Chapter 14 - The engagement party
„Feel free to grab anything you want,” Tessa assured the girls before opening the door to her walk-in closet. Tonight was finally the night to celebrate Perrie and Zayn’s engagement, so Perrie, Sophia and Eleanor were all gathered in Tessa’s room to get ready for the party. „Oh my god! This is heaven,” Sophia squealed while both Perrie and Eleanor just stood there speechless. „Damn girl! It forgot how much clothes you owned,” Perrie stated, while Eleanor was already inspecting the closet. „How will I ever choose?” She said with already five dresses in her hands. There girls were thrilled and soon everybody was preoccupied with finding the perfect dress for tonight's party. After more than half an hour of dress-hunting all of the girls had finally found their favourite dress. Perrie was wearing a bright purple one - matching her hair, while both Sophia and Eleanor picked white. Tessa had chosen her eternal backup, which was a simple, black, mid-thigh long dress with thin straps. „Turn this one up,” Eleanor screamed when Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s Drunk in Love started playing on the radio. Tessa happily did as she was told and continued painting her nails a deep red. Eleanor was already doing her makeup, but Perrie and Sophia immediately started to sing along and dance as well. Soon Tessa’s room had turned into the set of a music video and all of the girls were showing their moves. Tessa felt great - her friends were amazing and she just really needed a night without worrying, and she was almost certain this would be tonight. The girls were soon interrupted by Niall, who informed them that the first guests had already arrived, while laughing at their silly dance moves. The stress erupted and suddenly the girls rushed to put on their makeup. Tessa applied a simple makeup plus she added liquid eyeliner and she let her platinum blond hair hung loosely down her bare bag. She hoped to impress Harry, but pushed the thought away - that was silly since he was just a friend. She then grabbed her six inch black pumps and headed down the stairs.
They girls had gathered around the kitchen table with several of their friends and toasted in bubbly champagne. They had already greeted the guests, whom to Tessa's surprise mainly consisted of celebrities - so now they were enjoying the evening and celebrating Perrie and Zayns love. „Let’s do another round of shots,” Jesy yelled and of course the rest of her bandmates chipped in. The vodka bottle was passed around and when mixed with a bit of lemonade, Tessa couldn’t taste a thing. The boys had been playing some sort of beer bowling in the garden, and as they joined the crowd in the living room the party truly started. Zayn welcomed them all in a short speech ending with him naming himself DJ Malik and turning the music up to a maximum. This made people start dancing; Cara of course was the first on the dance floor, and the chatter got even louder. The atmosphere was great and Tessa already felt slightly buzzed after a couple of rounds of the drinking game ‘Bus ride’. „But I don’t want to go on another bus ride,” she whined when Harry finally spotted her in the crowd of people. He enjoyed the sight of her in the black dress that hugged her curves perfectly, and her bare bag made his fingers itch from the lust of touching her. He had been on the losing team of beer bowling and now the intoxication abruptly hit him. And damn Tessa looked fine tonight.
After a while of gathering courage Harry finally headed towards Tessa. He snuck up behind her and felt her entire body freeze at his touch, but she immediately relaxed when she recognized him. „Hazza! Kylie and Kendall are making me go on another bus ride, and I really really don’t want to go,” she whimpered and mumbled something about her earlier believes about them being ‘good girls’ defiantly had vanished, while both Kylie and Kendall was laughing - also clearly affected of the alcohol. „Sorry girls, but I have to steal her away for a bit - there’s someone I promised her to meet,” Harry explained and put his arm around Tessa waist before helping her up. They both clearly felt the electricity running through their bodies. „You look absolutely stunning tonight Tess,” Harry whispered in her ear as he led the way towards the living room. „Well thank you so much kind sir, you look quite handsome yourself,” she giggled and stared into his emerald eyes. „So who am I meeting?” Tessa asked curiously. „I guess that must be me,” the guy next to her answered. It took her some time to gather her thoughts and understand who actually stood right before her - an English guy - a redheaded guy. „Oh my god! You are Ed Sheeran!” She squealed and started jumping up and down of excitement. „Tessa - Ed. Ed this is Tessa, who normally doesn’t fan-girl this much,” Harry said laughing. „How embarrassing - I’m so sorry, I’m just a huge fan of yours,” she explained. Harry once again put his arm around her waist and pulled her closer, which made Ed wiggle his eyebrows at him. Drunken Harry didn’t care - he had this need to be near her and that was all that mattered right now. „It’s okay, really! I should be the one fan-girling, since you are all Harold over here talks about,” Ed said and winked at both of them. Tessa felt her cheeks redden and sent Harry a shy smile, she then slowly leaned her head against his shoulder. Tessa suddenly sobered up a bit - but her thoughts were soon distracted, when she remembered something. „Hey Ed, when are you new album coming out? Your tour is so soon - and I know you fans are getting pretty restless”. Harry, despite of his need to be close to Tessa, left her in a deep conversation with Ed to go and get another drink. He knew they would be caught up talking music for now, and he trusted Ed with her - tonight he clearly couldn’t handle some random guy hitting on her, which actually wouldn’t be surprising if it happen, because of her appearance.
Harry took a big sip of his beer when someone tapped him on his shoulder. „Thank you so much for inviting us Harry - we are really having a blast,” Kendall said while Kylie nodded in the background. „Of course girls! We just really wanted to invite all of our friends to celebrate, so it wouldn’t be the same without you,” he replied truthfully. „And we just wanted to tell you, that we defiantly approve,” Kylie said and sent him a sly smile. „Approve? What are you talking about?” Harry slurred. Kendall just playfully rolled her eyes before dragging Kylie with her towards Gemma and the Little Mix girls, who had all gathered on the dance floor. This party was awesome. „Harry, come dance with us!” Perrie yelled but Harry just shrugged before searching the room for one specific platinum blond girl. He then remembered he had left her with his good friend Ed. When he entered the living room Ed was sitting on the couch with Nick, Cara and some of the 5SOS lads. „Hey guys! Thanks for coming - did any of you guys just happen to see Tessa?” he asked while fist bumping Nick. „She was just here - lovely girl. I think she mentioned her feet already being sore - so she was going up to her room to place her pumps,” Cara answered and pulled Harry in an embrace. „Great, I’ll just head up there - and see if everything is okay,” Harry replied and winked at the group. What the hell was he doing? He knew he was drunk, and he wouldn’t be able to control himself if he found himself alone in a room with Tessa tonight - since she looked so hot, but right now he didn’t care.
When Harry knocked on Tessa’s door, the voice that answered wasn’t hers - if wasn’t even female. He slowly opened her door and was shocked. Someone was lying on her bed - and it wasn’t just anyone. It was one of Harry’s own friends - Ashton Irwin himself. „What are you doing in here? The party is going on downstairs,” Harry asked suspiciously. „Dude, I just followed this hot chick up here and one thing led to another, and I totally tapped that,” he replied laughing. Harry felt the anger boil in his body, and he didn’t even realise that his fist had connected with Ashton’s face before Tessa was screaming behind him. „Harry, get of him! What are you doing, please stop!” she yelled while trying to get Harry of Ashton. He furiously turned around and was faced with a terrified Tessa. She felt her heat race increased when she met his eyes darkened by anger. Harry noticed how she flinched, when he took a step towards her. Shit he had forgotten all about her violent ex Mike. „Tess, I’m sorry but he said…” Harry started but was interrupted by Ashton. „Yeez man, it was a joke. Chill out, I think I’ve might have broken something”. „Tess please, I thought…” Harry tried to explain himself - and his head was suddenly clear of all drunkenness. „Harry just drop it. I think you should go, and then I’ll clean this mess up,” Tessa’s voice was shaky, and she saw the pleading in Harry’s eyes - it took her all her power to turn her back on him, but she was done with fights and violence.
„I’m really sorry about this. I have no idea what he was thinking,” Tessa apologized to Ashton once again. „Don’t think about it - I thought he could handle a joke, but clearly nobody messes with his girl,” Ashton laughed but abruptly stopped, when he felt the pain caused by Harry. „We’re just friends - no big deal,” Tessa replied while continuing to cleanse the cuts on his face. „Then he is being a bit overprotective”. „Yeah, I guess he is just like that. But you are all done now - but here this will probably help as well,” she said and handed him the rest of her drink. They both got up and headed downstairs. Tessa was looking for Perrie, but apparently both she and Zayn had disappeared. She then grabbed another beer and headed outside on the porch - she could really use some air to clear her head.
The moon was full tonight and Tessa crossed her arms in front of her when the cold air hit her. Her mood for partying had vanished, and she was debating whether to go inside and join the party again or just go to her room, then she heard the door open and close behind her. When Harry whispered his nickname for her, she felt her entire body shiver. „Go inside Harry,” she simple stated. „Just hear me out,” he begged. „I’m tired of listening to your apologies. You really scared me tonight - just the look in your eyes,” Tessa stopped in the middle of her sentence, when Harry slowly started to step closer to her - as if he was scared of her running away from him, but Tessa knew she could never do that. When he finally stopped she could feel his warm breath on her skin, which gave her goosebumps. Tessa leaned back towards the picket fence and Harry put his arms on each side of her. She felt trapped but oddly safe around the guy, who had just started a fight. „I just really need to explain this, and I’m sorry if I’m not giving you a choice here - but I can’t go around not talking to you again. I just can’t function without you,” he clarified. „He told me that he slept with you - and I’m truly sorry for reacting like I did, but I would have done so again Tess. Can’t you see how much you mean to me?” He continued and tucked her hair behind her ear - a gesture so small but meaningful. „I really don’t get it Harry. You don’t have to protect me - I’m not some little child who can’t defend herself,” Tessa tried to sound confident but felt her breath get stuck in her throat. She didn’t need Harry to pity her - just because he had witnessed her with Mike. Perhaps it was the alcohol or the adrenalin from the fight, that gave Harry the courage to finally act on his feelings - but he decided it was time for Tessa to stop talking and slowly leaned in towards her. His lips softly brushed hers, and at first she was taking by surprise but when she understood what was going on, she soon responded to his touch. It felt like fireworks and tasted like champagne. Harry felt the tingling in his lips as he pulled away leaving Tessa longing for more. „One last chance Tess, that’s all I need,” he whispered. „Good, cause that’s all you are going to get,” she answered and kissed him again - this time more passionate.