I jumped down the last few stairs, seeing Ari and quietly sneaking up on her, scooping her little body up in one swift motion. She let out a squeal but when she spun around to see who was holding her she let out a giggle and pressed her hands to my face. "Hi baby!" I kissed her on the nose and walked into the kitchen to find Maeve.
"Morning beautiful," she smiled, leaning in to kiss me. A kiss I had been craving for a very long time. "What are you making?" I looked over her shoulder, she was quickly beating eggs and sizzling bacon on a pan atop of the stove. "Bacon and eggs... Bennie isn't up yet, so I might as well make her something nice for when I tell her about... Us." she smiled to herself, trying not to laugh.
"Luckily I won't be there for that." I winked, but Maeve turned around not understanding. "Why?!" I shrugged, "I've gotta go get my things, it's not going to be a very short- or pleasant- visit." Today I was off to end things with Stacey, but first I had to call the boys. I was going to invite them to Ari's birthday party, which was just days away.
Maeve was excited to meet the boys and to be completely honest, I was excited for them to meet my family. What I was nervous for was the media, they'd try and make up any rumor they could to ruin us and I don't want that for my daughter. Or my girlfriend. I can't lose them a second time.
Fortunately I was up and gone before Bennie got up, she'd been through a lot these past two days and I didn't think she'd want to see a man walking around her apartment with her happy sister hanging off his arm.
"Are you sure you don't want me to come?" I replayed Maeve's questioning, she was so concerned and it felt so nice to have the same old worry-some-Maeve back in my life. I shook my head, "No, babe. I need to do this alone. I'll be back as soon as I can." With one last kiss, I was driving down to my shared flat.
Thinking about it now, Maeve and Ari could easily move in with me. The flat would soon be empty, or if Stacey gave me a hard time about then she could keep it, but I could easily rent another one. The one she was in now was much to small and even thought she was now officially moved in with Bennie, the house still wasn't ideal for a toddler.
But that's another battle I would save, I hoped we could move in with each other soon. Get our family back together and rolling, maybe even have another baby in the next few years.
That was over-thinking. I couldn't think like that at this point. We just got back together last night and I still technically have another girlfriend. I had to keep big plans like more kids to the side, who even knows about this relationship, it might not work out.
It would work out. I wouldn't lose them again. Not ever.
I shook the constant thoughts out of my head, focusing on driving and what I would say when I got there.
I wasn't surprised to see Stacey standing on the front porch, tapping her feet and arms crossed across her chest. Once the car was shut off she stormed down the three little stairs and over to the door, slamming her fists against the windows, "You son of a bitch!" she screamed, I opened the door quickly and tried to walk around her but her fists were flying and would sometimes smack me in the face.
"Ouch!" I yelped. "Good! Why didn't you come home last night? You can't just do that!" she followed me, yelling and bitching about everything and anything. "I can do whatever the hell I want, Stacey." she stopped walking and just shouted.
"I will leave you, Harry!" I rolled my eyes and turned to face her, walking backwards towards the stairs. "Please." is all I said before walking into the house and going up stairs to collect my things.
I heard her stomp up the stairs and into our room, she watched me throw clothes and photos into a few bags and then zip it up. I never had much in this house, it was mainly all hers. I toured so much and never stayed in town, so it was no use for me to have a house full of belongings.
"And where do you think you're going, Harold?" Fuck off.
"I'm leaving, Stacey." I didn't want to fight because I knew I'd tell her the truth. The truth about how I felt when she spoke to me or even looked at me.
"You slept with her, didn't you?" I said nothing.
"Harry!" she followed me back down the stairs. "You fucking slept with her!" She never screamed this loud, but I refused to answer.
"You owe me an answer!" Fuck that.
"I owe you nothing!" I spat, but she kept yelling.
"You can't do that! You can't cheat on me!"
"You've cheated on me!" I began to open the door, but she slammed it shut, nearly pinching my fingers between the door and the frame.
"That was once." Stacey's face had gone redder than her nail polish, but I just shook my head. "Yeah and last night was once too." she laughed and stood in front of me, blocking the door.
"You're going to regret this." she was finally quiet. "No, no I won't. I love Maeve and my daughter. They're who I need, not you." she let that sink in before moving to the side and letting me out the door.
"I'm keeping the flat." I nodded, "Fine. I have my family."
And with that I drove off, not looking back or giving a shit what she thought. Stacey was abusive and rude and I couldn't surround myself with her because she came between the people who meant most to me.
Her and Gemma hated each other and that kept me from my sister and mum.
She always tried to break the band up. The band is everything, I don't know what I'd do without those boys.
And most importantly she tried to keep me from my daughter and love of my life. Without them I am a hopeless artist lost in the deepest depths of the world trying to find a purpose other than recording and making hormonal teens cry when a new HD picture is released of me in nothing but swim trunks.
I love the fans and I love my life. But only with the people who mean the most in it.
I smiled and thought about Ari's birthday party. I wanted to do something special, so I decided to make a few phone calls. I hoped Bennie didn't mind us using her backyard because with a celebration like this, we're going to need it.
"A party?" Louis nodded, thinking it through. "When is it?" Liam asked, resting on the coffee table in front of him. "Oi! No feet on the table, asshole!" Niall called, trying to wash the dish's that Zayn had just made for him.
We all sat in Niall's new flat, everything was white and modern. Very breakable and very easy to get dirty. "Sorry mate." Liam dropped his feet to the fuzzy carpet.
"This weekend- Saturday. 10:00 AM." I smiled, loving the thought of the boys meeting Ari and Maeve.
"Who's it even for?" Zayn asked, a mouth full of curie.
"Oh you fucker! That's a brand new chair!" Niall called to Zayn who shrugged and continued to eat sloppily.
"Doesn't matter. Well, you'll see when you get there. It'd mean a lot to me boys if you came." Niall chuckled, "I'm in, Harold." I smiled at him, knowing he'd always be the first one in if we needed help.
"Hmm.. Odd of you not to tell us who this very special occasion is for but... I guess we'll go." Louis winked and the rest of the boys nodded in agreement. I smiled wide, "Thank you!"
"Is Stacey going to be there?" Liam asked, raising an eyebrow. I smirked, "Naw, I called it off this morning." Zayn choked on his curie sending Niall into a fit of laughter and then panic when some landed on the carpet. "Shit!"
"Did you really?!" Zayn finally said after his coughing fit was over.
"Mhm, just wasn't working out. She was keeping me from the people I loved." I sat back, pleased with my answer.
"Awe, Harry!" Louis cooed. I smiled wide, thinking about what Saturday would bring.
"You guys are officially together?" I bit my lip, looking at Bennie's shocked face. Taking in a deep breath I nodded. "Yes."
I just finished telling Bennie about last night- skipping the sex in her bed. She just sat back, eating her bacon and eggs, watching Ari play and watch TV.
She looked back at me, a smile creeping over her face and she stood up, taking me in the biggest and warmest hug I have ever received.
"Congrats, Mae!" I smiled wide, not expecting this reaction. "That's so great!"
"Really? You're not mad?" I smiled.
"Why would I be mad?" she raised an eyebrow, sitting back down.
"Just after what happened with Jordan, I didn't think you'd want Harry moving in here with us."
She was quiet. I should have asked before assuming that Harry could move in. She had an extra room and all but the space would be tight. "About that..." her eyes narrowed but the door bell rang before she could say anything else.
"I'll get it." I stood up and ran to the door, swinging the door open. The cool fall air burst through the entry way, sending shivers down my spine. When my vision focused I was in utter shock.
It was Jordan. A bouquet of flowers and a giant teddy bear in his hands. His eyes were bloodshot and his lips chapped. He was a wreck, almost as much as Bennie was. Maybe even more.
I looked back at Bennie, who's face was frozen. Eyes locked on him, not saying a thing.
"Bennie?" I called, hoping for an answer quick, before it got even more awkward.
"No! Get out!" she finally stood, marching over to the door and tried to close the door on him. "Stop! I need to talk to you!"
"Oh fuck you!" she shouted, but Jordan just walked right into the house, letting Bennie fall forward as the door slammed.
"You asshole!" he dropped everything and pushed her against the wall, kissing her. But she wouldn't have it, her fists swung and nailed him in the cheek, he stepped back and rubbed his face.
"Get out before I call the cops!" Bennie pointed at the door, Ari came running out just as Jordan shouted back, "I own this house too! You can't get me arrested for coming into my own home!"
"Baby, go back in and watch some TV." she pointed at Jordan and crawled over to him, but I picked her up and carried her back into the living room.
I tried to keep her in the living room and listen in on what was going on at the same time but she kept crying to see her uncle. "Ari, shh. Mummy is trying to listen."
Harry walked in minutes later, carrying a few bags of clothes and a Starbucks drink. Jordan looked him up and down, "You sleeping with him?" he asked.
"Shit." I whispered. "What? No! Jordan, Harry and- NO!" Jordan grabbed Harry's collar and pinned him against the wall. There wasn't much difference in size but Jordan was a bit buffer, making him look a lot bigger than he actually was.
Harry dropped his drink and all the bags, "Dude, I'm with Maeve!" I sat Ari on the floor and ran to save Harry, who was still pinned to the wall, Jordan ready to throw him to the ground at any second.
"Stop! Jordan, leave him alone!" I jumped in front of him, scratching at his hands to try and get him to let go of Harry's shirt. When he finally let him down, I pulled him aside and told him that Jordan had come out of nowhere and was trying to get Bennie back.
Ari cried out again and Harry offered to go take care of her while I sorted this situation out.
"Jordan, you need to leave." I told him.
"No! Not until I get my girl back."
"You cheated on me you, idiot! I hate you!" Bennie's eyes filled with tears and a few scattered down her cheeks.
"I am a fucking idiot, Bennie. But I love you. It was a mistake, it'll never happen again." she shook her head.
"No." is all came out of her wobbling lips. His jaw tensed and he stepped back.
I looked over my shoulder, Ari was cradled in Harry's arms, the paper plane necklace in her tiny fingers. I smiled something weak at him, receiving a mouthed 'I love you' back.
Bennie sobbed and eventually found her way into my arms as Jordan picked up what he had brought for her and walked out of the house. That was the end of it.
The end of something that was once beautiful and turned into flames. Nothing could fix what had been done and I'm not sure if I would ever forgive Bennie if she were to take Jordan back, not that it as my place to even forgive or forget, because Harry was back in my life.
We all go through such bullshit for love but sometimes the good comes out of the bad, or even vise versa.
"If it's meant to be it will be." I whispered into her ear, slowly stroking her hair as she cried into my shoulder.
I rubbed her back and looked over at Harry again. He sat behind Ari, who stood at the back door, hands pressed to the glass. He pointed out different leaves and all their colors. "Orange.. Yes that's one of daddy's favorite colors." I smiled at his dorky little self.
He loved her so much and that's all I could ever ask for. My relationship was blooming while Bennie's fell apart. She had been there for me since day one and it hurt to see her break while I was being mended. It should be the other way around.
She should be getting married and having babies, not help raise her niece and give advice to her fuck up of a sister.
I patted her head and lead her upstairs, trying not to smirk. I tucked her into bed, knowing what dirty history was held between them from last night.
Her sobs were still faintly heard from the living room, but she fell asleep after a few hours.
Harry and I sat on the couch and cuddles, listening to the baby monitor on the side table. Ari mumbled and cooed in her sleep, which sent Harry into a fit of laughter.
God I had missed him.
"She took it well, actually. She gave me a bit of trouble but eventually just let me go," he turned to me, face inches from mine. "Well that's good. Did you invite the boys?" he nodded, smirking.
"I didn't tell them who it was for, I want it to be a surprise." I nodded, thinking about how cute it could be to surprise them with Ari. I just hoped they reacted well, better than Harry did.
"Have you planned anything for the party yet?" I shook my head, "No, i'm just going to make some cupcakes and buy some decorations that morning." he chuckled.
"What?" I smirked.
"Yeah, no. I'm taking over the party." he winked. Cheeky boy.
"Why?" I asked, kind of curious but also kind of flattered.
"It's my first birthday with her. I want it to be special." I nodded.
"You don't have to do this. Please don't spend much." Harry just pushed me down and sat atop of me, leaning in for a kiss and smiling between breaths.
"Don't you worry about a thing, Mae." butterflies soared in my stomach. "I have a surprise for you too."
"Is it birthday sex?" I giggled and his jaw dropped. "On your daughters birthday? How naughty!" I burst into laughter and he smiled at me. "What?" I stopped laughing and asked, feeling self cautious.
"You're so beautiful." I licked my lips and leaned upward, grabbing his neck and bringing his lips down to touch mine.
He fiddled with his phone, pulling away to select music. "Seriously?"
"C'mon, you know there's no true romance without a song to go with it." I nodded, thinking about how he had played multiple songs last night.
"Yeah, because Kisses Down Low by Kelly Rowland really sets the mood." His face went red and then we reconnected, our arms wrapped around each other.
"It did last night." within a few seconds the song began to play. It was low but loud enough for us to hear.
I knew the song immediately. Harry always played music when we made out... Or had sex.
This was the song he had playing the night we first had sex. All I Want by Kodaline.
Harry noticed that I had caught onto what song was playing and as if we had the same mind, we both said "This is our song."
I smiled and he laughed at my reaction to his choice. "I hope you know how I've missed you." he whispered into the kiss.
"It better be a lot."
"Oh trust me, it's a lot."
And with that it was silent. The only thing being heard was the lyrics to our song, quietly drifting around the room.
"But if you loved me, why'd you leave me?"