“He’s down for the count!” I yelled.
I had Harry on his stomach, sat on his lower back just above his bum with a knee either side of his waist.
I felt strangely accomplished, pinning his right arm around to his back which was bent at the elbow. My once obsessive viewing of police reality programmes had provided me with the knowledge in detaining an individual. Despite all the playful fighting it did make me wonder if Harry had been in this position before; wrestled to the ground by law enforcement and cuffed before being escorted to a waiting riot van.
It was thrilling to hold the dominating position for once, but I could tell he was holding back, allowing me indulge in our game. Our differing strength became apparent when Harry’s phone began to ring. The release of his wrist was all too easy for my liking, but I refused to move from my comfy seated position.
“Easy.” Harry jolted in surprise as I fumbled in the back pocket of his jeans.
I would be lying if I said I declined the opportunity to feel up his bum in doing so. A quick glance to the screen confirmed it was one of Harry’s friends. I slid the lock across and pressed the phone to my ear.
“Bo.” Harry wriggled beneath me.
I leant my weight forward a little more, taking his arm once again.
“Ah, Bo. You’re actually the one I wanted to talk to. I tried to call you but your phone is off.”
It sounded as if she was a little preoccupied, clattering could be heard until she moved away from the noise and a door closed.
“Oh yeah, I need to charge it.”
The last few words rose in pitch, giggling as Harry sharply jutted his hips from the floor; a failed attempt rid himself of the nuisance. Hayley didn’t seem to notice, continuing with the conversation.
“Just wondering if you had your outfit sorted for Friday night. I’m going shopping tomorrow, wanted to see if you’d like to come?”
“That would be great.”
“Bo.” Harry interrupted.
I skilfully placed the phone between my ear and shoulder, using my extra hand to restrain Harry fully.
“Is everything alright? Where’s Harry?” Hayley voiced her curiosity.
“He’s indisposed at the moment.” I laughed, struggling to keep the phone to my ear whilst continuing to pin his wrist behind his back.
“Ha ha, very funny.” Harry grumbled into the carpet.
“Well, I’ll meet you outside the coffee shop opposite the cinema at one.”
“Is it alright if I bring some friends along?”
“Of course, I’ll see you all there.” She cheerfully spoke.
“See you tomorrow.”
I hung up the phone, leaning forward once again to pepper teasing kisses to Harry’s right cheek. It took me a little by surprise at the rough growl that reverberated through his throat in annoyance.
“Now, now.” I calmed “Don’t go all werewolf on me.”
“I’ll bite you.” He coarsely countered.
I was about to reply with a witty come back, but it was no use. My eyes squeezed closed and in that time Harry had negotiated his escape, pinning me to the carpet. It was astonishing, if not a little frightening at just how easily he turned the situation around.
“Oww!” I shrieked.
The phone my fingers had clutched bounced on the cushioned floor. I shrugged up my shoulders as Harry remerged from the curve of my neck, a weak attempt at protecting my skin from another attack of teeth and lips.
“I warned you. I prefer this position anyway.” He smugly spoke.
“Did you just let me win?”
I couldn’t prevent the disappointed tone bubbling through. There was no question he had been lenient with me, but I hadn’t realised the amount of patience Harry had given. It was kind of sweet.
“Intellectually you have me pinned, but when it comes to the physical…”
My hand cupped his cheek as he hovered over me. The glow of his eyes warmed with my touch. He didn’t give himself enough credit.
“I think you’re smart.”
A wide grin commenced before dipping and kissing the end of my nose.
“And I’d let you win any day.”
I lightly shoved at his chest to test his statement and sure enough he shifted with my force to roll to his back. The TV was still quietly humming in the background, Harry sitting up and leaning against the front of the sofa. I was encouraged with a playful smile to crawl to him and settle between his bent legs. We sat in that position for a short time, Harry’s head resting upon my shoulder as I tapped away on my phone, stretching the wire over the sofa as it charged. Not two minutes later and I had received texts in confirmation of my friends’ attendance for the shopping trip.
“Are you going out with Hayley?”
“Do you want a lift?” Harry absentmindedly offered, the majority of his attention still on the TV screen.
We had spent the last two and half hours watching ‘Supernatural’, a show that I had pestered him into trying. It amused me at just how quickly he had become immersed, to the point of hushing me so he could hear the dialogue.
“Lucy, Charlotte and Zoe are coming, too.” I quietly informed him.
“Uh, that’s fine, I can take them as well.”
I pressed a kiss to his cheek, knowing full well he hadn’t completely recovered from his last meeting with them. What with the interrogation and their attempt to make Harry prove his occupation.
“Are you ready to go?” Harry called up to my room.
“Hang on, hang on!”
I always left getting organised to the last minute for some reason, rushing around my room and collecting items that would be useful on a trip to the shops. Seconds later I caught a glimpse of Harry blocking the doorway, his line of sight followed me as I jogged back over to my dresser. He looked like a spectator at a tennis match.
“You told me you were good to go.” He commented.
“Yeah, well I thought of something else.”
He waited for me to charge back toward the bathroom before crossing the obstacle course that was my bedroom floor and taking a seat on the mattress. I watched in the mirror as Harry thumbed through the pages of the note book I had accidently left open.
“What’s this?” He peered up, his palms making the object look smaller.
I tucked the paper plane pendent into the neck of my shirt, making my way over to him and holding my hand out for the note book. My gesture was ignored, Harry exploring the penned words further.
“You’ve been writing?”
“Yeah, but it’s not very good.” I excused, reaching again.
He stood abruptly, holding my possession higher than my arms would allow.
“Harry.” I complained.
He disregarded the scolding in my tone, strolling over to the far side of the room, eyes scanning the page. I cursed him for being so tall.
“Eyes alight with fire…” He frowned, absorbing the rest of the writing in quiet before a knowing grin transformed his face. “Is this me?” Harry asked excitedly.
“No.” I hastily countered, jumping for the words on the page.
He easily avoided my attempt, raising it higher once again. I had a feeling he was enjoying this.
“It sounds like me.”
“It’s not you. It’s just a story.” I countered quickly.
I desperately shoved at his chest, taking him by surprise and toppling us backwards onto the mattress. His advantageous height no longer loomed over me, my body scrabbling over his to pry the book from his fingers. Once successful I rolled off, clamping the pages shut and placing it into my bag.
“What’s it for?” He innocently inquired, propping himself up on his elbows.
“We’re going to be late.” I casually spoke, looking to my watch and turning to walk to the door.
I was half way down the stairs when Harry caught up, folding the denim jacket I had forgotten and placing it over my bag.
“Thanks.” I smiled.
“Are you not going to tell me, Bo?” He sounded a little amused.
I ceased my movement at the front door, spinning to observe him. Hands were buried deep in his pockets, hair scruffily swept back, a tight black t-shirt clinging to his torso.
“You don’t have to tell me, I’m, well, I’m just interested.” He explained almost timidly.
Harry reached around me, twisting the handle and opening the door. The sun was warm, speckling across my skin through the small gaps in the leafy trees. My keys were taken and he locked the house up whilst I strolled down the path.
“You know I said I wanted to do a writing course at uni.”
“Mm.” Harry acknowledged, replacing my keys and taking my hand.
The conversation had surfaced a couple of times, Harry participated in discussions, but he was never fully engaged. I think that part of his brain shut down. The idea of university and moving away kind of went hand in hand. It was a topic neither of us were that comfortable with.
“Well, I thought that maybe they would want to read something of mine…if I got an interview.”
We approached his car, stopping at the passenger door. His playful mood had taken a sudden turn, now appearing a little distant.
“No, that’s a good idea.” He agreed quietly.
His smile was weak, but I appreciated the gesture.
“If I secured a place somewhere and moved away, I could come home at the weekends, or you could come and see me.” I suggested, waiting for his response.
“Yeah.” He lightly nodded squeezing at my hand.
“It would be easy..”
“Bo.” Harry interrupted.
I silenced my voice, peering at him. A visible gulp was taken, his thumb tapping against the back of my hand.
“Can we talk about something else?”
“Of course.” The passenger door was opened and I climbed in. “Sorry, I’m boring you.” I joked.
He leaned into the space between us, face nearing mine. The defeat in his eyes was instantly recognisable.
“It’s not that.” Harry hushed against my cheek, his lips following suit and placing a small kiss.
Harry’s eyes were blown wide as my three friends came barrelling towards us. Happy giggling ensued before I was engulfed in a four-way hug. Apparently we had been neglecting Harry as multiple pairs of eyes followed the sound of a male clearing his throat. Harry looked a little bewildered, now the focus of attention. A pink tongue nervously swiped over his lips whilst he combed his fingers through the gradually developing quiff.
“Hi, Harry.” Lucy smiled, releasing me from the tight embrace.
“Hey, girls. You want a lift?” He asked, opening the back door to the Range Rover.
“That would be great.”
He appeared stunned as he received a half hug from Zoe before she climbed in.
We came to an abrupt halt, pulling up beside the curb. Harry escaped from the apparently claustrophobic confines seconds later.
“Never again.” Harry stumbled from the car in fear.
“It wasn’t that bad.” I rolled my eyes before joining him out on the pavement.
The girls bundled out of the vehicle, crossing the road and continuing the animated conversation, oblivious to the bewildered male.
“I’m pretty sure they use that as a form of torture in some countries.” Harry breathed, referring to the content of car ride into town.
His palm pressed to the side of the Range Rover, collecting himself after the, in his words, “traumatic experience”. The back of his left hand swiped across his brow, ridding himself of the anxiousness that had gather on his forehead in droplets.
“Don’t be silly.”
“Seriously Bo, I don’t ever want to hear about Jeremy Renner’s arse, or the art of bikini waxing again.”
I couldn’t help but laugh, I’d never seen him so flustered. He’d probably learnt more about what groups of females discuss in that short car ride, than he had in his entire life. And my friend’s certainly hadn’t held back on account of Harry.
“You don’t need to worry, we weren’t expecting you to join in.” I poked at his side.
“And thank Christ for that.” He sighed in relief.
“Come here.” I coaxed, pressing my lips to his.
We’d had barely untied in a kiss before my friends were heckling from across the road.
“Come on, Bo! You can suck his face off later, we’ve got shopping to do!”
Heat flushed to my cheeks, hiding my face and leaning my head on Harry’s shoulder. His chest rumbled in laughter.
“Go have fun.”
“Thank you.” I kissed his cheek.
We turned as Charlotte called over.
“Thanks for the lift, Harry!”
He didn’t say anything, just lifted his hand in acknowledgement.
We’d met Hayley, done the introductions and were well into the shopping expedition when I noticed a presence behind me.
“Mm.” I hummed, absentmindedly flicking through some of the clothes on display.
“Do you like Tom?” Hayley asked curiously.
The inquiry transported me back to the time when Harry had asked me a similar question. Granted, I had no concern or worry over what she might do upon receiving my answer (unlike the way Harry had acted). But it still made me feel a little strange.
“He’s always been nice to me.” I replied, nudging the hangers along the rail. “Why?”
“No reason.” She timidly smiled with a shake to her head.
The length of her black hair was plaited over one shoulder, twiddling the end nervously. I’d been jealous of Hayley’s flawless complexion since we’d first met, her dark skin, spot free and beautifully smooth.
“Tell me.” I nudged her shoulder playfully.
Brown eyes shyly glanced from my face to the tank top she held up. I followed as Hayley walked over to the mirror, swaying slightly and judging if the clothing suited her.
“I kind of like him.”
“Really?” I grinned into the reflection.
“I think he’d be good for you.” I encouraged. “ Have you told anyone else?”
“No.” She bit her lip, sharply turning to me. “And please don’t tell Harry, he’ll just take the piss.”
Her anxiousness was relieved as I placed my hand on her arm, reassuring her that the secret would stay with me.
“No he won’t. He’d probably want to set you two up.” I joked.
We reconvened with the others, taking our findings into the dressing room and trying clothes on. It made me laugh as items were passed along the tops of our individual neighbouring cubicles; a top that didn’t quite look right on one girl, was recommended to the other through our chain of communication.
When we revealed our outfits, I noticed that a number of clothes Zoe entered with were now being styled by Lucy.
“That one looks nice.” Zoe gestured to Charlotte.
“Hey Bo.” I turned upon hearing my name. “Try these on.”
I was handed a pair of denim shorts. They were somewhat smaller than I would usually wear, but I decided to humour her and took them back into my cubicle along with the dress I had selected earlier. We carried on chattering, our conversations not stunted by the partitions between us.
“Bo, have you got your bikini?” Hayley questioned.
“Sorry?” I instantly twisted my head to her voice, even though there was a thin barrier between us.
“Your bikini, for the party.” When I remained quiet with confusion she carried on. “It’s a pool, garden, house party.” She excitedly spoke. “Did Harry not tell you?”
“No.” I struggled to wriggle dress on, cursing and bumping my head on one of the hangers.
“Oh, well maybe it slipped his mind.”
I was sceptical to Harry’s convenient lapse in memory over the dress code. He had no intention of informing me.
“Do you have one?”
“Nothing I would want Harry to see me in.” I joked, giving up with the silly dress whose zip refused to do up.
“Well, maybe we could find one today.”
Hayley’s suggestion was interrupted with a shriek from the cubicle to the right. Laughing ensued which made me all the more curious. I drew back my curtain to find Hayley had the same ponderings. We soon discovered what all the noise was about, Lucy had Charlotte down on the floor, struggling to button up her friend’s skinny jeans as she sucked in her stomach.
“Keep going!” Charlotte encouraged a panting Lucy. “We’re nearly there.”
“Bo, don’t just laugh, help me.”
My dress was still unzipped at the back but I got down onto my knees and aided in the giggling mess on the floor. Zoe and Hayley found the whole situation rather amusing, looking on from the curtained entrance. Our commotion had attracted numerous other eyes, women having a quiet laugh at our group’s expense.
“We did it!” Charlotte exclaimed, reaching out for support to try and stand.
I felt like the whole of the women’s changing room might burst out in applause as Charlotte oddly walked over to the full length mirror. I shook my head in amusement, entering my enclosed space once again and negotiating the removal of the uncooperative dress. I had just about wiggled it to my hips when giggling tittered outside.
“Bo, try this on.”
I took the hanger from the mysterious hand which floated in the small gap of curtain.
“What is it?” I questioned, holding the nearly transparent clothing at arm’s length.
“Something for you to wear, and Harry to admire.” Another voice laughed.
As I twisted the material back and forth it suddenly hit me, all lace and frills. I was thankful for the heavy curtain between us, at least they couldn’t see the embarrassed blush to my cheeks.
“Ugh, I hate you guys.”
My scolding was shortly followed be shrieks of laughter.