Lauie, Katie and I have all moved up to Niall and Liv's flat temporarily to help her out with Aili for the next few months while the boys are away. I'm waiting for them to come home from the hospital, so I thought I'd just organize the nursery a bit and make sure the baby monitor was working properly.
Zayn has a week scheduled off at the beginning of March for Sophie's adoption hearing. I try not to let myself think about that too much, because if I do, then I worry about what will happen if they don't grant us custody of her. The thought of not having her with me, to protect and love her, frightens the hell out of me.
The house hunting has been going horribly. I can't get into it without Zayn with me. It feels wrong spending such a significant amount of money that technically isn't mine. I know that sounds absurd. I'm his wife, but I still have Simon's comment stuck in the recesses of my brain.
The sound of the loft door opening pulls me out of my thoughts. I run down the hall to see Liv taking her coat off followed by Niall holding a car seat. "Where's my little niece?", I ask, as Niall smiles and sets her down. I take her over to the sofa with me and unstrap her from her seat. "Oh my god, you are the sweetest little girl ever!", I say in my very best silly Aunt Mia voice. I pick her up gently and plant a kiss on her little cheek. She's sleeping, but every now and then she makes these little squeaking and grunting noises. "How's mommy and daddy?", I ask finally, looking up at Liv and Niall. "You guys look terrible!", I say, smiling back down at Aili.
"Thanks, Mia!", Liv snaps.
"I'm sorry, but you both look like crap. No point trying to sugar coat it. How about, Autie Mia looks after her favourite little niece for awhile, and mommy and daddy can go have a rest. What did you say Aili... that is a good idea isn't it!", I say, talking to Aili like she secretly answered me.
"What do you think?", Niall asks, looking at Liv.
"I think my little sister is rude...but awesome!", Liv smiles. She and Niall plant a kiss on my cheek and Aili's forehead before making their way down to their bedroom. I lay Aili in the basinet we have set up in the living room and pull it close to the sofa.
The door to the flat opens again and Lou, Liam, Harry & Zayn all come in, laughing. "Ssshh!", I snap pointing to the basinet. Then I run over to Zayn and wrap my arms around his neck, give a quick hop and wrap my legs around his waist. "I've missed you like crazy, Mr. Malik..." I whisper, before pushing my lips onto his. I think I surprised him because he toppled back a little against the door.
"Ahem", Liam clears his throat, I ignore him and deepen my kiss. "Ahem", It's coming from all of them now. Finally, I pull my lips away. I can't help but smile as I notice just how flush Zayn's face is, and that he's panting a little bit.
"Yes, Liam?", I ask, innocently, still wrapped tightly around Zayn.
"Where's Katie?", he asks.
"She and Lauie went to go get something for supper... They've been gone for awhile, so they should be back soon. Don't worry Li, she's still here...", I say, smiling at him. He smiles and blushes. I hear Aili make a little noise then and I unwrap myself from Zayn to go check on her.
"She ok?", Zayn asks from behind me.
"Yup", I answer. "Have you guys held her yet?", I ask, gently picking her up, hearing a round of "No's..."
"Um, I'm not sure we should Mia. She's really little. What if we hold her to tight and break her or something", Zayn says.
"Sit", I order. Zayn sits.
"We're having one of these too, you know. You're going to have to get used to it sometime, why not now?!", I say, laying Aili in his arms.
"Oh, she's so light...", he says, surprised.
"Well, in comparison to just holding Mia, she would be...", Louis snickers.
"Hey!", I say, defensively, giving him a playful punch on the arm. "What's a matter Hazza?", I ask, noticing he's been quiet since they walked through the door.
"Nothing. I'm going to go down to Niall's old flat to throw myself on the bed. I'm tired...", he says, walking out.
"What's a matter with him?", I ask. Louis shrugs his shoulders, before sitting on the sofa next to Zayn.
"Is it my turn to hold her yet?!", he asks, staring at Zayn. I can't help but laugh.
"Hey Harry, hungry for some supper?", I ask, as he blows past Katie and I.
"No, you guys enjoy...", he says.
"Um, Katie can you manage this stuff by yourself? I'm going to go check on Harry...", I say.
"Sure...", she answers, as I loop my bags around her free wrist. I'm pretty sure I saw him walk into Niall and Liv's old place. I knock on the door, no answer, so I walk in.
He's sitting on the sofa with his face buried in his hands. I close the door behind me and sit next to him. "Harry?", I ask, putting my hand on his shoulder. That's when I see the tears streaming down his face. He turns and wraps me in a hug, and I just let him cry, holding him.
We stayed like that for quite a while before he finally opened up.
He talked about Kristin, how they met and how much he liked her and how saddened he was by what she turned out to be. He talked about Liv and his feelings for her.
That was kind of a shocker.
He talked about his reputation as a swinger and how much he hates it. I just sat there and listened, for quite awhile. "I know how it feels to love someone and them not love you back...", I say, remembering the drama last summer with Louis.
"It sucks...", Harry says running his hands through his hair.
"I'm hungry, I wonder if there's anything in the fridge?", I ask getting up. He sniffs as he gets up and follows me into the kitchen.
"Thanks for listening to me Lauie...", he mumbles, checking out a cupboard.
"Can I ask you a question?", he asks.
"Uh, huh", my head still in the fridge.
"Why did you always say 'no' over the summer, when I asked you out?", he asks. I pull myself out of the fridge, close the door and lean against it pondering my answer.
"I don't want to upset you again...", I say carefully. He shakes his head 'no'.
"Please, I want to know...", he says.
"I just got the impression you were kind of 'a player'. I didn't want to get hurt again. I've already been hurt by one of you...", I say, shrugging my shoulders.
"One of us?", he asks, his eyebrows shoot up in surprise.
"It's not really...I shouldn't say...", I stutter trying to find the right words. Tears trickle down my cheeks. Harry puts his hands on my shoulders.
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to pry...", he says, looking at me.
I don't think I've ever really noticed how good looking he is, with his curly hair, his green eyes, those dimples and his full lips.
I know I'm staring at him, I can't help it.
He wipes the tears off my face with his thumbs as he leans in close to me.
I don't move, I can't.
"Can I?", he whispers.
"Uh, huh", I mumble. He pulls my head towards his and our lips meet, lightly and gently. I place my hands on top of his on either side of my face. It feels so soft, not like the 2 kisses I shared with Louis. He pulls away and wraps his arms around me.
"Will you please go out with me, one time? Just once, and if you don't like me by the end of it, I won't ask you again...", he says.
"Ok Harry. I'll go. One date...", I agree.
"I promise I won't hurt you...", he whispers.
"Don't make promises you might not be able to keep...", I whisper back.
"Hungry yet?", I ask.
"Yes, lets go back up...", he answers, wrapping his hand around mine and pulling me out the door.
Lou, Zayn, Mia and I turn towards the door when we hear grunting noises coming from the other side. It creaks open and Katie stumbles in carrying two armfuls of bags. I rush over, to give her a hand. "What happened to Lauie?", Mia asks, grabbing a few bags as well.
"She was concerned about Harry. We passed him in the hall and he seemed upset... She was going to go check on him...", Katie answers.
"Where is she?", Katie asks, full of excitement. She drops everything left in her arms and makes her way over the sofa. "My turn, Tomo!", she says, stretching her arms out, smiling at Aili.
"But I just got her...", Lou protests.
"Don't make me hurt you in front of the baby...", Katie teases, as she puts a foot down on top of his socked toes.
"Okay, okay!", he answers quickly, before gently passing Aili to her.
"Zayn and Lou can give me a hand getting dinner on the table. Li you go have your turn with Aili too...", Mia says. Zayn's at her side in an instant, Louis pouts and complains as he drags his feet.
I happily take a seat next to Katie.
"She is so, so...perfect...", Katie whispers, looking for just the right word.
"I agree", I whisper back, my eyes focused on Katie instead of Aili. She notices and her cheeks flush. I lean over and press my lips to hers. "I've really missed having you around...", I whisper again so that just she can hear.
"I've really missed being around...", she whispers back.
"You know, there are some really good University's here in London. You could apply as an exchange student...", I whisper.
"Then, I'd have to live with some strange family or on campus...", she answers.
"No you wouldn't. You could live with me...", I whisper, looking into her green eyes. I see her smile and shake her head 'no'. "Why not? I really like you, you really like me. I have a big empty house. You could have your own space and still go to school...", I persist.
"I wouldn't feel right having you support me...", she answers.
"Who said anything about me supporting you. You have student loans to pay for school right? You could get a job and we could share grocery costs and stuff. You're already missing school by extending your stay to help Liv out with Aili. There won't be much point to going back for a week after we get back from touring... Just promise me you'll think about it...", I press. She smiles now as I push my lips to hers again, deeper this time.
"Ahem! No drooling on the baby please...", Mia snaps, before I pull away. Katie looks at Mia and sticks her tongue out.
"Your turn Li...", Katie says, gently putting Aili in my arms. "I promise to think about it...", she whispers and I can't help but smile.
Niall walks out of the bedroom just then rubbing his eyes. "I smell food", he says and everyone laughs.
"Where's Liv?", Katie asks.
"Still sleeping. She's still pretty physically drained...", he adds, before grabbing a plate. The door opens again, Harry and Lauie walk in together. Harry has his hand wrapped around hers and they're both laughing.
"You look better Haz...", Mia says. I glance at Niall who's staring at Lou, that's when I notice Lou's face. It's flushed a deep crimson and his hands have balled into fists. Niall gives him a pat on the back.
"Hey Lou, can you help me out with something?", he asks, getting up. Lou reluctantly follows him out the door.
Mia & Zayn look at me.
We all know somethings up.
"What the hell?!", I say, as Niall and I step outside.
"Why are you so bent about this? Lauie's not your girlfriend. As a matter of fact Lou, you were the one who hurt her with all your shit over the summer. Remember?", Niall asks.
"Why does she have to like Harry?! There are billions of other guys out there, why can't she like one of them!", I shout.
"Would it matter? She could've walked in holding 'Prince Charming's' hand, and I think you'd still be pissed...", he snaps. I run my hands through my hair and lean against the wall.
"Harry will hurt her!", I snap.
"We don't know that. He certainly won't hurt her anymore than you did. Besides, Harry has changed alot over the past 6 months. We've all seen it...", he defends.
"This girl is driving me crazy, Niall. I'm happy with El and I love her but the only one I think about is Lauie. When we first met and she tumbled into my arms back in Toronto, there was just this chemistry...", I say, trying to explain.
"Is it worth messing up the good thing you have with El?", he asks me, carefully.
"I honestly don't know. What I do know, is that I don't think I can just stand back and watch her 'be' with Harry", I say.
"Harry one of your best mates Louis. You don't really have a choice. Lauie is free to see whoever she likes and right now, that might be Harry...", Niall reminds me, before heading back inside. I was relieved when she left at the end of the summer, it meant that I didn't have to deal with any of these feelings. Now she's back and I don't know what to do. I don't want to waste our last night home sulking so I take a deep breath before heading back inside the flat for dinner.