I had remained in bed for two days; cuddled in the safety of my duvet. When I had built up the courage to inspect the damage my face had sustained, the sight frightened me. My lip was still painfully split, my jaw slightly bruised. The wetness of my cheeks was something of a constant flow, tears leaking from my eyes. Throbbing could be felt as I moved my arms, the dark marks harshly brandishing my skin.
I jumped, shoving the covers back as the vibration on my phone rattled against the wooden surface next to my bed. My fingers fumbled with the device, nervously gulping when the name flashed up. A deep breath was taken in preparation, I had to keep calm.
“Hey, Harry.” I spoke quietly.
“You didn’t tell me you felt unwell yesterday.” He dove straight in. “I went to pick you up today and Poppy said you phoned in ill.”
“Shoot, sorry Harry. I should have text you.” I spoke honestly, the thought never crossing my mind.
“How are you feeling?” His voice sounded a little distant, not his normal cheeky self.
“I’m alright thanks.”
“I’ll come by later to see you.” Harry sharply suggested.
His words flooded me with panic. The last thing I wanted was Harry coming around. Not when I looked like this.
“No, no, I feel a lot better today, there’s no need.” I gushed.
“I don’t care, I’m coming to see you anyway.” The authority in his voice chilled me.
“I-I’ll come to you.” I quietly spoke.
I had thought going to Harry’s would be more beneficial, that way I had more time to prepare and I could leave when I wanted to. But as I stared at my reflection the idea of facing him made me feel nauseous.
No matter how much make-up I plastered on, the lingering bruising still shone through. I had no idea how to conceal the injury my lip was displaying; I don’t think the cosmetic product I desired had been invented yet. My eyes looked a little puffy from all the crying that had taken place whilst I attempted to get some sleep. I was a mess.
I took one more painful glance in the mirror before grabbing my jacket and bag. My mum had been surprisingly calm when inspecting the injuries my body had sustained. I had a feeling I was partly the reason for her deciding on a career in nursing. As a child, not more than a couple of days would go by without me banging my elbows, or grazing my knees. I was always knocking into things, so when she asked me how I’d hurt myself, the excuse of falling into a door was completely feasible.
My thoughts were snapped back to the present when a passenger dinged the bell for the bus driver to pull over at a stop. I suddenly felt a little faint, recognising the familiar road. I stood from my seat, trying to keep my sore arms from brushing against any of the other people having to stand on the crowded transportation.
I thanked the driver, stumbling off the bus and onto the pavement. As much as I wanted to prolong the time before having to face Harry, the gradual encroaching night was beginning to chill me. The air was warm, but I had no desire to be alone when darkness fell; the image of an enraged male forcing himself into my mind encouraged me to make haste along the path.
I knew he’d be waiting for me. My feet finding the steps up to Harry’s flat a challenge. My fingers ruffled at my hair, letting the waves fall partly over my face in order to take away the emphasis of tinted bruising. I steadied my hand as it rose to knock on the dark wood of Harry’s front door. His footsteps could be heard seconds later, travelling towards the solid barrier between us and swiftly opening it. He remained quiet, staring at me before dropping his gaze and moving to the side, allowing me in. Harry’s back was to me as he shut the door. I nervously stood holding my breath as he deeply inhaled, almost as if he were preparing to face me. When he finally did, it wasn’t difficult to notice the sadness in his frosty eyes, trailing over my face. Dark curls flopped in disarray, full lips paler than the healthy pink they normally displayed. My grip tightened around the strap to my bag, Harry’s fingers lightly brushing my hair away. I watched as his head tilted slightly, peering at me to get a better look. His assessing gaze was coupled with sadness, the tips of Harry’s long fingers gently angling my chin up.
He was so quiet. Abnormally quiet. I hated it.
“What happened to your face?” Harry almost whispered. It was the inevitable question I had prayed would never leave his lips. “You tried to cover it.” His thumb brushed over the mark I had attempted to conceal with makeup.
I made an effort to turn away in a wince but Harry’s grip wouldn’t allow it. His touch carefully traced over my bottom lip.
“I didn’t want you to worry. I fell…it was an accident.” I forced.
I found it difficult to hold his penetrating eye contact. The frosty green keeping me captive, the colour beginning to harden. His eyebrows had creased into a deep frown, jaw tightening with my words. Anger.
I felt my hands start to tremble as his touch fell away from my face, Harry’s body moving closer. My breathing was uneven, eyes focused dead in front of me. Soft lips brushed my neck before moving to my ear, our chests touching.
“You don’t think me naïve enough to believe that bullshit, do you?” His raspy tone whispered.
My lips parted, eyes widening. Harry knew.
His looming presence retreated slightly from my personal space. Harry’s height aided in the intimidation he held over me.
“I don’t know what angers me more, the fact that you didn’t tell me yourself..or who I actually had to find out from.” Harry grimaced.
His words lingered, unable to find my voice. I had no idea how to respond, my dry mouth opening only to close seconds later.
“Bo, you were attacked.” Harry’s voice echoed. “He fucking hit you!”
His sudden raise in volume made me jump, triggering the tears spilling down my cheeks as I sobbed. We were still stood in his hallway, an area that had been occupied on a number of different occasions to steal playful kisses as Harry greeted me, tugging me inside his flat. But those images seemed so distant as I stared at the guy blocking the door.
“Do you know who told me?”
I remained silent as the darkness in Harry’s eyes began to swarm, consuming the pretty green. It was frightening how quickly he could transform from gentle touches to harsh words.
“That fucker from your work, Dan.” He snapped.
As the information sunk in I came to realise that Harry had never spoken to Poppy, it had been Dan. I winced as Harry’s tall frame brushed passed me. I hastily followed after him before becoming frozen in the doorway that marked the boundary to the kitchen. He was over by the sink, head bowed, muscles contorting in his back through the material of his t shirt as he gripped the worktop.
“I need another drink.” Harry mumbled to himself.
My heart sank as Harry turned to the vodka bottle on the side. I watched as he emptied the small amount left in the glass before filling it again with more clear liquid. My pulse was racing. The only other time I had witnessed Harry in a drunken state was when I was forced to take care of him, cleaning the injuries he had sustained from a fight. He had been playful, almost childlike on that night. But this was different, he was driven by anger and that frightened me.
When the glass was brought down roughly on the side I stumbled back. Harry swiftly turned, eyes locking on me as he moved forward. I didn’t know what else to do…so I ran.
My legs quickly carried me down to the hall to Harry’s bedroom. He was shouting at me. I slammed the door, panicking as his heavy footsteps were heard. Tears were trickling down my cheeks as I dashed over to the bathroom, hastily putting the wooden barrier between myself and the furious, intoxicated angel like creature.
Seconds passed before I felt the thumps of Harry’s fists on the locked door. They seemed to grow louder, taking his aggression out on the wood. I brought my hand up to my mouth to mask the sobs escaping.
“Bo, open the door.”
I didn’t think the barrier could withhold much longer, my body crawling away from Harry’s voice. I was petrified as I clambered into the bathtub, curling my knees up to my chest. My fingers caught hold of the shower curtain, gently tugging it across the bath in an effort to cease the anger aimed at me. He wouldn’t stop. My hand reached up behind me, turning the shower dial. The water was cold, splashing onto my skin and saturating my clothes, eventually reaching the warm temperature that I craved. I wanted to block his voice out.
“Bo?” Harry’s tone was questioning.
I was only granted a few moments of peace.
“Bo, open the fucking door!” Harry bellowed.
That was last time he spoke before the door swung open with the weight of Harry’s shoulder. The curtain was ripped back, my entirety attempting to become as small as possible. I risked a glance up to my boyfriend. He stared at me, full lips parted as he absorbed the image of the frightened girl curled up in his bathtub. Harry’s t shirt was hauled over his head, carelessly dropping it to the floor. I gasped as large hands carefully slid me forward. My body was encouraged back into Harry’s as I sat between his parted legs. I was engulfed in strong arms, drawing me into his bare chest. I couldn’t help my surprise as his head rested on my shoulder.
“I’m still angry with you.” Harry gently hushed.
“I know.” I released in a breath.
We sat under the water for what felt like hours. During our silence, one question repeatedly thumped in my mind before it escaped in a whisper.
“What are you going to do?”
He contemplated his answer.
“I don’t know yet.” Harry admitted.
My words were abruptly ceased as Harry’s arms constricted around me, holding me impossibly close in anger rather than affection.
“You don’t get to decide.” Harry’s rough voice harshly stated. “You have no say in what I do.”
I sobbed quietly, his words holding nothing of warmth. When I didn’t reply he shook me.
“Do you understand?” Harry heatedly asked.
“Y-es, yes.” I pleaded.
The water shut off as Harry got me to my feet. My hand was grasped, helping me from the bathtub to stand in front of him. I watched as he reached for a towel, tousling his curls with the soft material to rid his hair of water. Droplets trickled down his tanned torso, dipping into the tensed muscles. Harry handed the towel to me, my fingers clasping it and bringing my hair over one shoulder. He stood observing me for a second before long fingers fiddled with the button on my wet jeans. Harry’s annoyance was voiced in a grunt as I stumbled away. I cried out when he gripped my forearms, his fingertips unintentionally digging into my damaged skin.
Green eyes curiously assessed my reaction before pushing my soaked jacket from my shoulders. The clothing had barely made contact with the floor before Harry’s fingers were peeling my long sleeved top from my body. My wrists were grasped, gently raising my arms. Harry’s bottom lip was taken between his teeth as the dark bruising came into view. His eyes squeezed closed in pain, lowering to his knees to unlace my shoes. I stood completely still, my feet bare as Harry attempted for a second time to remove my jeans.
I didn’t protest as he stripped me to my underwear, my body cold and wet. The shivering continued as the clasp to my bra was released, my knickers soon around my ankles. I stood naked before him. Harry’s eyes icily trailing up and down my chilled body as he released his belt. It clinked, fingers fumbling with the button and zip before he shoved his jeans down his legs. His boxers followed seconds later. A towel was secured around his waist. Then he just walked away. He left me shivering in the bathroom, arms wrapped around myself as I cried.
When I entered Harry’s room he was just pulling up his joggers to cover the black boxers he wore. I watched as he climbed into bed, his eyes finding mine as I gripped my towel tightly. His vision was emotionless, following me as I walked over to the chest of drawers. I felt empty as I witnessed Harry close himself down. There was nothing left of the boy who invaded my thoughts every second of the day.
I sobbed, dropping the towel and tugging one of his t shirts over my head. My fingers found a pair of boxers, slipping them up my legs. I turned to see Harry propped up on his elbows, his hand slid over the duvet, pulling it back. A spark of hope ignited within me as I hesitantly travelled over to the bed. My body climbed into the cool sheets, jumping slightly as Harry enticed me closer.
“Keep me warm.”
His words stabbed at my heart. They were cold and emotionless. I cried as he repositioned me to his need, draping my body over his side as I became nothing more than a heat source for him. My hand rested on his chest, my tears trickling onto his skin. He did nothing to comfort me.
I don’t know how long I laid there, exhausted from the lack of sleep I had been deprived of the last couple of days. The person who I had relied on for some sort of relief had shut me out. I carefully adjusted, peering up to the beautiful male. His soft curls shone in the dim light from the bedside table. He wouldn’t normally leave the lamp on, desiring to fall asleep in complete darkness, but still it illuminated the corner of the room. Harry knew I was still frightened by the events that had taken place beyond his control. The pitch black engulfing the room would have caused me alarm. Maybe he’d left the light on for me.
Harry’s eyes were closed, long lashes fanned out on his cheeks as my touch lightly glided over his chest. His prominent collarbones were carefully traced with my tips. My fingers barely brushed his soft ringlets before my wrist was caught in his large hand, pushing mine away.
“Please, Harry.” I whimpered.
Our skin made contact but he wouldn’t let me touch him, not properly.
I trembled as I waited for any sort of sign. Anything to show that I wasn’t completely alone.
“I did it for you.” I whispered.
My eyes closed in defeat, resting my head upon Harry’s chest and wishing to be taken away from consciousness. As I drifted into a heavy sleep, the gentle touch of entwining fingers was something of a dream.