The woman was still lovingly latched onto me as Harry moved forward.
“Mum.” He almost whined, clearly somewhat embarrassed by his mother’s startling gesture.
Our embrace was cut short as her arms were pried from me. She lightly curved her lips, dabbing at her eyes with a tissue. I giggled upon hearing the younger female laugh. Her short blonde hair swayed slightly as she peered around to witness my amusement. Her eyes gave her away, the same captivating green Harry’s held. Jess. I had to be. But my intrigue was soon answered.
“Bo, this is my mum, Kathy and my sister, Jess.” He gestured respectfully. “I didn’t know you were stopping by.”
The clipped tone he used told me he was a little annoyed. Knowing Harry he would have probably liked to arrange a meeting and not have it thrust upon us. But I didn’t mind, I was pleased to see them, finally.
“We were in the area.”
“It’s lovely to meet you both.” I smiled.
“You too, Hunny.”
We were silent for a few moments, Harry’s arm drifting to fit around my back, fingers carefully stroking in an effort to relax. Two sets of eyes were intently staring at us, smiling at the gentle affection being given. Their curious gazes led me to assume that they weren’t used to seeing this side of Harry. I wondered if they had ever seen him with a girl at all.
“You’re still in your pyjamas.” Harry’s mum casually commented, her skin crinkling around her eyes as she smiled.
I felt the teasing squeeze on my hip, drawing me closer into his side.
“Mum, we’ve only just got up.”
“It’s nearly midday, sweetie.”
It was a mother worrying about her child, perhaps overly so having not been able to care for her son for the last four years. It must have been difficult to adapt to the current situation, a leap in time; missing out on nurturing Harry into a young adult. It wasn’t neglect, it was absence on Harry’s part. But before anyone else could reply, a humoured voice spoke out.
“Well, they were probably doing something more fun than sleeping last night.” Jess stifled a musical giggle behind her hand.
My face flared a bright shade of pink as Harry’s bare chest became the subject of interest. The love bite I had given him in an act of passion seemed increasingly prominent in the new light. This embarrassment shadowed over the thought of my own mother discovering the marks I had left on Harry’s body. This was my first and only impression I had to give to Harry’s family, and we had practically just rolled out of bed from an active night in the sheets. I prayed for some sort of relief, a distraction, anything.
I hastily shifted my body in front of Harry’s, hoping to hide his freshly brandished skin. I rubbed my cheek with the cuff of his shirt I was currently adorning, trying to squirm away from the uncomfortable feeling. An arm playfully tightened around my waist. Jess was still laughing as I turned my head slightly to communicate a little more privately.
“Go and put a t-shirt on.” I mumbled to Harry almost harshly.
He appeared highly entertained by my mortification, eyes glittering with humour.
“Come with me.”
I was tugged towards the door frame, following suit behind Harry.
“Excuse us, we’re going to change. Make yourselves at home.” He indicated for them to take a seat on one of the leather sofas.
“Oh my god.” I grumbled, flopping back to the bed with my hands concealing my face. “I can’t believe that just happened.”
The sheets were still in a mess on top of the mattress, evidence of Harry’s sudden departure before opening the door to his unexpected guests. Even with my swirling thoughts, his scent still infiltrated my conscious, comfort and temptation all pleasingly rolled into one.
“Bo, it’s fine.”
“No.” I shot up. “It’s not fine, we were just outted by your sister in front of your mum. It’s not a great first meeting.”
Why was he not feeling the same sense of guilt I was? My hands were taken, hoisting me up from the mattress. A kiss pressed to my cheek as I frowned into our hug. The gesture put me somewhat at ease.
“You don’t need to worry.” He smiled in reassurance. “I’m going for a shower; give you a chance to talk to them.”
Harry then continued in his quest to find some clean clothes. A grey t-shirt was picked up only for it to be dropped back to the floor after Harry sniffed at the fabric. I followed him around the bed.
“On my own? About what?” I anxiously interrogated.
“I don’t know, girly stuff.” He spoke, rummaging around in a drawer. “Women always find something to talk about.”
“I think that generalisation is a little wide.”
“Bo, they’re not going to bite.”
Harry turned when he failed to receive the laugh he was hoping for, peering at me for a few moments before closing the space between us. My cheek was cupped when I refrained from eye contact.
“They’re going to love you.” Our noses rubbed. “Because I love you.”
It was obvious that the phrase was still a little foreign to us; the quiet words still erupting butterflies in my stomach. I reciprocated the affection, voicing my feelings for Harry, causing him to grin.
“Right, go on.” He spoke, spinning me around and lightly smacking my backside.
My harsh stare was met with a mocking pout to his lips. Harry winked before humming as he made his way to the bathroom. It only took a few minutes to make myself a more presentable, finding some clothes that I had left at his place from previous visits. The shirt remained, but it was paired with a vest top underneath. My hair was left in my messy pony tail. Until I had a shower there wasn’t much I could do about it. Jeans were just about wriggled up my legs before there was a knock at the door. There was little delay, Jess appearing in the doorway. She seemed to disregard my flustered state, moving forwards into Harry’s room as if it were her own.
“We thought you were hiding from us.” She laughed. “Come on.”
With that my hand was taken in hers and I was guided back down the hall to where Harry’s mum was still sat on the sofa.
It was strange, despite the limited amount of time we had had together I felt at ease. Kathy had a much quieter nature compared to Jess, whose hands were constantly gesturing in the air as she spoke. I had learnt that Jess wasn’t one to be concerned with what people thought, and I admired that about her. But I had a feeling Harry would have attempted to tame that side of her when they were younger, perhaps being embarrassed by his sister’s forwardness.
As I witnessed the interaction in front of me, I came to recognise certain familiar characteristics, both in physical features and personality. It was clear where Harry had inherited his dark, curly hair from, his mother’s longer and obviously more styled. He also shared the same flare I could see within Jess, their sense of humour a firm match as she laughed, tucking her legs up underneath her on the sofa.
I sat and listened to the amusing stories being told at Harry’s expense. At times they had me spluttering out the water I drank to wash down my toast which I ate on the sofa opposite the two women. They had politely refused the cup of tea, minus the milk, I had offered them. It seemed both were content with just sitting and conversing, about what I did, what I wanted to do in the future. But the discussion soon made a turn back to Harry.
“What was Harry like when he was younger?” I asked, finishing off my breakfast that was now more like lunch.
“I guess like most teenagers really, he was a bit grumpy. But he was always very sweet, always wanted to help. He had that protective streak in him.”
I knew all too well how far Harry would go to ensure someone’s safety, sometimes in complete disregard to his own. It didn’t surprise me to learn that those instincts reached further back into his younger years. It made me wonder how it began, what event had taken place for Harry to suddenly turn, or had it been a progression of one thing after another. My heart ached at the thought of a young boy sacrificing the fun of learning to ride a bike to instead worry about the safety of his family. Everyone deserved a childhood.
“He used to have panic attacks.” Jess casually interjected.
Her abrupt comment caught me off guard, gently pushing away the image of big-green eyed little boy, with curly hair.
“Really? Because of your..” I quickly trailed off. “Sorry.”
A pang of guilt hit me at the insensitivity I had displayed.
“Don’t be.” Kathy spoke with a small smile. “I’m guessing Harry has told you?”
I gave her a light nod in confirmation of the conversations her son and I had had.
“It’s nice to know he has someone to talk to about it. Harry had bit of a problem with bottling his feelings up.”
Kathy looked to Jess, her daughter lightly taking her hand. She appeared thankful of the gesture, collecting her thoughts before floating back to me.
“What’s wrong?” I asked, sitting further forward on my cushions.
My feet rubbed together, trying to straighten out the socks Harry had leant me. Jess had nervously bunched up the sleeve of her jumper over her free hand.
“Does Harry fight?”
“We know about his boxing, but does he get into fistfights out of work?”
I had no idea how to answer their anxious question. It was a little upsetting to see the concern in their eyes. Harry obviously hadn’t opened up completely to them about the life he started without them.
“We only ask because Jess and I are a bit worried about him.”
She turned her head momentarily to her daughter, looking for reassurance of her feelings.
“Harry’s been in a few fights, but I’ve talked to him. He promised he’ll tone it down.”
Multiple sighs of relief were heard upon receiving my answer. Their bodies both visibly relaxed, falling back further into the sofa.
“That’s good to know.”
The mood appeared to lighten with the information, the same smile I had seen on Harry’s face a number of times spread across pink-tinted lips.
“Come and sit over with us.” Jess gestured. “You’re so far away.”
I happily made my way over to the adjacent seating. Both females shifted to make space in between them, allowing a third person to sit comfortably.
“I’m so pleased to hear that you’re looking after him.”
“I think he takes care of me more than anything.” I joked.
“Physical strength has nothing to do with emotional challenges. But you’re helping him through that, I can’t thank you enough, Bo.”
Her reply made me realise that I had neglected to see the ways in which I was caring for Harry. The sensitive subjects we had discussed had been imprisoned deep within him; the feelings he had only burdened himself with were gradually coming to light. It appeared I was the trigger.
“Did he have them regularly, the panic attacks?”
“They weren’t that frequent, it was just when he got worked up.” Jess looked thoughtful for a second. “But I guess he’s found something else to combat that now.”
I knew she was talking about the boxing. It wasn’t just anger problems Harry took out on the punching bag.
“Has he had one whilst you two have been together?”
“No, not that I’ve seen.” I shook my head.
Harry had always been so strong. It seemed strange to think of him as vulnerable.
“It used to be easy to calm him down. Most people feel a bit claustrophobic when they experience attacks, but Harry used to like it when he was held. It made him feel safe. He was so cute and cuddly.”
I giggled at Jess’s last comment.
“The size of him now though..bloody hell.”
I hadn’t had much experience with any sort of attacks. I wasn’t a stranger to anxiety, but I felt that was something different. Jess indulged me as I asked a few more inquisitive questions, interested to learn more about what Harry had suffered.
“I can show you if you want, how I used to calm him down.”
I expected her to demonstrate on her own, but when I was encouraged down to the floor with her it took me by surprise. Jess sat with her back against the sofa, smiling warmly. It was odd. Even when I was asked to sit with her, I didn’t feel awkward for a second.
Arms were wrapped around me as she coaxed me back. Kathy remained sat to one side as she looked on.
“This was so Harry could see he was breathing.” She informed me, her forearms in a cross over my chest.
We remained in the position, my body between her legs.
“I’d then try and calm him down by quietly speaking to him and reassuring him. I would have sung to him but I can’t hold a note to save my life.”
“Harry’s got a lovely voice.” I spoke without thinking.
“You’ve heard him sing?”
I nodded, turning a little to examine her expression.
“Wow, I didn’t think anyone else would ever hear him sing.”
It was at that point Harry decided to join us in the living room. We must have looked a sight, his sister’s arms wrapped around me as we talked whilst sitting on the floor. That thought didn’t trouble me for long. He looked amazing. Black jeans paired with a black ‘Rolling Stones’ t-shirt, hair casually pushed back from his forehead. He could have easily fooled anyone into thinking he was part of some scruffy indie band.
“Mum.” Harry looked to his mother for some sort of acknowledgement to the current situation.
When he received an oblivious raise to her eyebrows he focused back to his sister.
“Jess, what are you doing?” He gaped.
“Getting to know your girlfriend.”
I laughed along with her as Harry quickly approached.
“Sorry, Bo. My sister has no awareness of personal space.” He bit.
My hands were taken, Jess playfully objecting to my departure as I was hauled to my feet. I cuddled into him, pressing my cheek to his chest.
“You know, normal families show baby pictures and share embarrassing stories. But no, mine has to get my girlfriend on the floor and…what were you even doing?”
Before either of us could answer, Kathy had rooted around in her bag to retrieve her purse.
“I have baby pictures.” She smiled enthusiastically.
“Your family is so sweet. And you were adorable when you were younger…what happened?”
“Hey!” Harry cried.
“You even had dimples when you were a baby.” I poked at his cheek. “Little, baby Harry.”
He swatted my hand away, grumbling in annoyance.
“I didn’t think they were ever going to leave.”
“Don’t say that about your family.”
“Well, you’d probably think the same thing if your mum wanted to show a hundred pictures of you in the bath.” He frowned, shaking his head as he focused on the floor. “God, my sister is so weird.”
“I like her.” I smiled.
“Good.” Harry perked up.
I could tell by the look on his face that he was excited at the knowledge of us getting along. I found myself grinning with him as he walked me backwards into his bedroom, stealing chaste kisses.
“I’m going to have a shower.”
I spun to make my way towards the bathroom door, only to fleetingly discovered Harry following along behind me. I pressed a hand to his chest.
“I meant just me..on my own.”
“Mm, you’re no fun.” He teasingly pouted.
Upon running the water and stripping from my clothes, I made the annoying observation that I was without any new underwear. Quickly wrapping a towel around my body, I peeked out of the bathroom door. Judging the coast was clear, my beeline was straight to the top drawer of the chest.
“Have you got anything on under that towel?”
My heart skipped with surprise at the sound of Harry’s rough voice. I tried to scamper away as he moved forward from his place just inside the door of his bedroom.
“Shall I check?” He cheekily asked.
“Harry.” I squeaked.
He soothed the thump of my heart, carefully brushing his thumb to my jaw. The playfulness of his eyes told me he enjoyed the teasing.
“Tell you a secret, Baby.” He leaned closer, lips brushing my ear. “Underneath these clothes, I’m completely naked for you.”
A peck to my cheek was given as I laughed. Once a few more teasing remarks were made, Harry informed me of his impending absence.
“I just wanted to tell you that I’m going to get some milk.”
He kissed my forehead before heading for the door.
“Be back in a bit.”
It wasn’t until a familiar voice called out through the flat that I became aware of how long Harry had been gone. In his absence, I had showered, changed, applied make-up and sorted out my hair.
“Haz, are you still going?”
I pushed myself up from the position on the sofa, drawing my attention away from the TV and turning it off. Tom was stood in the hall, back to me as he shouted out Harry’s name for a second time. He wore a blue, plaid shirt, dark jeans and a pair of scruffy looking converse.
“Bloody hell.” He jumped. “I didn’t see you, Bo.”
I apologised as he caught his breath before asking my previous question again.
“Um, is Harry not in?”
I drew my plait over my shoulder, staring at Tom for an answer he seemed reluctant to give. His cutting jaw tensed, frowning in a way that expressed confusion and annoyance.
“He said he’d wait for me.” He complained under his breath.
“Where were you guys going?”
“Not being funny, Bo, but I don’t think Harry would want you there.”
This statement only fuelled my curiosity, much to Tom’s evasive nature.
I felt like a small child, questioning everything they were being told. Where the hell was Harry? His milk expedition had obviously been a ploy, a trip down to the shops wouldn’t have taken this long.
“Take me with you, please.”
“Wherever you’re going I want to come.” I informed a baffled looking Tom, whilst shoving my feet into my blue Vans.
I strolled past him and straight to the front door, opening it and flicking my head in indication for him to follow.
“Harry’s going to kill me.” He mumbled as he passed me through the exit.
“There he is.” Tom pointed to Harry who was stood lingering behind a white van parked up by the curb.
It had only taken us about fifteen minutes in the car to arrive at a rundown housing estate. I kept close to Tom during the walk along the path, the two of us receiving harsh looks from a few of the locals as he led me to where he assured me Harry would be. And he was. Still dressed in all black, apart from the scuffed white converse he wore.
He turned upon hearing his name, a mixed appearance taking prominence over his features.
“What’s Bo doing here?”
“She can be very persuasive.” Tom explained in a huff.
My focus was straight to Harry, raising my right arm for fingers to grip the nape of his neck. He was tugged down to my height, needy lips uniting with his. I could sense the amusement in the kiss before my feet were lifted from the pavement, my body held closely to his.
“Hello to you too, Baby.” Harry mumbled in a chuckle against my mouth.
“Guys…guys, your PDAs are making me feel nauseous.”
I had a good idea the exact gesture Tom was receiving as Harry tilted his head to the side. My hot kisses trickled down the warm skin of his neck, Harry’s rough laugh rumbling as he gave his friend the middle finger. Most likely with a cocky smirk across his face.
“Oh yeah, that’s really mature. Thanks, Haz.” Tom grumbled.
I fell lightly to my feet, still wrapped in Harry’s arms.
“We need to get him a girlfriend.” I hushed.
“That’s a good idea.” Harry nodded along.
“I know you guys think you’re in your own little loved up bubble, but I can still hear you.”
“We know.” Harry and I spoke in unison.
I was pleased to see him, even though we had hardly spent any time apart. Just the flash of his gorgeous smile could have my heart melting.
“What were you looking at before we came?” I enquired.
I witnessed Harry glance to Tom almost in guidance, the atmosphere suddenly tensing. The nod of his head resulted in Harry taking my hand and leading me over to the small gap between the dirty, white van and the blue car to the right.
He stood closely behind me, both of us cautiously peering around the vehicle to the other side of the road. My eyes followed a young man, an aggressive looking dog almost dragging his owner along behind him. As they walked passed I came to settle on a tall, dirty block of flats, people in uniforms milling around the area. Police officers chatted amongst themselves before a commotion was heard. A man was tussled out of the entrance door, shouting obscenities at the top of his voice. When my eyes allowed me to examine his face I stumbled back into the hard body behind me.
“It’s alright, it’s alright, Bo.”
The connection of our hands became tighter.
“That’s Scott’s brother.” I gushed. “Harry, what’s going on?”
“Shh.” He calmed. “Just watch.”
Police cars lined the curb outside the accommodation, extra officers rushing to help as a second man barged out onto the street. Scott. Multiple hands were needed to restrain him, securing the cuffs more firmly to his wrists behind his back. He looked furious, bellowing insults at the people surrounding him. I felt on edge as they struggled to keep a hold on him, we knew all too well what he was capable of. Seconds later Scott displayed his strength, shoving an officer to the floor with a knock to the shoulder.
I winced as his front was slammed down to the bonnet of a car in an attempt to cease his persistent resistance. The coppers became a little restless, the desire to get the two men off the street and away from onlookers was apparent as both brothers were forced into separate cars. Once the tension had died down a little I spun to face Harry.
“Why are they being arrested?”
He drew me around to the obscured area the other side of the van, making sure we were hidden.
“Scott and his brother supply drugs, they’ve always been careful about it though. They never keep substances in their flat.” Harry paused. “Until now.” He smiled.
I was finding it difficult to understand, my thoughts swirling uncontrollably at the event I had just witnessed.
“The police may have been tipped off to find quite a substantial stash of…powder on the premises.”
My eyes widened with the information.
“You, did you plant it?”
“No.” His curls tussled. “Not me.”
I followed Harry’s line of sight to the presence of an older man who had gone unnoticed by me until then. He was leant against the side of a black BMW. He looked smart, dressed in a suit, short hair, a tattoo on his neck. He appeared to be doing well for himself, placing his phone back in his pocket before glancing our way.
“An old friend that I used to work for. He owed me one.”
The man flicked his head in indication to Harry. I guessed it was a “job done” kind of nod as he commenced in climbing into his posh car and starting the ignition.
“What did you used to do for him?”
“I’m gunna go.” Tom stated, thumbing behind him in indication of his car that was parked down the road.
There was no longer any teasing banter between the two, Harry’s friend sensing it was time to leave us to have this increasingly difficult conversation. I almost didn’t want Tom to leave. Maybe if he stayed the secrets would remain hidden.
“Alright, see you later.” Harry replied.
Once Tom had disappeared my attention returned to the boy stood in front of me. I could tell by the way he fidgeted that he was a little unsure of how to handle the situation. And the more time that passed, the more I wished I hadn’t asked. I wasn’t sure I wanted to know any more. Fingers drifted to my neck, encouraging the chain out from beneath the scoop of my top. It was played with as he spoke.
“I collected money.”
“Money for what?” I warily asked.
The pendent fell to my chest almost as if it scolded his skin, unable to cradle it in his hand any longer. I harshly swallowed down the lump in my throat, impatiently waiting as Harry anxiously rubbed his face.
To anyone else it may have been accepted that Harry had granted a few favours. A couple of one-off collections of money, nothing to cause concern. But they hadn’t a clue about his past. I could see it in his eyes, pleading with me not to ask. But I had to, if it was only to put my mind at rest.
“What if they couldn’t pay the debt, Harry?”
It was his silence that held the answer. I felt sure that man had used Harry and his aggressive nature to strike fear into individuals that failed to repay money. Harry had beaten people, people who couldn’t afford the pricey deal. And from what I had witnessed in and out of the ring, they wouldn’t make that mistake twice, not if it was Harry knocking on their door.
“I don’t do that anymore.” He firmly stated.
A kiss was lightly pecked to my lips. The action brought life back to my body, previously stunned into a frozen state.
“I love you.” Harry whispered, clearly alarmed by my lack of response.
“It’s a lot to take in.” I responded with a lack of emotion.
I wasn’t quite sure what I was feeling. I knew Harry had a shadowy past, but this fresh information left me unsure.
“I know, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to frighten you.”
I’d read a book once on an assassin, it amazed me how the character held no remorse upon striking down targets. And as my mind wondered deeper into reminiscing about the pages turned, it shocked me to realise how I likened Harry’s behaviour to that of the protagonist. It took a certain kind of person to inflict pain on others. Someone who was well accustomed to the feel of agony themselves.
Harry’s eyes desperately searched mine.
“You don’t.” I abruptly spoke.
“I-It was a long time ago, I..”
“Let’s not talk about it.” I interrupted, taking his hand.
In all honesty it did frighten me. But I had no desire to unlock that part of my brain. We’d come so far. I didn’t want to fear the boy I loved.
“Ok.” Harry nodded in a stutter.
I caught him off guard, yanking him to me for a hug. He was warm, heart thumping in my ear as I pressed the side of my head to his solid chest. Puffs of hot air blew into my hair, Harry holding me tightly before planting a kiss to the top of my head. A soft touch ran in trickling lines up and down my back in comfort.
All I wanted to do was take his pain away, make him forget, give him a fresh start.
Harry spoke so quietly I almost missed it.
“I don’t deserve you.”
I squeezed him as my eyes screwed closed, almost wishing that he could taint me with some of the darkness he was burdened with. I didn’t want him to stand and face it on his own.
“Everyone deserves someone who loves them.”
He pulled away, the hint of happiness playing on his lips flushed warmth though my entirety. Playful Harry was my favourite.
“I love your smile.”
My words only widened the grin as he leant down to kiss me. It was cautious at first, deepening when he met no resistance.
“Come on, you owe me a cup of tea.” He mumbled against my mouth.
An arm was around my shoulders, guiding me along the path, our previous conversation pushed back from the present thoughts at the front of my mind. But Harry ceased as my body suddenly became ridged.
We had abandoned the safety of cover provided by the van, now partly out in the open as police cars left the scene. It was one in particular that caught my attention, the one with an angry looking male in the back seat. As the vehicle flew passed our position it allowed for only a fleeting glance to the inside. But it was enough to spot the strip of white over the bridge of Scott’s nose. With my mum being a nurse I knew the procedure, nothing much could be done for a broken nose, other than strapping it up a bit.
“His nose.” My fingers pinched the top of mine to show what I was trying to explain. “Scott..”
“Oh yeah, I noticed that before I even touched him.” Harry curiously informed me, referring to the beating he had given Scott in the shadowy passage at the back of the pub.
“That was me.” I hesitantly spoke, staring up at Harry.
The intensity of his contemplation furrowed his eyebrows.
“I didn’t mean to, I thought it was just bleeding…” I gushed, trailing off.
My hands were flailing before being restricted by my forearms. Harry shook his head in disbelief.
“Wait, wait..Bo, you broke his nose?”
I nodded, biting my lip.
“Holy shit.” Harry grinned. “How?”
He turned fully to me, giving me his complete attention as he humorously smirked. My arms were released, allowing me to raise my hands between us.
“With the heel of my palm.” I spoke whilst brushing my fingertips near my wrist.
“You never told me you knew how to do that.”
Pure amazement commandeered Harry’s features.
“My cousins and I were bored one summer so decided to take some self-defence…I didn’t know I remembered it he came at me.”
“Shit. Tom’s gunna piss himself when I tell him it was you.”
I felt oddly proud of myself to see Harry astonished by my actions. Maybe I had more fight in me than I realised. I was left to ponder over the idea as Harry bent down in front of me. I didn’t think twice before clambering onto his back, hooking my legs around his waist, arms around his neck.
The discussion spurred my next question.
“How many women do you have at the gym?”
Harry continued to walk as I leant my head on his right shoulder, tickles of hair teasing my cheek.
“Umm, well there’s Gill on reception.” He bit his lip in concentration, hoisting me up further. “I think that’s it, I don’t know about the steam room and swimming pool though. Why?”
“I think you should do a class.” I tested.
“What sort of class?”
“Like a fitness, boxing, defence kind of class. But for women.”
His quiet demeanour told me he was mulling over the suggestion in his head.
“I’m sure there would be plenty of girls that would like to learn how to defend themselves. You know, if it came down to that.”
“Would you?” He inquisitively asked.
“Yes.” I replied honestly.
“Well apparently you don’t need any training.” Harry joked, playfully clasping at my thighs. “Will you try some moves on me?” He continued rather excitedly.
Did he want a challenge?
“It was a long time ago, I don’t think I remember.”
“Please, I want to see if you can take me down.”
“I don’t want to hurt you.”
Harry laughed before moving in behind me. The sofas had been shoved up against the walls in the living room to provide a larger space, the coffee table in the hall.
“Are you laughing at me?” I asked in annoyance.
“No, Baby.” He collected himself. “I just don’t think you need to worry about that. Pretend I’m someone else if that helps.”
Harry underestimated me. It was infuriating to say the least.
“Ok, go.” I instructed rather cuttingly.
I struggled as a strong arm yanked me by my middle. Without properly taking the time to process, my elbow jutted back into his stomach, his wince voiced in a gravelly groan. I didn’t allow him any time to recover before my foot came forcefully down onto his. My body was released, quickly spinning to discover Harry hunched over slightly. His hand was knocked away as he made an attempt to grasp the material of my top. I hastily gripped his expansive palm before he could touch me again, twisting his wrist and painfully bending his fingers back.
I knew strictly that once you had the opportunity, you were supposed to make a run for it, away from your attacker. But I felt Harry was in need of a good lesson.
He cursed, dropping to his knees in front of me, lips parted, a deep frown on his forehead as he stared at me. His next move took me by surprise, left arm hooking around the back of my legs and forcing me forward as I collapsed on top of him. I pinned his wrists above his head, Harry smirking before rolling me off and under him.
We were both panting, my body sprawled out on the sitting room floor as Harry lingered over me. A grin quickly formed on his smart mouth.
“That was fun, let’s do it again.”
“I was holding back.” I challenged.
A flash of elation crossed the burning green of his irises.
“I told you not to.”
“I didn’t think you’d like getting punched in the face much, we’ve already established what happens when I do.”
He laughed. This was still a game to him. It was exciting.
“My last step would have been my knee connecting with your crotch.”
His amusement drained along with the colour in his cheeks as he visibly gulped. Quickly rolling off me, Harry laid to my side.
“Let’s leave that bit out.”
“That’s what I thought.” I smugly countered.
“You almost broke my fingers.”
“Now, I’m sure Tom would find that funny.”