I was held back, being made to watch Samuel hurt Harry. I didn’t know where we were, one dim light bulb leaving a spotlight over us, the setting around us in complete darkness. It set my nerves on edge.
I felt a constriction on my arms, bending them back awkwardly to hold me back. Samuel had Harry in his grip a few metres in front of me, his hands on Harry’s arms. Samuel’s back was to me, holding Harry close to his chest. Harry’s lips parted to let out a thick cry of pain as Samuel’s teeth sunk into his neck. I screamed and kicked at the sight of Harry in agony. A wicked grin was slashed across Samuel’s lips as he began to suck.
Harry’s eyes lifted to meet mine, his emotions trickling down his cheeks. I watched the colour drain from his cheeks, his eyelids drooping. Harry’s lips parted to let out his final breath before his head fell downwards, landing on his murderer’s shoulder. Harry had been taken from me for good.
My body jolted awake, a beeping noise coming from behind me. I felt the soothing sensation of someone running their fingers through my hair stopping, my heart sinking in my chest. Flashes of my nightmare lit up my mind, cold shivers shooting down my spine. I needed warmth, protection, someone to tell me it was only a dream, that Harry was here with me. But as his fingers released my hair, I felt the tears build up inside of me. He was gone again.
I can remember hearing a sweet voice as I slept, reassuring me he was here for me. But I couldn’t quite reach me, the darkest parts of my mind pushing it away from me, keeping me cold and alone. He couldn’t touch me or hold me. He just had to watch me in pain.
An irritated groan fell from my lips as my body lazily rolled over to find Harry sat up, eyes fixed on his phone screen. His thumbs worked like mad to reply to the text received, his gaze quickly scanning across the screen.
Suddenly his ringtone began playing: Free Fallin’ by John Mayer. A small flicker of hope sparkled in his eyes before the call was answered, Harry’s iPhone pressed tight against his ear.
“Hey,” he said cheerily, wrenching the covers from his body.
I watched in silence as he jumped out of bed, not even giving me a glance before he strode over to the door, slipping out of the room to continue his conversation. I could still feel his arm around me as I woke, but as soon as his phone rang that was the main priority to him.
I rolled onto my back, sighing heavily up to the ceiling. My teeth sunk into my bottom lip in a failed attempt to mask the sobs emitting from my mouth. My fist rose before falling heavily back down onto the mattress, an angry grunt forced from my parted lips.
Harry’s raspy morning voice could be heard from the kitchen. My eyes shot to the door, my body growing fidgety lying here alone.
Before I thought about it, I jumped out of bed, creeping over to the door. I silently opened the door, instantly hearing Harry’s deep voice . I stepped into the living room, my footsteps muffled by the soft carpet below me. I pressed myself to the wall beside the bedroom door, peering around the corner to the open kitchen. Harry’s muscled back was to me as he stood by the counter, body slouched over in exhaustion.
“So you haven’t got it then?” he asked irritably, his fingers impatiently tapping on the counter. He sighed at the response he was given, his free hand covering his eyes as his head fell forward.
“A dead end?!” he screamed down the phone. He let go of another long sigh, his hand rubbing at his eyes. “Okay, fine,” he muttered, back straightening slowly. “I’ll find someone else.”
The phone call was cut off, his mobile falling to the counter with a clatter. Large hands covered Harry’ face, angry groans forced into them.
“For fuck sake!” he bellowed, the side of his fist smashing into the counter beside his phone. His jagged breath puffed out of his mouth, back muscles expanding and contracting quickly. He hung his head, dark curls falling around him.
“Harry,” I whispered.
Harry’s head shot up before he spun around. His angry eyes locked with mine, but it soon faded away, the caring, comforting side to him remerging once more.
“Go back to bed, Rosie. It’s early,” he murmured, pushing his body from the counter.
I stared as he shuffled over to me, a false smile on his face. He reached out to me, but hesitated before touching me, lightly grazing the skin of my hand. He finally slipped his warm hand into mine, but it was like he was wary of touching me as if he’d get hurt if our skin made any sort of contact. Was he still afraid of me? As the thought came to me, Harry squeezed my hand in comfort, causing my stomach to flip. I didn’t realise how much I’d missed him.
I let him take me back into the bedroom. Silence grew thick between us as Harry guided me to the bed, watching over me as I got in. I watched his slouched form as he shuffled around the bed, heavily collapsing onto the mattress next to me, lying on his back He sighed, his curls bouncing as he landed on the mattress. His tall body stretched out over the bed, his hands crossed behind his head. He stared up at the ceiling, subconsciously nibbling at his bottom lip.
I silently shuffled closer to him, but Harry barely batted an eyelid, his attention fixed on the ceiling. I wanted to sooth this anger. I hated seeing him like this. I could see his stomach muscles were tense under his shirt, chest heaving as he tried calming himself.
I slowly reached out, my fingers curling under the bottom of his shirt. I slowly lifted the material from his skin, about to reveal his toned stomach. But my hand was soon shoved away, Harry’s head rolling to his right to look at me.
“Don’t, Rosie,” he growled, tugging down his shirt.
“Harry, please,” I pleaded. I wanted his soft skin grazing mine, my fingertips tracing over his prominent abs. A cheeky grin spread across Harry’s lips as we fought against the material, encouraging me further.
I quickly sat up as I attempted pulling his shirt up, only to be stopped by Harry’s large hands. I narrowed my eyes down to him, causing a wide smirk to break out across Harry’s lips.
Before Harry could stop me, I climbed on top of him, straddling his tall form, knees either side of his thighs.
“Rosie, what are you doing?” he laughed, his fingers clasped around my hips to push me away. I quickly grabbed his hands from my hips, entwining our fingers. I brought his hand to my lips, kisses sprinkled over each of Harry’s fingertips. I stared down at him, watching as a corner of his mouth tugged up higher.
I soon preceded the action on his other hand, humming at the feeling of his skin on mine. I never tore my eyes from this gorgeous sight lying underneath me, messy curls spread out across the pillow, deep green orbs gazing up at me. Dark lashes brushed against his cheeks, the chain of the necklace he always wore resting on his prominent collar bones. Plump lips smirked up at me, dimples indented in his pink cheeks. He looked so beautiful.
I gradually lowered his hands back down, my fingers slipping from between his. My gaze flickered down to his covered torso, my fingers tingling to run my skin across his. My hands moved back to the hem of his shirt, slowly tugging it up. But Harry’s large hands captured mine, gently pulling them away. My eyebrows furrowed in confusion. He was normally so confident with his muscled body. What was wrong?
“Please, Rosie. Don’t,” Harry muttered, squeezing my hands.
His intent gaze was fixed on me, silently telling me I shouldn’t. My head tilted to one side, not understanding why someone as stunning as Harry would want to hide his body.
“Look, I’ll take mine off,” I finally said with a cheeky grin.
With one swift move, the material was yanked over my head, aimlessly thrown to the mattress beside us.
Harry laughed softly, his eyes wandering across my newly exposed skin, mostly healed after last night’s fight with Ed and Louis. His hand reached up to rest just above my chest, palm pressed into the skin. I rested my hand over his, examining the abnormal size Harry’s hand was compared to mine. Green orbs flickered back up to meet mine, his bottom lip taken between his teeth. Harry knew I was self-conscious about my body, mine being so much skinnier than Harry’s. But I ignored what I felt inside, doing this to show Harry not to be afraid.
“Now will you let me?” I eventually whispered, my hands back at his shirt.
Harry silently shook his head, batting my hands away. But I wasn’t giving up. Our hands wrestled at the hem of the shirt, Harry suddenly grunting when my hand slipped under the material, my touch landing on his stomach.
Harry’s gaze lowered in embarrassment, teeth playing havoc with his bottom lip. He wrenched my hand back out from under his shirt, hastily tugging down on the material.
My hands rested over his on the hem of his shirt, thumbs rubbing at the back of his hand. His body sunk lower into the mattress, clenching his hands tighter around the material.
“Harry, please. Let me see.”
His eyes shot up to mine, letting out a shaky sigh. His grip finally loosened, his arms resting either side of his body. His head limply rolled to one side, messy curls covering his face.
I swallowed hard before slowly pulling up the material, gently rolling it to the top of his chest. Harry’s back lazily lifted from the mattress for the material to be risen before collapsing back down, staring at the wall to his left.
My eyes finally took in the secret Harry wanted to keep from me.
“Shit,” I whispered.
Red nail marks adorned his once smooth skin, the skin rising around the scratches. They ran down his torso, the sight bringing thick tears to my eyes.
“D-did I do that?” I finally whispered, my palm pressed into the skin beside the marks on his stomach. Harry’s head slowly rolled back to face me, nodding solemnly. Tears formed in my eyes, clouding my vision of this horrific sight to Harry’s body. A constant reminder of what I’m capable of doing. I must have done this last night, but I couldn’t even remember doing that to him.
My finger traced down the side of one long scratch, finally ending just above his left v-line. A sharp breath was sucked through Harry’s teeth as I ran my touch over the scratches, his face scrunched in pain.
“I-I didn’t even…” I started, tears escaping my eyes. “I didn’t even know I did that,” I finally whispered, my gaze fixed on the sore marks, the only solution I had was of the events of last night.
“It-It’s nothing,” Harry muttered, pulling my touch from his marked skin to yank his shirt back down. “It’ll heal in a few days.”
“But that’s not the point, Harry,” I stated, his skin now covered once again. “I hurt you.”
He shrugged solemnly, letting his eyes fall closed to mask the tears. My gaze lowered in shame before I silently climbed back off of him. I sat on the edge of the bed. My elbows rested heavily on my thighs, my head buried in my hands.
I’d hurt Harry. And I couldn’t even remember doing it. I’d never had this before. Normally I would always remember the things I’d done when possessed by this beast living in me. I had promised I’d never hurt him, but all along these nail marks adorned his body, running right the way down his torso. Ever since the day I met him, he’d been hurt. All because of me. The glass slash from Zed, the bruised eye from the mugging, the cuts from the bike accident. I told him I’d protect him at the club last night, but I lied. He’s been hurt so many times. I wanted to take it all away. I only had one solution: to leave him.
The horrific thought made my head ache. I didn’t want to think about it, but it was my only option. I would be keeping my promise to protect him. I’ve tried to run before, but Harry wouldn’t let me. Could I do it again? I sighed, rubbing my face with my hands roughly as I cursed lowly to the ground.
I eventually felt the bed shift behind me, arms slowly snaking around me from behind. My forearms rested heavily on my thighs, my head hanging low with regret. I ignored the feeling of being in Harry’s arms, the tingles shooting through my body.
His chin landed on my right shoulder, soft curls brushing at my ear and neck.
“Rosie, I know you didn’t mean to,” Harry whispered in my ear before plump lips pressed into the skin below my earlobe.
I instantly pulled away from his grip, jumping off of the bed. Tears sprung to my eyes as I spun around to face Harry kneeling down on the mattress, his arms falling limply to his sides.
“It doesn’t matter whether I meant to do it or not!” I yelled, “I hurt you, Harry. What will happen the next time the beast gets control? It’ll be worse than a few marks! Oh shit.”
Harry shuffled to the edge of the bed, arms reaching out to hold me. But I refused him, taking shaky steps back. His face fell.
“I-I don’t want to touch you,” I whispered. “I’m worried I’ll hurt you. I won’t do it again. I just won’t.”
I darted around the bed, lunging towards the bedroom door. Harry’s faint voice called after me, but was cut off by the door slamming shut. I leaned heavily against the door, letting out weak sobs. I never thought I’d refuse Harry’s touch again, remembering the first time we met. It’s the same as before. I was refusing his touch to keep him safe.
I shuffled into the living room, hearing the sound of rain heavily crashing against the windows. I collapsed heavily on the cushions in window sill, forehead pressed to the cool glass. I brought my legs up to my chest, taking deep breaths to calm myself.
I let my eyes fall closed with exhaustion, remembering Harry’s words from the meditation session.
“Picture the view, the lights of this city, the tall buildings standing proud…”
A small smile broke out on my face, my entirety feeling young again, feeling that pang of freedom I would always have when up on that roof.
“Focus your thoughts onto that time, feeling calm, having your own space.”
My curled up body in the sill finally relaxed, calm breaths escaping my swollen lips. My eyes remained closed, the view of the city so clear in my head. Every misery in my life was blocked out. In my mind…I was free. To do whatever I wanted. To go wherever I wished.
My eyes flew open, the rain still attacking the window, drops trickling down the glass. I remained still, hearing Harry’s heavy breathing behind me. I watched in silence as my breath fogged up the glass before it disappeared seconds after, only to be fogged up again the next.
My vision went beyond the glass, watching as people ran across the road outside the flat, curled up under umbrellas. A small group of children took advantage of the rainy weather, skidding on the grass of the park opposite the flat, one football shared between them. Cars whizzed past, the tyres splashing people as they walked down the pavement.
But however much I wanted to block out my world, viewing others through the glass, I knew I couldn’t.
I could still feel Harry’s presence behind me, awkward coughs emanating from him.
“I’m going out for a bit,” he muttered.
My head slowly turned around, my knees still embraced into my chest. He wore clean clothes, the faint scent of his cologne coming from the bedroom. I stared at his chest, not daring to look him in the eye. I noticed his phone was clutched in his left hand, the screen still lit up, showing me he’d used it only moments ago.
I turned my head back around in anger, resting the side of it to the glass.
“I’ll be back later, okay?” he asked.
I disregarded his question, watching one of the kids in the park skid on the grass on his stomach, mud splashing his young face. His mum’s going to kill him.
I heard Harry take a few steps forward, approaching me slowly as if scared to be near me. I curled up tighter on the sill, eyes squeezed closed. Then Harry’s footsteps stopped, his shaky breath close by me.
“I love you, Rosie,” he whispered.
My head fell to my knees. I squeezed my legs, my body in a tight ball. A small sob fell from Harry’s lips before he quickly darted away, the front door slamming shut after him.
My body jumped as the door slammed, but my head remained in my knees, releasing the sobs building up in my chest. I let all my emotions escape, the deafening silence around me unnerving.
I soon heard the bike’s engine fire up, drowned out by the crashing rain outside. My heavy head lifted from my knees. I reached up, wiping the fogged up glass with the side of my hand. Tears clouded my vision as I stared out of the window, a blurry figure sitting heavily on a bike. His head was bowed, his back jerking as damp curls stuck to his head. A thin t-shirt and tight jeans were the only clothes he was wearing, his body shivering in the rain. I pressed my palm into the cold glass, gazing down at Harry’s crying figure. His large hands came up to mask his face, rubbing at his eyes roughly. His back jerked as he coughed into his fist before grabbing the helmet from behind him on the seat, reluctantly pulling it over his dripping head.
My gaze followed him as he slowly drove out of the road, his back slouched as he left. My head fell back to my knees, tears pouring out of me once more.