I stumbled along the path on my bike, feeling the vibrations as I rode over gravel. Small stones flung up into my hair, my face, but I just ignored them.
Eventually, I got to the mud patch. My wheels were already covered in dried mud; they had been for years now. Washing them wouldn't do any good.
I sped through, watching as droplets of brown splattered everywhere around me. My whole outfit was dirty but I didn't care. I had to escape.
Towering pine trees came into view as I turned the corner and rode into long grass. The wind blew my hair out of my face at the same time that my eye caught sight of something neon green. My hut was hiding simply between the pine bristles. A smile plastered across my face in seconds - I was safe.
Momentarily. But still, safe.
I skidded to a stop metres before reaching the treehouse. Kicking my bike aside, I hopped off and climbed in without even checking to see if I had any visiters.
Nope. None today.
I pulled my pencil out of my bag and began to doodle on the wood. Pictures of a happy family came into mind, but I didn't want those thoughts clouding my mind while I continued to draw.
Hell, I didn't want any thoughts. A mentor of mine once told me not to think; just feel. Just let your hand take the art to where it wants to be. Where it needs to be.
I nearly jumped out of my skin when I heard someone crawling into the box.
I thought I was alone? Not anymore.
I sighed a breath of relief when Josh climbed in beside me. He smiled as he pulled off his hat and shook his head, his blonde hair flying freely.
I watched closely as he pulled off his sunglasses, waiting for his deep brown eyes to meet mine.
I watched silently as his sunglasses fell to the floor. He rarely dropped anything...
That's when I looked up to meet his eyes. They were emerald green. A gorgeous, bright green. And then, they shifted to an ugly brown. A really, truly ugly brown. It wasn't Josh anymore. It looked like him, but it wasn't. He had the eyes... of Him.
I put my hands over my ears and screamed as loud as I could. The boy in Josh's place cackled an evil smile before sauntering towards me.
I awake to myself screaming. My hands are clamped over my ears, just like in the nightmare. Tears brim my eyes and give me no time to prepare before they spill effortlessly upon the white sheets.
I flip over onto my stomach and put my head into my hands, crying harder. I feel so hot. Beads of sweat are forming upon my crinkled forehead.
My door flies open and Harry shows up at the door, his face contorted with... fear? Concern? He couldn't possibly be concerned about me. We barely knew eachother, just briefly met hours ago.
I sniffle and try my best to hide my face from him. Unfortunately, the damage was done. He heard me screaming.
"Lea? Are you okay?" Harry asks, trying to keep his voice as soft as he can. I'm confused for a second until I remember that I told him my name was Lea, not Aubrey. Better safe than sorry.
"Yea..." My voice cracks and I start to cry again. Harry walks up to the bed and climbs in beside me, holding me as I cry. I cry harder and harder, pressing my face into his hard chest. His brown curls fall onto my forehead.
"Hey, hey. It's okay. Nothing's going to happen to you. That guy's gone," He whispers into my ear, the warmth of his breath spreading onto me. I try to stop crying but I just can't.
He was still out there.
Suddenly, the door opens again. I shift back uncomfortably against Harry, further burying my head into him. He wraps his arm around me protectively.
A blonde boy, followed by two other boys, come into the room. Who are they? I don't recognize them. One of them is tall and has jet black hair, messy over his forehead. Tattoos trail up both of his forearms, and come out at the top of his shirt. The other boy is comparatively short, with light brown hair sweeped to the side. He only has a few things inked on his right arm.
Then there is the blonde boy. He has no tattoos and doesn't seem too scary. But he just doesn't seem to fit in with the boys. All three, including Harry, have tattoos. I briefly noticed his ink before he rushed in the room in a black t-shirt.
"What's happening? Who's she? Harry, I thought management said you needed to st-" The blonde boy starts speaking in an Irish accent. Harry cuts him off before he continues, which oddly makes me a little uneasy. I want to know what he was going to say.
"Her name is Lea. Some scary stuff happened last night, and she ended up jumping the fence -"
"She jumped that fence?!" the short boy snorts. "No one can jump that fence, mate."
Pictures of ugly brown eyes flash in my mind as I begin to sob silently.
"Lou..." Harry trails off in his thick British accent, tightening his arm around me. "She needed a place to stay for the night. The paps are surrounding us, so there's really no way."
The blonde boy rolls his eyes before Harry continues.
"She's having a rough day, okay? Can't you just be nice to her?"
The three boys visibly relax after Harry told them to. Did he really have that much of an influence over them?
"Sorry, Lea," the tall boy in the back mutters. The other boys say their apologies, surprisingly, before leaving us.
The door shuts loudly.
"I'm sorry, I really shouldn't be here... And it's obvious that I'm not wanted," I sigh. "I need to go home," I speak into the pillow, turning around and escaping the comfort of Harry's warm body. He simply shakes his head.
"Ignore them, really. They're rarely rude like that. It's just that they were awoken from their precious beauty sleep, which we don't get much of since we're always on tour."
"Tour?" I ask, obviously out of the loop.
Harry smiles and shakes his head. "I keep forgetting that you don't know who we are. It's odd, really. It just feels so unusual to talk to someone who doesn't know every little detail about my life."
"Oh," I sigh, forcing a fake smile at him.
"I'm going to head back to my room. Will you be okay for the night?" He asks me nicely.
I smile and nod, watching him as he gets out of the bed and exits the room, leaving me alone.
For hours, I just sat in my bed, staring at the plainly elegant walls. I knew that if I slept, I'd just be greeted with more nightmares of Him.
I look up at the small electronic clock in the corner.
Sighing, I swing my legs off of the bed and head straight into the small washroom that connects to the guest room I had stayed in. It has a few toiletries here and there - two unopened toothbrushes, some mouthwash, and some toothpaste.
Without thinking, I rip open one of the toothbrushes and begin to brush my teeth feverishly. I figure that if he has enough money to shower this on a guest, he could buy another toothbrush.
After I'm done freshening up, I grab my phone from one of my bags (which I had completely forgotten about) and plug in earbuds. I automatically open Spotify and blast 5SOS into my eardrums.
The guitar riffs and sweet vocals give me goosebumps everytime. They're one of my favourite artists and probably the only band I like aside from a metal band from my early teens.
I make my bed and gather the confidence to go out into the living room. I'm hungry, but not brave enough to fight for food in a stranger's (or not so stranger's) house.
Sitting down on the couch, I kick my legs up and crank the volume some more. My fingers tap to the beat at the same time I open Tumblr, watching pictures fill my dashboard. Clips of all kinds of art are there: paintings, poems, small sketches. Everything nice in this world.
I scroll down and softly sing along to one of my favourites.
Even when the sky is falling down
Even when the earth is crumbling 'round my feet
Even when we try to say goodbye
And you can cut the tension with a knife in here
'Cause I know what'll happen
If we get through this
And if the earth ends up crumbling down to its knees baby
We just gotta get out
We just gotta get out
And if the skyscrapers tumble down and crash around baby
We just gotta get out
We just gotta get out
I nearly jump out of my skin when I find the blonde Irish boy standing behind me. My earbuds fall out, and you can still hear the music exploding from a few feet away.
Was my music really that loud?
"Um, hi," He stutters, holding out his hand. "I'm Niall. I shouldn't have acted like that before - I was just a little tired." He gives me a smug smile before sitting on the couch beside me.
"And you're not tired now?" I say jokingly, both of us laughing. The difference is that I'm actually laughing. More like, my lack of sleep is laughing.
Yes, I'm one of those people who can't stop laughing when they're tired. And what can I say, it sucks.
"I noticed that you're listening to 5SOS..." I giggle and shake my head uncontrollably. Niall picks up my earbuds and listens, before shaking his own head. "You're a bad liar, Lea."
I giggle again. Wow, this lack of sleep is really getting to me.
"Wait. Wait a second. You know who 5SOS is, yet you don't know who we are?" Niall asks, actually looking curious. Or confused. One of the two.
"Now, who is this we that you're talking about?" I smile at him, not realizing that I was unintentionally flirting.
"Um, One Direction?"
"Oh. Yea. Hmm... No, doesn't ring a bell?" I pause for a second before continuing. "No, wait, I think I saw you guys on the paper yesterday, before I got stalked. 3/5 One Direction members in town for a small break. Wait, there are 4 of you here? I'm so confused. Help me understand, Neil."
He pulls his fingers through his hair and laughs. "Hun, it's Niall, not Neil."
I giggle and correct myself. Soon enough, I find myself zoning off again.
I stir in my sleep as the silence is broken by the Irish boy's quiet voice. I can't understand much, but bits and pieces seem to ring in my ears.
"Aye mate, you caught quite the girl, yea?" In the background, bowls clink together.
"...and, she's taking our good couch, too. Heh," a raspy voice sighs.
It's silent for a while, until I hear a soft *blink*. It almost sounds like someone is taking pictures... I swear to God, if Harry's taking pictures of me sleeping... That is so unfair!
A soft wooshing sound lessens the silence. It is quiet once more, until footsteps echo off the walls and I can't register anything.
I'm tempted to get up and stop him, but somehow, I can't find the strength to move or even open my eyelids. Instead, I drift back into oblivion, not remembering anything.
"Mate, she was so tired. All she did was giggle! It was almost as if she were flirting with me. And not only that, but she was listening to 5SOS! She knows who Luke is, but she doesn't know who I am, or Liam, or Zayn, or Louis, for that matter." Niall says, talking to someone. I listen for a while until my back starts to hurt. Pulling my hands through my messy curls, I yawn and try to shake off the sleepy feeling.
"What's going on?" I ask quietly.
"You know, Neil, I did know who Harry was," I exclaim. Harry snorts and roll his eyes jokingly.
"Okay, love. Whatever you'd like to think." He smiles and I return the action. "How do you feel?"
"I'm surprised I actually fell asleep out here... One second I'm talking to Niall, the next I'm waking up here." I snort, ignoring Harry's question.
I stand up, stretching the muscles beneath my skin. Taking long strides towards the guest room, I quickly enter and shut the door behind me. I pick up my shopping bags off the floor and go through them, looking for anything reasonable to wear today.
I decide to pull on another pair of black leggings and button up a light denim shirt. Walking back into the washroom, I pull the red hair elastic off my wrist and quickly tie my hair up.
Before I know it, I'm out in the hallway again. But I stop myself from walking into view as I listen to the boys speak.
"Whatcha cookin', mate?" A different british accent asks.
"Nothing for you. Bug off, Louis," Harry jokes. I hear someone get a pat on the shoulder and the fridge opens. Glasses clink together before the short brown-haired boy saunters toward the couch. Luckily, he doesn't see me.
"I swear to God, Lewis, if you spill orange juice on my white couch..." I hear Harry threaten.
"Oooh, empty threats are so much fun!" He laughs and sits down.
That's when the scent of burnt bacon and something else unrecognizable fills my nose. It smells so good that I decide to walk into the kitchen.
"So you really are healthy, eh?" I say, walking up behind Harry as he pats down on a plate of bacon with paper towels. The good ol' get rid of the grease trick.
He ignores my question.
"Do you have anything I could eat?"
Again, no response. Rather, Harry picks up a plate of eggs and bacons and hands it to me. I eye it warily and try to object, but he stops me before I can speak.
"Enjoy!" He smiles and I turn around awkwardly, holding utensils in one hand.
I sit down at the kitchen table, toying with the omelette on my plate. Harry turns around from the sink, assumably to check if I enjoy it. His forehead crinkles when he realizes I haven't touched the egg, only munched on the bacon.
Quickly, I grab the orange juice containers and unscrew the lid, pretending to occupy myself. I take a small sip of the liquid before going back to toying with the egg. I didn't notice Harry watching me.
"You don't like omelettes?" He asks, obviously confused and a little hurt that I hadn't eaten his food.
"Um, I'm actually allergic to eggs..."
"What?!" he exclaims loudly, quickly coming down to the table.
He swoops the plate from me and puts it on the counter before searching through the cupboards. He swiftly pulls a bowl down, putting it back in front of me. Before I know it, 5 boxes of cereal are in my face.
"You should've told me that you're allergic to eggs! I wouldn't have felt bad, not at all. I'd feel terrible if you ate those eggs and got sick."
"Harry, you're trying too hard. It's like you haven't cooked for anyone for years."
"Anyone want these eggs? I'm gonna throw them ou-" Harry is interrupted by the short boy and Niall rushing to the kitchen. They argue over the food, leaving Harry to split it between them.
Both boys sit down at the table, the short boy across and Niall beside me. They both shove their faces into their plates, clearing them in minutes.
"I think that's a record," I laugh while pouring some Nesquik into my bowl.
The short boy with light brown hair combed off his forehead spoke up.
"I'm sorry I didn't get the chance to introduce myself before. I'm Louis." The boy grins a silly smile and sticks his hand out across the table. I giggle and shake it.
"You know, we haven't actually had a non-sexualized visiter in a while. That's why Harry is going crazy." I raise my eyebrow at Louis' choice of words.
"...Non-sexualized?" I ask between spoonfuls of cereal.
"Some of us like to, um, bring home girls... and, um-"
"It's okay, I get it, haha. Nice to know." I smile at him awkwardly.
Standing up, I push in my chair before grabbing my empty bowl and bringing it to the kitchen sink. I head to my room, planning to pack my stuff and get going as soon as possible.
A quick knock on the guest room door scares me.
"Come in!" I yell. Harry strides into the room and stops as soon as he see's that I'm cleaning up everything.
"You're leaving so soon?" He frowns, visibly upset.
"I need to get home, Harry," I say nicely, giving a small frown myself.
When his face looks more upset, I stride over to him, placing my hand on his cheek. I look into his eyes and time seems to pause as I get lost in the speckles of green.
"I really appreciate everything, Harry," I whisper. "You saved my life and I owe you huge for that, alright?"
"Yeah," he says deeply. I lean up on my tippy toes and give him a quick peck on the cheek before grabbing my bags and turning on my heels.
"Wait!" Harry yells.
I turn around and raise an eyebrow at him.
"Yea?" I reply.
"I'm coming with you."
Author's Note: Heya guys! My apologies for changing things here and there but I'm just trying to perfect a few things. I promise I'll try to do that less so it doesn't look like an update.
I hope you're enjoying the story so far! Please take a second to vote and I comment - it means a lot! ty xx