Eucatastrophe ~ h.s.

This isn't how I planned any aspect of my life to occur.

The plan was simple: Finish university with a 4.0 GPA, Get a well-paying corporate job that's more intense than the assistant job I've now, Find a man that loves me for me, Get married at a gorgeous ceremony, Have beautiful children, Grow old with the man of my dreams and watch our kids mature right before our eyes, and Then fall deeper and deeper in love with our time together.

That Night wasn't supposed to happen. My life wasn't supposed to turn out like this.

*Contains: Language, mild sexual content, and a bit of violence. Content could be triggering for some.*

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44. ✗ forty-two ✗

SHAY

23 July

The sizzling of the bacon against the hot pan brings a sense of familiarity to me. There haven't been many mornings where I slave over making a full breakfast, but today seemed as good as any. Harry usually does the cooking, but when I found him and Lux snuggled up together still fast asleep at around nine I knew today was my day to cook.

He deserves a day off.

I had already prepared a ton of fluffy pancakes that are left in the oven to keep warm as I continued making breakfast. The eggs were scrambled to perfection awaiting hungry bodies to gobble them up. The bacon is currently cooking and I've already made freshly squeezed orange juice.

I've forgotten how much I enjoy cooking in these last few months, especially cooking for others.

When I lived on my own I would spend countless evenings preparing Jamie Oliver recipes whilst listening to Ed Sheeran tracks. But since moving in with Harry, I haven't done much of that. Hell, Harry will barely let my prepare meals in fear that I'll injury myself. But now standing in the quiet kitchen that belongs to Harry, with state of the art appliances I've found my previous calling.

"There you are."

I turn on my heels and smile at the sight of Harry standing at the edge of the room. His hair is pulled into a bun on the top of his head and he's pulled a hoodie over the t-shirt he wore to bed last night. Lux is cradled in his arms looking half-asleep.

"Told you I'd find her." He says to Lux, who laughs lightly before pointing to the telly.

"Breakfast isn't quite ready." I tell them. "Lux, why don't you go watch a bit of telly and I'll come get you when it's ready." She perks immediately as Harry sets her down. I turn back to my cooking, turning the bacon so that it doesn't burn as Harry aids Lux in operating the telly.

"Was a bit worried when I didn't find you in bed this morning." I hear before two arms snake around my waist and a chin is placed on my shoulder. I smile at the feeling and lean back into him, keeping my eyes trained on the bacon.

"Just thought I'd be nice for once and do the cooking."

"It is very nice of you. Smells delicious actually."

"Thank you."

"Texted Lou earlier, said we'd drop Lux off after breakfast." Harry says, planting a kiss on my cheek before standing tall and going to the cabinet to fetch some plates.

"How's Lux's father, Clark is it?"

"Yeah Clark, he's good; was just a really bad case of the flu. Lou says he's already back to pestering her about complete non-sense." He says with a chuckle. "Which is totally like him if I'm being completely honest."

I begin to plate the bacon as Harry sets the island.

"Are Clark and Lou married?" I ask, biting my lip.

I don't know if it's a sore subject or not. I just know that when Lou rushed in last night she didn't say once that Clark was her husband, only referring to him as Lux's dad and Clark.

"They were engaged when she got pregnant with Lux, but broke it off a couple years ago. Don't really know the reason behind that though. One day they were together, the next apart. They're still decent towards each other, but don't really spend all too much time together. I think they just fell out of love." I frown and turn to face Harry after flipping the stove off.

I hope we never come to that: falling out of love. I think the day Harry and I are no longer a couple will be the day Shay Nichols' seizes to exist. Without Harry I'm nothing but a girl who ran away from her parents and lifestyle when she was younger and got pregnant from an unfortunate event.

I'm nothing without him.

"What is that look for?" He wonders, coming up to me and pressing a kiss to my pouty lips.

"Nothing."

"You sure?"

"Positive." I say with a sigh. "I'll go fetch Lux. You plate everything. Pancakes are in the oven, so are scrambled eggs. Juice is in the fridge." I place a kiss to Harry's cheek before sauntering out of the room and down to the lounge. "Lux, sweetie, breakfast." She hops out off the sofa and sprints to the kitchen. Just as I turn to follow her, the doorbell sounds. "I've got it!" I holler to Harry.

I make my way over to the front door, smoothing out my t-shirt and trying to wipe some remnants of flour from the fabric. I suppose I should have gotten dressed before breakfast in case anyone stopped by. I grasp the door handle and pull the door open, immediately being greeting with a tight hug.

"Oh, hi Louis." I mumble against his shoulder as he tightens his hold briefly before pulling from me.

I take a step back and look him up and down. He's dressed sort of how Harry would be dressed on a day off, wearing dark skinny jeans and a simple t-shirt. He's got sunglasses over his eyes and Vans on his feet, looking like he's absolutely loving the summer weather we're having.

"Well, good morning to you too. Hope I didn't interrupt anything between you and my mate." He says, looking me up and down before winking and taking a peer into the house.

I roll my eyes and hold the door open wider for him to fully step in.

"Pleasure to see you again, Louis. What brings you to our home on a Saturday?"

"Our home?" He wonders as I close the front door behind him.

"Well, I've been living here for several months and I share it with Harry, so I suppose it's ours. We'll, mostly his since he's paying for it. Still live here though." He raises his eyebrows and smirks down at me, causing me to want to roll my eyes again, but I hold back the urge.

"Separate beds or the same?"

"Not answering that."

"I take that as sharing." I scoff and lead the man into the house towards the kitchen. "Smells amazing in here, is that bacon I smell?" I chuckle and nod my head.

"We're just getting ready to eat. You're in time."

He cheers and runs past me and around the corner into the kitchen. I watch him through the glass wall as he basically tackles Harry, jumping onto his back as he talks with Lux. I laugh lightly and walk into the kitchen taking a seat beside Lux, who is happily eating and watching the two men "fight".

"Louis' here." I announce, smiling up at Harry as Louis slides off his back.

"Thanks for the heads up."

"Louis!" Lux cheers, mouth full of pancake, which I now notice is cut up. Harry must have cut them into pieces for her.

I look between the two, not gathering that they knew each other. I suppose Lou, Louis, and Harry all went to university together so they all must be close.

"Luxy! I haven't seen you in forever, wild child!" He exclaims running up to her and planting a large kiss upon her forehead. "Did you spend the night with Shay and Harry?" She nods wildly, smiling up at the man as if he's the funniest thing she's ever seen. "Lucky! That's not fair, I wasn't invited."

"Next time, mate." Harry says, patting his friend on the back.

"Harry let me sleep with him and Shay in his big bed last night!" Lux announces, buzzing excitedly. I know the feeling; Harry's bed, or shall I say our bed, is extremely comfortable. I wouldn't leave it if I didn't have to.

"Can I get in on that too?" Harry smacks Louis upside the head before turning towards the counter behind him. He hands me a plate of food and juice before preparing a plate for his friend.

Thank God I made extras, though I don't think with two grown mens' appetites that I made that much.

"So what are you doing here Louis? Thought we weren't set to meet until Monday or Tuesday."

"Couldn't stay away Styles. Plus, I'm fighting a wicked hangover and know that Mr. Harry Styles makes the best damn – darn – coffee in all of London. Couldn't pass this opportunity up." Harry rolls his eyes before placing a steaming cup of hot coffee before his friend. "Thanks mate, you know the club scene isn't as fun when you're not tagging along."

"Nah, I'm done with that."

"Oh come on! All of a sudden you've shacked up with Shay, no offense, and you've turned into a loser, and yes you should take a offense to that!" He whines dramatically. I'm not even offended by his words, just humored. I begin eating my breakfast as the two men continue to bicker. "You used to be wild, well not as wild as I, because no one can take that title from me."

"All in the past." Harry simply says, blowing on the cup of coffee in his hands before bringing it to his lips. It's odd to see him drink coffee; I know he prefers tea more than anything.

"Shut it! You and Shay should join me tonight! The Cuckoo Club, like old times mate! Have you been Shay?" He asks, looking to me. I'm chewing a piece of scrambled egg as I shake my head no. "Oh, it's sweet. Best music in town, lovely cocktails and liquor, plus a load of single beautiful women." I look to Lux, who looks to me with rolling eyes. I snicker at her and nod my head in agreement.

I had my fair share of nights out in London whilst in uni and back in sixth form too. A bunch of rich kids can get into any club in town, perks of being rich I suppose. The nights are all a blur for the most part and I remember not really being too fond of them. Sweaty guys, desperate girls, loud music, no thank you.

"I think we're going to pass." Harry says, taking one look over towards me. Louis' jaw drops and he looks to me, probably hoping I'll change Harry's mind.

"Sorry Louis, I'm not really into the whole club scene."

"But you could get out of the house for a night and let loose, both of you work too damn – darn – much. Shay, I bet you've got a sexy little black dress that you can pull out for the occasion," I shake my head, "or another colour, doesn't have to be black. Toss some drinks back, have a good time with lover boy and, of course, my charming self. Plus, you can help me find a girl."

"Sorry, I can't."

"Got plans?" I bite my lip and shrug.

"Something like that."

"Get out of 'em."

"Louis," Harry warns, patting his friend's shoulder, "stop pressuring her into going out." He huffs loudly and pouts dramatically before jumping up onto the counter and taking a seat.

"If she won't go, will she at least lend you to me for a night. I need some bonding with my mate." He says, wrapping his arm around Harry's neck, basically putting him in a headlock. I glance to Lux, who looks just about done eating.

"Lux, why don't you go freshen up and get changed?" I suggest. She nods before hopping off her chair and darting towards the stairs around the corner.

Once she's gone I look back to the men, bickering quietly. The only thing I do hear said between the two is from Louis:

"Why don't you want to come out?" Harry shakes his head and tells him he just doesn't feel like it. "How come your bird doesn't want to go out with us?"

Both their eyes flicker towards me and I look to Harry. He's practically signaling for me to help him get out of this.

"Can I tell him or do you want to?" I ask.

Might as well tell Louis about the bun in the oven now before it's too late. It's like killing two birds with one stone; we get out of clubbing and we get to announce to him that I'm with child.

"I'll tell him."

"Tell me what?"

"Louis," Harry wiggles out of his mate's grasp and turns to face him, "the reason that she cannot go and part of the reason I do not want to go out is because Shay is pregnant." He announces, walking over to me and wrapping an arm around my shoulders.

Louis' whole body has frozen on the counter. His jaw is hanging open as his eyes flicker between the two of us. His eyes remain wide open, not taking a second to blink like he should. He opens his mouth to say something, but then closes it, repeating the process a few more times before figuring out how to function his body again.

"You're pregnant?" I nod my head, smiling up to the man as I pat my tiny baby bump under my shirt. "Well, what the hell," He breathes out, looking between the two of us, "with his baby?"

My smile falters and I look to Harry. He frowns as well before slowly shaking his head. His arm comes around my shoulders and pulls my side into his in a comforting way.

"If it's not yours Haz, then whose baby is it?"

We look to each other, both of us wearing sad expressions. I hated having to bring this up to people. I know that we haven't had to bring it up before, but just the thought of having to tell more people the truth just makes me uneasy. Louis' knows the truth, Gemma is probably going to know of the truth in time, and I imagine Harry's mum and Robin will know the truth when the time comes.

Everyone else we can lie to.

When I look to the man at my side, with a protective arm slung around my shoulders, I see his face; the face of a man who has been subtly pissed off. Harry's jaw is clenched and I see the muscles in his face tense. His hands form into fists at his side and over my shoulder. He's pissed, probably spending too much time overthinking everything in that mind of his. The wheels continuously turning in that beautiful mind of his.

"That fucking bastard who ra-"

"I don't think we need to finish that." I interrupt, clamping my hand over Harry's mouth to shut him up.

His eyes shift to me and they immediately soften upon one look. The anger that had taken over seems to pour out of him and a calm takes over his features. Once I deem him no longer a threat to our ears, I remove my hands and grip his hand that lays on my shoulder with my own.

Louis' shocked expression falls and now he's wearing a frown as well. His eyes look to me, shifting down to my stomach, his view blocked by the island sitting in between us.

"I'm sorry, Shay. I didn't know. I wouldn't have brought it up if I had."

I shake my head and try to smile. But smiling seems a lot harder now than it was a few moments ago.

"It's okay, Louis. It's just a bit of a touchy subject still." I say with a sigh. "I'm learning to live with it, we both are." I motion to Harry at my side, who is staring intently down at my tiny bump. "We're only going to tell the people who we're closest to about who the father is. That being said, please don't tell anyone, but when the time comes-"

"We're going to tell people the baby is mine." Harry finishes for me, finding his Zen once again.

"Harry, that's like social suicide." Louis says slowly, making sure his words are heard loud and clear.

I bite my lip and look up to Harry. I had told him the same thing only the night before, but he didn't want to hear me out.

"Your image will be absolutely shattered. Now, I know that you want to do the right thing; I agree that you should do the right thing, but I have to warn you, as your best mate, that this is absolutely social suicide. Your company could falter if it gets out that you 'knocked your assistant up', but knowing them their words will be harsher."

"Louis, do you think I haven't taken that into consideration?"

"No." Louis sighs loudly and slides off the counter. "No, I know you've thought about this, because Lord knows Harry Styles doesn't do anything without overthinking it. I'm just trying to be a good friend and warn you of the consequences before your actions have been followed through."

"We've got a good month before we come out publicly. That is a month for me to work as hard as possible to get this expansion near finished and a month to prepare both of us for the announcement. I know we can do this and quite frankly I don't give a shit about the consequences. I'm doing this for the woman I love."

"God, why do you have to be so charming?" Louis outwardly groans, rolling his eyes. "Fine, ignore this bloke and do what you're going to do. I'll back you up, Styles, I shouldn't, but I will."

"Thank you." We both say, finding our true smiles again.

I don't know why, but I feel sort of relieved now that Louis knows, and knows the truth. Maybe this whole thing won't be as bad as my brain is making it out to be. Maybe, in time, everything will be okay, maybe even wonderful.

"Now, important question,"

"Yes, Louis?" I question, wrapping my arm around Harry's waist.

Louis smirks to the both of us before bringing his coffee to his lips and making us wait in utter patience as he drinks. I don't know what's swimming around in his head, and I don't think Harry does either.

"What does mummy Anne think?" Harry and I both gulp. "By the look on your face, I know you've yet to tell her. You should get on that before she hears it from someone else."

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