The drive home was silent, no pleading from Harry to have me hold him, no closeness between us whatsoever. My hands barely clasped Harry’s sides, my body far from his on the bike.
We finally got back to the flat, the keys clashing into the bowl beside the door. A heavy sigh came after, Harry slowly approaching me from behind. I barely reacted to his arms snaking around my waist, tugging me back into him. I continued to stare at the ground, ignoring the soft kisses to my neck, my body being squeezed every few moments.
“I’ll run you a bath or something, Rosie,” he spoke softly, his words tickling at my neck. “It’s been a long day. Relax.”
His arms slithered away from me, but my hand was soon grasped. He led me into the bathroom, his weak legs shuffling slowly in exhaustion. As I watched him tug me, I realised how much I didn’t deserve him. After everything today, I still came first in Harry’s eyes. Harry was exhausted, close to collapsing, but he constantly thinks about how I’m feeling, whether I’m okay, whether I’m comfortable. I loved him more than anything. And he loved me too.
Harry’s touch left me to start running the taps, water gushing out hot and cold. The noise soon filled the room. I was grateful for it as it drowned out the awkward silence between us. I stood by the door, watching Harry bend over to check the water. One hand gripped onto the rim of the bath, the other swirling around in the water. He yawned loudly, but the noise was mostly drowned out by the running of the water. Steam began to rise as Harry squirted a vanilla scented bath gel into the water.
I slowly approached the bath, sitting on the edge of it. I watched the gel mix around with the water, bubbles beginning to emerge onto the surface. Harry’s gaze flickered up from the water to me, letting a warm smile relax onto his face. I placed my hand over his on the rim of the tub, squeezing it softly. We didn’t have to say anything to each other. We just knew what we were thinking.
Harry’s eyes finally tore from mine, his large hand caging over each tap to turn them off. He straightened himself up, groaning at the effort. His eyes were hooded with exhaustion, dark circles under both eyes. He weakly swiped the curls from his forehead before turning to walk back out. I quickly stood up, gripping his hand to spin him back around. Our chests almost clashed, Harry’s body warmth radiating onto me. I quickly gripped the back of Harry’s head, fisting his curls to pull him down to me. I left a forceful kiss to the side of his mouth, not risking anything too intimate. My eyes fluttered closed, savouring the feeling of Harry’s curls in my grip, his skin on mine. Harry’s lips parted slightly, letting out a slow breath.
I finally withdrew from him, squeezing Harry’s hand in mine.
“Thank you,” I mumbled, letting his curls slip from between my fingers. For the first time today I witnessed his cheeky grin, dimples indented in each cheek. My hand was squeezed before it was let go of, Harry turning to walk out of the room.
Once the door shut behind Harry, I stripped out of my clothes and stepped into the warm water. The smell of the bubbles was inviting, relaxation flooding into me with every inch of the water covering me. I finally laid back, my knees bent at the tap end. The bubbles softly float around me, everything so calm, so relaxed in here. My head leaned back against the end of the bath, eyes falling closed. I breathed in the soft scent encircling me, but a different smell flew up my nose, taking me by surprise.
My eyes shot open. I’m in a bath, my young body playing happily with the bubbles around me. The soft scent of my mother’s perfume and my father’s aftershave lingers in the air. My small hand cups a large amount of bubbles, blowing on them to watch them float around the room. I laugh loudly, trying to catch them in my fists. I grab a large lump of bubbles floating just in front of me, but when I open my fist once again they’re gone, leaving soapy bits between my fingers.
Suddenly a loud knock to the bathroom door makes my body jump, water splashing over the edge of the bath and to the floor below. The door soon swings open, revealing a tall, muscular man. He stands in the doorway, his stern expression covered over by a warm smile spread across his lips. I quickly disregard the scowl and grin back, scooping up some more bubbles to blow in his face. He laughs lightly, closing the door behind him. He waves his hand back and forth to push away the floating bubbles surrounding him before crouching down next to the bath.
His facial expression soon displays his confusion as he stares down at his now wet knees in a puddle on the floor. I giggle, a cheeky grin across my face. His features finally relax into a smile.
“Let’s get you washed then before your parents get home,” he laughs, retrieving the shower gel from one end of the bath. A large dollop is squirted into his large hand before the liquid is rubbed over my shoulders and underarms. I giggle as he tickles me under my arms. He enjoys this reaction from me, continuing to do it. My head flings back, water splashing on the floor around his knees as I wriggle with his touch. My backside begins to slide down the bath, my upper body lowering into the water. Suddenly everything goes blurry, water crashing over my face. I’m underwater, watching bubbles float on the surface above me. The tickling still continues, even as my body begins to run out of air. He’s refusing to stop, ignoring my muffled pleads for air. Bubbles rise to the surface as I try screaming out, the grip under my arms now forceful as if holding me down on purpose. My body squirms violently, water rushing down my throat as I try screaming out. The water’s filling my lungs as I use the little amount of energy left to free myself of this watery hell.
I gasped, eyes flying open once again. My body must have slowly sunk into the water. I rubbed my eyes roughly, coughing back up the water in my lungs down to the water around me, seeing, feeling Samuel, his large hands keeping me under the water. Luckily the front door had slammed shut seconds later, my parents arriving back from their evening dinner. Samuel quickly let go of me, apologising a thousand times, claiming he was only joking around. He didn’t realise I couldn’t breathe. And I believed him. I was so young, so naïve. So stupid.
“Rosalie, answer me!” Harry screamed through the door, banging heavily on the door. I finally realised he had been calling me for the past few minutes.
“I-I’m fine, Harry” I stuttered.
“Can I come in?” he asked a little quieter now.
“No!” I practically shouted, my hands covering my exposed body. “I-I’m okay. Please, Harry. Stop worrying.”
“You’re okay in there though aren’t you, Rosie?” Harry asked.
“Harry, I’m fine. How many times do I need to tell you?” I snapped, banging my fist on the inside of the bath. Harry remained silent behind the door, guilt flooding into me just like the water all those years ago, the guilt choking me until I could hardly breathe.
“I’m sorry, Harry,” I mumbled, rubbing my forehead with my hand. “No, I don’t need anything thanks.”
“Okay,” he finally murmured. “But call me if you do, okay? Rosie?”
“Okay, okay,” I mumbled before hearing Harry walk away again. I sighed heavily before embracing my legs, resting my chin down on my knees. I hadn’t seen Samuel for days. I thought he was weakening, finally leaving us alone. But now he’s bringing memories back to me, horrific memories that will never leave me. Samuel will make sure they stay with me my whole life, always there in my mind, haunting me.
I shivered all over, goose bumps exploding over my back and shoulders. He’s here. I can feel him. In the water, in the air. Everywhere. But most of all he’s in my mind. It hurts, it really hurts. He’s in my every thought, controlling this beast under my skin. I pressed my palms against my ears, trying to block out his words, his orders of death.
“No,” I whimpered, burying my face into my knees. “I-I won’t do it.”
“Oh, I think you will, girl.”
My head shot up from my knees and to the side. He was stood there, wearing the same clothes as all those years ago. He slowly approached me, hands tight behind his back, chest pushed out. Deep eyes glared down to my shivering form. I watched, whimpering as he knelt down outside the bath, one hand reaching out to squeeze my shoulder. I tried shrugging his cold touch off me, but he clenched tighter, fingertips digging into my skin. I felt so small again.
Samuel smirked down at me. He didn’t need to speak. I knew what he wanted from me.
“I’ll never lay a finger on him,” I spat, angry tears swelling in my eyes.
Samuel frowned at my words, squeezing my shoulder painfully. “What happened to Harry’s body then, Rosalie? How did he get those awful scratch marks?”
I pressed my lips together, avoiding his smug grin.
“This can be over so quickly, my girl,” he mumbled, easing the grip of my shoulder a little. “Murder Harry, then join me, kill with me. You have always been like a daughter to me. Be with me forever, Rosalie.”
I tightened my arms around my legs. Samuel’s touch was cold and deadly, tingles of fright shooting up and down my spine.
“No,” I whispered, daring to stare back into his dark eyes. “You’ll have to kill me first.”
“Oh don’t think that I can’t, Rosalie,” he growled. “I know exactly how to kill a vampire so don’t even try and test my knowledge.”
His knees straightened, his whole body standing back up. I let out a small sigh of relief as his touch slipped from me. I turned my head away, whimpering at the sound of heavy, angered breathing emanating from behind me.
“I will get you, my girl,” he growled. “One day.”
My head spun around as if the voice was whispering into my ear, as if Samuel was leaning down beside me. But I was alone in the room. A sigh was released through my lips. My eyes flew closed, forcing back the thick tears. I hated this. Harry was in danger and I could do nothing about it. I spread my legs out in front of me, straightening my knees again. I buried my face into my hands, letting out muffled sobs. Maybe I would be better off going to the police, turning myself in. But I couldn’t leave Harry on his own. I’d never forgive myself if Samuel ever laid a finger on Harry.
I won’t. I won’t go to the police, however much this was breaking my heart. I loved Liam and to see him beaten up in that alleyway broke me. I wanted to sort this mystery out alone. I had Harry’s trust not to leave him. The thought brought a smile to my lips. He trusted me. He loved me.
“You still in there, Rosie?” Harry asked through the door, knocking weakly.
“Well where else am I gonna go?” I snapped, the smile falling from my lips. His clinginess, his worrying about me was beginning to get suffocating. I should be the one looking after him. I had the physical strength to do so, but Harry could be controlling at times. I’d had enough.
“Just leave me alone!” I screamed through the door. “Stop suffocating me.”
“I’m just worried about you, Rosie,” he mumbled. “Let me come in and we can talk.”
“No,” I spat. I quickly hauled myself up to my feet, water splashing loudly over the edge of the bath. Warm water dripped from my skin as I climbed out of the bath, wrenching a clean towel from the rack.
“Rosie, please,” Harry begged, sounding close to tears.
I wrapped the soft white towel around me, slowly letting the beast take control of my actions. I suddenly swung the door open, a weak Harry falling into the room. I pushed him away from me, watching him stumble back tiredly.
“Get out of my sight,” I spat before pushing past him, our shoulders colliding violently as I went past. My legs began carrying me towards the bedroom, hearing sniffling from behind me.
“Rosie, please. Don’t leave me alone,” he sobbed.
His words hit me like a bus. I slowly turned back around to witness Harry’s body shaking with each sob, back slouched over as if in pain. His hands rose to cover his face, his legs looking they may collapse beneath him at any second. Dark curls fell around his face, his locks looking limp, frail.
The clear insistence and heartache in Harry’s tone made me obey his wish almost instantly. Harry crashed down onto his knees in exhaustion as I quickly approached him. I collapsed down in front of him, flinging my arms around his weak body. He leaned into me heavily, his head lowering to my shoulder, his hands still over his face.
“Oh, Harry,” I whispered. “I’ll never leave you alone. I promise you.”
Harry’s sobbing died down a little, his heavy head rising from my shoulder. I gently helped him up to his feet, not once letting him go. Once we were back to our feet, my hands clasped at Harry’s sides to press him as close to me as I could. Harry’s forehead lowered onto mine in exhaustion, a shaky sigh forced from his mouth. He was so weak.
“It breaks my heart seeing you like this, Harry,” I murmured, trying to stare at his hooded eyes. “You need to stop worrying about me. Look at you, Harry. You’re exhausted and taking your tiredness out on everyone else. Just promise me you’ll stop whatever you’re doing that’s making you this agitated.”
He hesitated before finally nodded, refusing to look me in the eye.
“Thank you,” I whispered. “Look, I’m gonna get dry. Have a lie down on the sofa or something. You look exhausted.”
Harry remained silent, letting me lead him over to the sofa. One arm was draped around my shoulders, his body heavily leaning into me. I struggled to support his taller frame, wrapping a strong arm around his waist.
He finally collapsed down onto the sofa, clinging onto me for as long as possible. He had hold of my hand, gazing lazily up to me. It broke my heart to see him this fragile as if he may break in front of my eyes any second.
“Don’t be too long,” he muttered, his head resting back heavily onto the top of the sofa. “I hate being alone.”
“I’ll only be in the bedroom, Harry.”
I gently pulled my fingers from between his, his hand falling heavily onto his thigh with a slap, but he barely flinched, never looking away from me.
“I’ll be back in a minute.” I gave him a weak smile, watching his face fall with my words. I felt his gaze burning into me as I made my way into the bedroom. I glanced back at him one more time before slowly shutting the door behind me.
I got dressed as quickly as I could, hopping over to the door with only one leg into the clean jeans, trying to put my other one through. I finally yanked the denim up my legs, letting go of a heavy sigh. I zipped up the jeans before opening the door. I hadn’t heard a sound coming from the living room in the past few minutes. I’d hoped that Harry may have fallen asleep finally, but when I opened the door he was still sitting there, staring at the door with worried eyes, waiting for me to come out of the bedroom. I threw an irritated look over to him, marching up to his slouched body.
I let out a heavy sigh as I stood over him. Clearly my words were having no effect on him. I’ve begged, I’ve pleaded for him to get some rest, but he keeps on refusing. I had one other way to take this on. I’d have to be stern.
“That’s it, Harold,” I ordered. “You are getting your ass off this sofa now and having a good, long sleep in that bed in there. You got that?”
My raised eyebrows and stern expression made him clamp his lips shut again.
“Right, get up!”
I tugged on his arm, forcing him up onto his feet. Harry stumbled into me, his hand rubbing roughly at his eyes. I held him at arm’s length, trying to catch his sleepy gaze. At least my harsh words were finally getting him to do what I wanted. I gripped his chin, tilting it up from his chest.
“Go to bed, Harry,” I told him. “It’ll make you feel better.”
I smiled as I received a faint smile in return. I watched him walk off towards the bedroom, opening the bedroom door, but I quickly remembered something.
Harry slowly turned around, rubbing his eye as if he was a sleepy child. I marched up to him and outstretched my arm, flicking my fingers up as a gesture for him to give me what I wanted. Harry gave me a confused look.
“Phone,” I spoke, raised eyebrows aimed at him again.
His lips parted to argue back, but he knew it was better not to. He pulled his phone out of his jean’s pocket, reluctantly giving it to me. I stuffed it into my back pocket.
“Now get to bed,” I ordered quietly.
He slowly turned back around to step into the bedroom. He spun back to face me, fingers curled around the door.
“Night, baby,” he muttered before the door was shut between us.
I smiled at the pet name before stumbling back over to the sofa. Collapsing heavily onto it, I released a long sigh. I could hear muffled movements in the bedroom before the bed creaked, Harry finally getting into it.
I turned on the TV, trying to distract myself from thoughts lingering in my mind. But I couldn’t forget Samuel’s visit, Liam’s dead body lying in my arms, Harry’s weak state. It was all too much to cope with. It was making my head ache.
Suddenly a vibration erupted from under me. Soon realising it was Harry’s phone in my back pocket, I squirmed about until I finally managed to pull it out. The screen was lit up, revealing Harry’s latest text messages. I rubbed my eye before glancing down to the phone in my hand. I took one quick look at the screen before violently throwing it away from me. My body instantly grew cold, the hairs on the back of my neck standing up. Goose bumps rose on my pale skin, the phone lying unharmed on the other side of the sofa.
“No,” I muttered to myself, scratching roughly at the side of my head. I hugged my bent legs to my chest, feeling my heart beat wildly. The screen was still lit up, illuminating the last text Harry had sent. I grabbed a pillow from behind me and threw it over to the phone, covering the screen. I knew it wouldn’t stop the text from being there, but I couldn’t read those words again. My stomach lurched at the sight of that text. I felt physically sick with just the thought of it.
I jumped up from the sofa, hoping the sick feeling would have subsided. My legs shook violently under me. I tried pacing up and down the room, but I felt dizzy, everything around me blurry as if I’d just stepped off of a rollercoaster. I pressed my hand into the nearest wall, using all my strength to stop myself from collapsing, but those five words from Harry’s text never left my mind.
I want that vampire dead.