing my cheek as he held me impossibly close. If we were without responsibilities, I had a feeling he would never let me go.
“You’re mine and I’d do everything in my power to protect you.”
“Harry, you don’t need to worry about Dan.” I attempted to calm him down.
My body lowered back to the duvet, relief coursing, knowing we had made it through the conversation I was frightened to have with Harry ever since I had spoken to Dan. I could relax a little with the confirmation that it wasn’t my boyfriend who possessed an object that could so easily end a life.
It took me by surprise as a pair of lips pressed to mine, my eyes fluttering open. Harry drew back, shifting his body on top of mine. Long fingers enticed the silver chain out from the neck of my clothing, fiddling with the pendent for a short time. The gesture was a reminder of night he had given it to me, how much he cared for me.
“You know, I would never hurt you.” He winced slightly at his own words and how they contrasted to the number of bruises on my body. His head shook as he frowned. “Not intentionally.” His words hushed.
“I know.” I whispered, a small smile curving on my lips.
There were no more words exchanged, just kisses and gentle touches. It was as if he was trying to lift away the fear. His nose lightly nudged my cheek, willing me to reciprocate. My fingers slid into Harry’s hair, tugging the ringlets to force a throaty moan from his mouth. Whether it be in a heated, passionate moment or a comforting gesture, I had learnt Harry loved for someone to play with his soft curls. My fingers lightly scratched at his scalp to coax another arousing sound from his lips. But when a large hand travelled up under the plaid shirt I was wearing, I flinched as Harry palmed my chest. His movements immediately ceased. A moment of realisation flashed through his features.
“Are you sensitive?”
I shied away a little, not completely comfortable with discussing the ins and outs of my body. Harry continued to question me as I lay beneath him.
“You’re on your period?”
“Harry.” I whined, cheeks beginning to heat.
The slightly curve of his lips told me he was amused by my unwillingness.
“There’s no need to be embarrassed.”
“You’re lying on top of me whilst we discus my monthly cycle, I’m going to find it a little uncomfortable, Harry.”
He laughed at my sharp reply, rolling off to the side, our earlier conversation seemingly forgotten.
“Can I do anything for you?”
The green of his eyes shone, peering at me from under a few loose curls before pushing them back.
“Like have you got cramps, I think I have some paracetamol in the cupboard.”
Harry was up and walking towards the door before I could answer. He glanced around when I called his name, lips parted as he stood questioningly.
“I’m fine.” I smiled. “But maybe something warm to put on my stomach.”
I emerged from the bathroom only to find Harry had disappeared, no longer where I had left him seated on the end of the bed. My vision scanned the room, recognising something was either missing or misplaced, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. A heavy sigh emitted before I made my way over to the bedroom door. My attention was sparked, my feet carrying my down the hall, captivated by a soft musical sound.
My fingers clasped the door frame of the living room, curiosity instantly falling on Harry. He was sat on one of the sofas, at a slight angle. The guitar, whose absence I had recognised from Harry’s room, rested on his right knee. Curls flopped over his forehead as he hummed on concentration. All I could do was listen in amazement as the beautiful sound of his raspy voice echoed around the warm room. The length of his fingers held a plectrum, strumming at the strings. I had never pictured Harry as the musical type, something I found a great contrast to his very physical job. But to hear him now, the tone of his voice, caressing the words I was familiar to, it made my heart melt, my composure being taken with it.
I quietly walked round to the back of the sofa, Harry pausing as my presence became known. He glanced to me, my lips pressing a kiss to his cheek.
“Please carry on.” I whispered.
The beautiful sounds continued to filter through the air as I took a seat beside him.
“But if I kiss you, will your mouth read this true,
Darling how I miss you, strawberries taste how lips do,
And it’s not complete yet, mustn’t get our feet wet,
‘Cause that leads to regret, diving in too soon,
And I’ll owe it all to you, oh, my little bird, my little bird.”
I was mesmerised by the male capturing my complete attention. I indulged in the side profile of his face as he sung the lyrics. The full, heart shape of his pink lips, pouting with certain words. His dark eyelashes seemed longer as I studied Harry from my position, sweeping the top of his cheeks when he blinked. The muscles in his forearms were made apparent with his rolled up sleeves, long fingers easily travelling up and down the fret board. He appeared calm, displaying the control I knew he possessed.
As the song finished Harry turned to me, placing the guitar to the side. The slight pink tinge in his cheeks made me believe he wasn’t used to an audience.
“You’re amazing…I never knew you could sing.” I smiled.
“I haven’t sung in a long time.” He replied quietly.
There was a sadness to his words, something that compelled me to move closer. My fingers brushed over his forehead, rearranging the curls that had been misplaced.
An arm enticed me into his warmth, Harry leaving a kiss to the top of my head.
“I used to sing to my sister…to block out the noise of my dad when he came home drunk. She always said it was the only way for her to get to sleep. When my dad left there was no reason for me to sing anymore.”
I squeezed his waist as Harry played with my fingers.
“It feels different now though.”
My head tilted up to find him smiling down at me, he teasingly kissed my nose. I shuffled round to rub mine against his as he laughed.
“I looked, but I don’t think I have a hot water bottle.”
I smiled at the adorable expression on his face. Harry’s care over me caused a tingling feeling in my stomach, supressing the tight muscles for a second of relief.
“You can use these.” I suggested, taking his palms in mine.
The span of his hands was something quite extraordinary. I straightened out his curled fingers, amazed at the length of his digits. My thumb ran over the lines on his palms, tracing the creases in the warm skin. I continued to explore the vast area, turning them over to find the small cuts on Harry’s knuckles that were yet to properly heal from the fight.
I tilted my head up to discover Harry intently watching as I investigated the particular part of his body.
“Do you like my hands?” He asked jokingly.
I grinned, nodding as I blushed.
Harry’s raspy chuckle sounded, taking my hands in his.
“Maybe yours are just tiny.” He suggested.
I laughed as Harry began to poke fun at my height, tickling at me sides.
“But seriously, they’re abnormally large.” I spoke, wrapping my fingers round his index.
He pondered over my statement for a few seconds, staring at where we made contact.
“I can hold a coke can between my fingers.” He stated, rather abruptly.
My mouth parted as he smugly grinned at me.
“No way, let me see.” I gushed.
I jumped up, dragging a rather amused Harry behind me to the kitchen.
We had finished with our little experiment, which mainly consisted of me handing Harry objects to see how many things he could hold in one hand. I was pretty taken aback with the results.
We were now in the living room; a film had been put in the DVD player as I laid practically on top of Harry, who was sprawled out length-ways on the sofa. He used the expanse of his warm palm to rub circles into my lower back, easing the tightness I felt. A blanket had been draped over us after Harry had returned with two mugs of tea.
As we watched the 007 film I had picked out, my mind began to wander. The main character on screen had prompted a few curious thoughts swirling round in my head. After the third villain’s associate had been shot dead, I shifted on top of Harry.
“Have you ever held a gun before?” I enquired.
I brushed my loose hair back behind my ear so my vision would remain clear. Harry’s silence continued for a short time, studying my face. When all he read was curiosity, he replied.
I settled back down, my head to his chest as I considered his answer. The movement of his hand still soothing the ache in my back.
“Have you fired one?”
My sudden wriggle made Harry yelp quietly, my knee accidently brushing his crotch. I apologised before persisting.
“At someone?” I gaped.
The green of his eyes widened, clutching me closer.
“No-no. It was at a shooting range, completely controlled environment.” He hastily replied. “I haven’t shot anyone, Bo.” Harry huffed.
“Would you really kill Dan?” I asked quietly into his clothed chest, almost afraid of the answer.
My body moved with the rise and fall of Harry’s strong torso. The steady rhythm of comfort to me, as well as Harry’s familiar smell.
“If he hurt you..I don’t know what I’d do.”
It was an answer I was expecting, Harry’s protective nature shining though. My fingers played with the hem of his top under the blanket, nudging the fabric up to draw random patterns on the soft skin of his hip.
“I wouldn’t need a gun though, I’d just beat the shit out of him.” He stated quietly.