Chapter 8 - A trip to the beach
The next morning was a Saturday, and since Tessa woke up early she decided to make breakfast for everyone. She went down in the kitchen, again wearing Harry’s sweatshirt since it made her feel comfortable and a pair of shorts. When she was almost done Harry joined her. „You know, you really don’t have to do this. We all enjoy you staying here - I almost think my mom likes you more than she likes me,” he chuckled. „And if you keep wearing my sweatshirt I might have to give it to you - since you look way to cute in it,” he said smiling and put a lock of hair behind her ear, which gave her the shivers. She didn’t know why, but her body always reacted like this to him. She didn’t know how to react to his gesture - but apparently it didn’t matter because Harry started flipping the last pancakes and the dough flew everywhere, which made Tessa burst out in laugher. He then took some dough on his finger and started chasing Tessa around in the kitchen. „What’s all the fuss about Hazza? Yum you made food,” Gemma yawned and sat at the table. A few minutes later Anne and Robin also joined them. „You can’t leave yet,” Gemma almost screamed when Tessa talked about going back to London, since she didn’t want to intrude on their family time. Gemma was just happy Tessa was there. She saw the change in Harry - he didn’t drink or go out, he even smiled more, and besides Gemma and her had gotten pretty close. „How about we all drive up to Wallasey Beach for the day? I could really use a tan and then we could just chill, bring some games and stuff,” Gemma proposed and the entire family agree.
„Hazza stop it,” Tessa screamed making fun of the nickname his family called him. „Don’t call me that,” Harry said and kept splashing the water at her. Robin and Anne had gone for a walk along the beach and Gemma was sunbathing - so Harry and Tessa had agreed on going in the water. Tessa however, had regretted the decision now since Harry would not stop teasing her. When he finally caught her he grabbed her waist - which made her heart flutter - and pulled her under the water. When they both reappeared on the surface she pretended to cough up water, which of course made Harry feel extremely guilty. „I’m so so so sorry, are you okay? Is there anything I can do?” Harry asked. „You can let me call you Hazza. You already call me Tess, so I think that is only fair,” Tessa replied while fake coughing. Harry of course agreed to this, so Tessa stopped pretending and planted a big kiss on his cheek. „Thank you Hazza,” she said smiling evilly and made a run for it. Harry soon understood what had happened, but he didn’t really care - all he could focus on was the feeling of her lips lingering on his skin.
„Please Tess, you know you want to,” Harry teased at Tess interrupting her reading. „But this is the best part of the book - why can’t you just take somebody else?” Tessa answered and turned another page of The Mortal Instruments. „Because they are all playing Uno - and I really feel like eating ice cream babe,” Harry begged and Tessa sighed finally giving in to him - she knew he could talk her into anything. Harry yanked her up from her towel with a wide smile on his face. She grabbed her sunglasses and a top before heading to the ice cream-stall close by. While they strolled down the beach Harry swung his arm around her shoulders and oddly Tessa wasn’t freaked out - she just felt comfy. Tessa found their friendship a bit weird. She knew they trusted each other and she could rely on him - but he confused her. He always made her heart flutter or made her shiver, and she knew this was a sign. A bad one. Harry was a flirty person. She knew he didn’t mean it, when he called her “babe” or “love” but she still liked him saying it. He was a good guy but she had to remember it was only friendship between them. She couldn’t fall, because if she fell for Harry there would be no one to catch her. She couldn’t risk that.
Tessa was sitting at a table near the ice cream-stall while Harry was waiting in line. She was observing the people on the beach, which caused her not to noticed Harry looking at her. He really enjoyed spending time with Tessa but he also felt confused. His feelings were all mixed up since he went from missing Taylor to wanting to feel Tessa’s lips on him again. He tried to convince himself he felt nothing more than friendship towards her - but he didn’t fully succeed. He knew though that Tessa wasn’t looking for a relationship - she said it herself she wanted to focus on her career, so he would try to make the most of their friendship and ignore the feelings he felt towards her. He was pulled from his stream of thoughts when he was first in line.
„Here you go Tess,” Harry said and handed her the ice cream. „Yum, strawberry and chocolate my favorite,” she said before mocking Harry for choosing bubblegum. She was licking the scoop of ice cream when Harry got an idea. „Oh my god, it’s Beyoncé!” Harry fiercely whispered and pointed towards the beach. Tessa’s head snapped, as he knew it would since she loved Queen B, and he swiftly brought his ice cream up to her face. Before she was able to react her entire nose was covered in blue bubblegum ice cream. „Harry Edward Styles, you didn’t just do that,” she hissed trying to sound furious. „But babe it brings out the blue in your eyes,” he replied while laughing his ass off. Tessa eventually burst out laughing as well - and Harry was mesmerized by her natural beauty. She created a sense of peace around her. Harry leaped forward and whipped some of the ice cream of her nose, but when Harry noticed a flash go off he froze at the moment. How did the paparazzi find them? „You guys look adorable,” Gemma said while looking at the camera screen. Harry felt relieved - they had enough rumors going around and he was scared it could make their friendship awkward if it got worse. „But we should get going; mom and dad already packed the car”.
„Thank you so much for having me. It was so nice to meet you,” Tessa said while being embraced by Anne. „You’re welcome any time honey,” Anne replied and then Robin added: „Our door is always open”. Tessa smiled and fought with holding her tears back. How come her own family wasn’t like this? She felt more at home here in Holmes Chapel than she had ever felt in South Shields. Tessa sent Harry a small smile and watch as Anne pulled him into a hug. Gemma soon jumped Tessa. „It was awesome having you here! I will most defiantly come and visit you guys in London, and then we can spend some time together - and don’t forget to text me,” Gemma practically yelled. „And take care of him Tessa,” she then whispered so no one but Tessa could hear.
As Tessa and Harry drove out the driveway, Tessa noticed Harry’s smile vanished. She gently put her hand on his thigh. „Your family loves you so much,” she said and he responded with a genuine smile. „They really liked you. Gemma was already mentioning visiting us in London - she kept blabbing about needing to go shopping with you and your fashionable style,” Harry chuckled. „Yeah, I would like that,” Tessa truthfully answered and smiled at the thought. „It will be nice to get back to the boys again though - it always feels so weird to be away from them,” Harry said depth in thought. „It must be nice to be a part of something so big, something so meaningful,” Tessa said referring the boys and girls practically being his family. Harry turned his head and watched her. He then placed his hand in hers while resting it on her thigh. „You’re a part of it as well Tess, don’t ever forget that”. He then faced the road again, while Tessa looked down on their still intertwined fingers.