"Are you guys insane!?" Reagan screamed as she untangled herself from Harry's grasp and finally sat upright. She pulled at her skirt and tried to fix her hair, making the boys chuckle.
"What's the matter, Reagan? We picked you up, didn't we, love?" Louis said, at least doing her the favor of not taking his eyes off the road.
Niall laughed, "Yeah, Rae. Didn't you miss us? We thought you'd want to go out and celebrate."
"Celebrate what? My last day of freedom before we go to jail?"
Harry wrapped his arm around her again, "Don't be silly."
"Silly? Don't be silly? Really?"
"We missed you, didn't want to have to share you with Lydia."
"Are you kidding me? Liam! Why didn't you stop this?"
Liam didn't even bother turning around to look at her from the passenger seat, he simply shrugged.
"What's wrong with him?"
"Trouble in paradise." Louis said, through the rearview mirror.
"Shut up." Liam muttered.
"He and the missus had an awful spat." Louis continued, "Almost couldn't get him to leave England."
"I'm fine." Liam muttered unconvincingly.
"Oh, Liam." Reagan said, her tone immediately changing from pure anger to clear concern. She hadn't talked to Liam's girlfriend Sophia in a while, but she had figured it was because they were all so busy. She didn't think it was because she had broken things off with him.
"She threw your clothes out the window of your flat, mate." Niall said, shaking his head.
"I said it's fine." Liam repeated curtly, signifying that the discussion was over.
Reagan turned to look at Harry and he simply mouthed the word 'later' in order to imply that soon enough he'd explain what had happened. Reagan nodded and tried to calm down.
"How are things, Reagan?" Louis asked.
"Well, things were great Louis. Absolutely peachy. Then, well, then you decided that you were bored and that you just had to do something crazy, didn't you."
Louis nodded, "That's about how it went."
"You ever think about how your actions affect those around you?"
"Can't say I ever have."
Harry placed his hand over Reagan's and shook his head, pleading with her to stop. She relented, but not without hesitating first.
She hadn't been around the boys as much the last few months, so she didn't know exactly what was happening. Harry did though, he knew exactly what was happening and he didn't care for it one bit.
That nervousness that he had felt earlier was beginning to strike again, and this time it was totally called for. He was started to recall the fact that this wasn't the first stunt that Louis has pulled, nor was this the first time that Liam was totally moody and untalkative.
Louis had been completely out of control since last month, and no one really knew how to stop him. Lydia was all the way in LA as they finished up the European leg of the tour, Reagan was in school, and the mother of his baby, Briana, could really care less. So of course it was up to Harry to try to bring him back. Lately though, Harry had to learn to choose his battles with Louis. Whenever Harry tried to stop Louis from doing some asinine thing that he had just thought up on capricious whim, Louis accused him of trying to change him, of not letting him be himself. He kept saying that Harry just wanted all of them to follow the rules and do whatever they were told, although that was obviously not the case. And it didn't help that Liam's girl trouble began around the same time, seeing as he was the only one that could really talk some sense into Louis. It ended up being Harry, trying to keep the boys in one piece all on his own. And well, now Reagan as well.
Reagan though had enough things on her plate. As she was currently in the midst of her final year in college, she was running herself ragged not only taking care of the boys but of herself and her future. An extra emphasis on her future seeing as the band seemed to be hellbent on making it impossible for her to ever be employed anywhere else, no matter how well she may do in school.
"So." Reagan said, clearing her throat.
"What's up?" Louis asked.
"Where are we going?"
"Good question." Niall said, slipping on his Ray Ban sunglasses.
"Don't know. Anywhere the lot of you fancy going?"
"You stole this car without even knowing where you wanted to go?"
"Borrowed. We borrowed it." Louis said.
Reagan sighed, "We don't have a plan, do we?"
"Do we ever?" Louis smirked.
As Louis finally pulled over on the ever familiar private driveway to his ocean side property, Reagan sighed in relief. This she could deal with. She could deal with the boys taking an hour to unwind in front of the ocean. In fact, it didn't sound like a too bad idea considering the rough morning she had. What she couldn’t deal with? Her phone being taken hostage.
"Can I at least have my phone back?"
“Why, so you can call Lydia?” Louis quipped.
“I’m not going to call Lydia.”
She sighed, “Louis, I’m here aren’t I?”
“Against your will.” He said as he closed the door to the car. The boys all piled out, leaving a pouting Reagan in the backseat.
“Oh, come on, Rae. Just a little while.” Niall pleaded through the closed, tinted window.
She rolled it down just to say, “I want my phone back.”
“Technology, it’s ruining us.” Louis commented to Liam as they started slipping off their shoes to go onto the sand. Liam promptly rolled his eyes.
“No, you don’t. We’re having a tech-free, stress-free, Lydia-free, break and that means you don’t get your phone. So get out of the car, take off your shoes, and start having fun!” Louis turned around and started walking towards the ocean, his shoes in one hand and Reagan’s cellphone in the other. Niall and Liam followed, of course, bickering about something as they went.
“You’re just going to let him do this?” She asked Harry, clearly surprised at the fact that Louis was getting away with so much.
“Oh come on, love.” He said, leaning into the car.
“You didn’t even say hello.” He muttered.
“You didn’t even say ‘hello’ or ‘welcome home my love’”
“I’m sorry, I must’ve been preoccupied by the fact that the lot of you kidnapped me.”
“A simple hello would have sufficed, I said hello.”
“You said ‘Nice to see you’”
“Still a hello.”
She sighed, “Hello, Harry.”
“Hello Reagan. How have you been?”
“Are we really doing this?”
“Good, I suppose? Keeping up with your studies?”
“Harry, come on, you can’t just ignore what’s happening.”
“You have a paper due next week, don’t you? On Pride and Prejudice?”
Reagan stayed silent.
“That Darcy fellow is certainly quite the character, isn’t he?”
“Are you done?”
“Are you done?” He repeated.
“To think that I actually missed you while you were gone.” She said, shaking her head.
He leaned into the car, his face incredibly close to hers as he whispered, “I missed you too.”
“Yeah?” She asked, the annoyance and frustration still there, but obviously slightly overshadowed by the amount of butterflies in her stomach.
“I’m sorry we keep doing this, I really am.” He said reaching into the car and taking her hand in his, “Louis is just going through some stuff and I think the best thing is to just let it be.”
She nodded, “Can we just avoid me getting fired though, I mean that would be great.”
“Duly noted.” He said, his lips turning upward into the dimpled smile that made Reagan’s heart race inhumanly.
“So how long do we have to stay here?” She asked, linking her fingers through Harry’s, feeling his callused fingertips brush against the top of her hand.
“Just a little while.”
“How long is a little while?”
“Love, just let it be. We’ll get back when we get back.”
He opened the door and within an instant leaned in and pressed his warm lips upon hers, shutting her up immediately.
As much as the action angered her, and as much Harry would be hearing about the fact soon enough, right now all she could think about was the fact that they hadn’t kissed in so long and that god, she had really missed him.
When he finally pulled back to look at her he asked, “Let it be?”
“That’s all I ask.” He said, offering her a hand so she could step out of the car.
“You realize Lydia will kill all of us right?”
“A risk we’re willing to take.”
“This is the last time this is happening.”
He nodded, “Well, yeah. We’re all going our separate ways soon, you know?”
She had forgotten, of course she had forgotten. Of course they were trying to get in as much time together away from work as possible. Suddenly she felt a little bad for fighting it so much. But that was fleeting as she recalled the fact that she was going to get the brunt of the blame for this stunt.
“You have two hours.”
“Seems reasonable.” He said, taking her hand in his as he picked up her shoes and his.
“Two hours, I’m serious.”
“I know.” He said unconvincingly, leading her towards the boys who had already reached the shore.
“I heard you, Rae.”
“Two. As in 120 minutes.”
“Love.” He said turning around to face her head on, “Let it go. Have some fun. We’re only young once.”
“Carpe diem, ce’ la vie, yolo.”
“You did not just say yolo.” He chuckled.
“Your timer started the moment we left the car.”
“How will you keep time if you don’t even have your phone?” He said already turning to continue walking.
“I hate all of you.”
“We love you too, darling.”
One Direction was certainly back, and ready to continue wreaking havoc in poor Reagan Bailey’s life it seemed. Not that she minded that much.
“Hey!” Louis yelled from a ways away, “Look, they’re finally done snogging! Nice for the two of you to join us!”
Okay, she minded, she certainly minded, but as Harry so charmingly put it, you’re only young once. And in the case of being One Direction’s PR intern, your youth becomes incredibly fleeting, as by the end of the campaign Reagan is certain she will have gray hairs.
“Race you to the shoreline.” Harry said excitedly.
“Oh no I don-” Reagan began, but she sprinted off directly in front of Harry, obviously getting a head start.
“Hey! That’s cheating!” He said, running after her.
She laughed as she yelled back, “That’s life!”
So she’d spend an afternoon with the boys instead of forcing them to attend a stuffy meeting, you only live once after all.