There. It was out. I said the three words I have been dying to say since the day I knew I was in love with him. My secret was finally released from its cage. Harry had been the key this entire time.
"-at all." Harry finished his sentence, but stared at me like I was from another planet. I had expected a much different reaction from him. I shouldn't have said it. Maybe it was too soon. I stood up from my seat and entered the kitchen.
I paced the kitchen floor, anxiously. "Stella?" His voice made me stop in my tracks as I looked at him. He was standing only in the flannel pants he wore last night. I looked at everything but his eyes. I couldn't seem to look him in the eyes after what I had said.
I began to stare at the swallows on his chest, just that particular tattoo and nothing else. "Stella." His voice was much clearer as he approached me, but I continued to keep my gaze on the swallows. "Stella, look at me,"
His hand reached out and touched my face. The roughness of his hand against mine. I simply melted at the touch and then my eyes traveled up to meet his. It was in his eyes I saw the future. Our future.
"Harry, I miss you. I miss everything about you. I miss your eyes, your hair, your smile, and your tattoos. I miss your laugh, the way you hold me in your arms, and the way you kiss me. I miss the nights walking on the beach. I miss the cute date nights we'd have at your apartment. I miss it when you cooked dinner for me.
"I miss when we could talk on the phone for hours at a time. I miss waking up next to you. I left LA thinking that I'd be fine without you, and now I realize, I was wrong. When I saw you on the first day I started working, I knew I wasn't over you.
"I wasn't over you when I saw you with Sophie. I was never over you to begin with. Leaving you was the worst thing I could've possibly done. Instead of striving to make my future better, I ran away from you.
"I pushed you away, hoping that it'd make everything better. It didn't. I need you more than you will ever need me. Harry, I honestly did try to move on, but I couldn't. How was I supposed to move on when-"
Harry interrupted by kissing me. His hand intertwined with my hair and another fell on my waist. He pulled away and looked into my eyes. "I love you too Stella." I kissed him, wrapping my arms around his neck.
He lifted me in his arms and carried me into the bedroom. He set me down on the bed and got on top of me. I owed him this much and I allowed him to do whatever he pleased. His hand reached under my top, swiftly taking it off with one quick movement.
His lips still never left mine until he began to kiss my neck. I let out a soft moan as I closed my eyes, running my hands through his hair. He pulled down my shorts and panties without struggle. I've never wanted something so badly in my life.
I reached down and slipped off his pants. Harry kicked them off as they fell to the floor. He kissed my lips again, slowly sliding into me. I let out a small gasp, but nothing had ever felt so good.
Our moans sounded harmoniously, carrying throughout the entire room. Afterwards, we found ourselves lying beside each other in bed. We were both breathing heavily. What happened between us was exhilarating.
"Wow…" Those were the only words I could muster as Harry propped himself up on his elbow and looked at me. "Wow?" He raised an eyebrow with a smirk. I laid on my side and faced him. "Wow as in 'there were no other words.'" I smiled.
"I'm the best you've ever had Stel, admit it."
I rolled my eyes and just smiled. "Wait, is there someone better than me?" he asked.
"Harry, there's no one better than you." I smiled, then leaned over and kissed him on the lips. I pulled away and snuggled into him as he wrapped his arms around me. "Good, because I was getting worried."
. . .
Harry moved back to LA because he claimed that a little girl like me shouldn't be alone in a big house. I was glad to have Harry back. I had just come home from work when out of nowhere, I was sprayed with silly string. "Harry!"
"Love you babe." He dropped the spray bottle and dashed into a section of the house. I closed the door behind me and set the bag on the couch. I picked up the spray and dashed after him. He was hiding behind the island in the kitchen.
"Come back here!" I called out.
"Not until you catch me." He ran out towards the backyard and I followed him, missing him with each spray. "This isn't fair." I crossed my arms over my chest and pouted. He walked over to me, but kept his distance.
"I am not falling for that." He said.
"Fine, no more sexy time for you." I turned and began to walk towards the house. I half-expected for him to follow me. I turned around and sprayed him when I knew that he was a foot or so behind me. "I will get you for that."
I squealed and ran down the hallway, but he was faster than me. He picked me up and threw me over his shoulder. "Harry, put me down!" I pounded my fists against his back. He gently threw me to the bed and got on top of me.
This was how most of our days went at home. Other times, we'd sit on the couch and watch movies together. Our friends were worried about us sometimes, but they were just glad Harry and I were back together.
"I have a surprise for you." Harry told me as we walked out to his car. It was the night of my birthday and he hadn't said where we were going when I asked. "Just tell me what the surprise is. I can't wait any longer."
He chuckled as we got in the car and he began to drive down the highway. He was silent for the entire drive while I sat impatiently in my seat. What was Harry keeping from me? Two weeks ago he was highly talkative until now. The thought had suddenly got me nervous.
"Are you breaking up with me?" I asked, out of the blue.
He glanced at me and shook his head. "What? No, why would you think I'm breaking up with you?"
"I just- never mind." I sighed and then resumed to staring out the window. He parked in front of a restaurant. "This is my surprise?" I looked at him and raised an eyebrow. He smiled, then got out of the car.
I got out of the car and followed him inside the restaurant. "Ah, Mr. Styles, your table is right this way." A waiter smiled. Harry just politely nodded as he intertwined my hand in his and we followed the waiter to a table.
The table was secluded from everyone else. I liked the arrangement. The single rose that was placed in a vase on the table. Harry pulled out a chair for me and I thanked him, sitting down. He sat across from me.
"What can I start you off with?" The waiter asked.
"A bottle of your finest champagne. We're celebrating a special occasion tonight." Harry smiled. His eyes gleamed at me and I tried to read them to figure out what he was saying, but he was good at hiding his emotions well.
"What exactly are we celebrating?" I asked once the waiter walked away.
"Your birthday, of course." I knew that there was more, but I didn't want to read into it. For now, I might as well enjoy the night with Harry before the night is suddenly ruined. I had been planning to spend my birthday with my friends, but Harry wanted the entire day to spend with me. Selfish. Yet, I loved him.
Our food that we ordered had been brought out to us and we began to eat. "This is one of the best birthdays I've had in a long time." I told him with a smile. I remembered celebrating my birthday with my dad before he left my mom and I.
It was the last birthday I had ever spent with my dad and I never wanted that day to end. "It's only going to get better." He smiled. I felt that he was hinting at something. Why did Harry have to be so difficult to read?
After dinner, Harry ordered dessert. Red velvet for me and chocolate for him. "You make better cakes." I smiled, taking a bite of my cake.
"It's too much work to own a bakery Stel." He took a bite of his cake. I reached over with my fork and took a piece of his cake. "Hey!" He let out a light chuckle and I just grinned. After dinner and dessert, Harry and I walked out of the restaurant.
We got back into his car and Harry started on down the street again. "Where we headed to this time?" I questioned when I knew we weren't going back in the direction of the house. "You'll see." He smiled and began to drum his thumbs on the steering while he drove.
Harry parked his car in front of the beach. It was a place where I had him promise me to move and settle down with a girl. I remember he promised to move on, but promised to make sure that girl was me. We got out of the car and walked down to the shore line.
We held hands while we walked, quietly listening to the gentle sound of the waves crashing against the shore. Harry stopped walking as I turned and faced him. "What's wrong?" I asked him. He smiled and shook his head as he placed his hands into his pockets.
"Let's admire the sunset." He suggested and turned towards the horizon. I looked out towards the horizon as the sun began to set. I felt him take my hand as soon as the sun was almost beneath the horizon.
I turned and looked at him to see that he was down on one knee. Oh. My. God. I couldn't believe what was happening. I couldn't believe this was happening.
"Stella, I have loved you since the first day I laid eyes on you in the cafeteria. It was then I thought I just had to have you and would be broken hearted if I knew you were with somebody else. Knowing that we were neighbors, I was more nervous to talk to you.
"I never showed it because I didn't want you to think I was a player just wanting to get in your pants. When you went to homecoming with Liam, I was jealous. I gotta admit, no guy has ever made me jealous.
"When I discovered that you two weren't together, that was my chance to ask you out. It was then I chickened out. I couldn't find the nerve to ask you and it killed me inside. After my relationship with Lauren and Jaime, I was going to grab that chance of having you as my girlfriend.
"When you had gone off to New York, I was lonely. I went to your apartment and knocked on the door, but it wasn't the same. I went to New York after college and got a job. I didn't think we'd be working together.
"It was then I realized that I love you and when I wrote that letter [note] to you, it was the hardest thing I've ever done. I love you Stella Anne Taylor. I promise to be here by your side, at every waking moment, and holding you in my arms until you fall asleep.
"I promise to love you always, even when we grow old together because to me, you will always be beautiful. You are my best friend and the love of my life, so," With a short pause, he pulled out the ring from his pocket. "Will you do the greatest honor of marrying me?"
The ring was absolutely gorgeous. It was an 10k diamond ring. Tears were brought to my eyes as I nodded. "Yes." Harry placed the ring on my finger and I wrapped my arms around him as I pulled in for a kiss.