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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8. ✗ seven ✗

SHAY

We immediately leave my apartment as soon as I've packed a suitcase, apparently Harry isn't going to allow me to be anywhere by myself until he's sure we won't have a repeat of tonight on our hands. The security guard in our lobby watches in silence as Harry holds me close in one arm and totes my suitcase behind us in the other. I am never going to be able to look him in the eyes ever again.

The thirty minute drive to Harry's home is spent in complete silence, neither of us sure what to say to each other. Instead of an uncomfortable silence though it's a nice, relaxing silence. He's turned the radio on halfway into our drive and allows some soothing music to fill the vehicle lightly.

When one of Adele's new songs begins to play I start to cry again, probably from lack of sleep and because the woman has a way to make women cry.

As soon as Harry pulls up outside his home I immediately tense. I see the ghost of myself running down the street as if it were a movie playing out from my memory. I am bare foot, crying, and a bloody mess. I run up those few steps and bang on the door, screaming for Harry to help then look around as if someone has followed. And just as Harry is about to open the door from that night, he speaks up.

"We're here." Clearly. I nod my head slowly, continuing to stare out of the window as I unbuckle my seatbelt at a snail's pace. I'm going to have to face the fear of walking up those steps again, unless Harry has some secret back door that really doesn't exist. I take a deep breath, deciding it's now or never, and grip the door handle. "Hold up." I still at Harry's voice.

He gets out of the vehicle and runs around the front of it. I watch in silence as his hair blows back in the wind, all the while thinking how his hair is so much better than mine. It's something that always bugs me. Within a few seconds he has opened my door for me and is standing with a hand outstretched for me to take. I take it without a word and allow him to help me down. He shuts my door before gathering my suitcase from the boot of the vehicle and joining me at the side of his Range Rover.

"Ready?" I simply nod, unsure if I can really talk anymore. Harry begins to walk up the few steps and onto his front stoop whilst I stay put where I am. "Shay?" I haven't realized that I am still frozen and staring off into space until Harry speaks up.

"Yeah, I'm fine." I blurt lightly, gripping my hand into a fist so that my fingernails are digging into the palm of my hand. I follow him up, passing him to get to the door as fast as I can. Harry unlocks the door and pushes it open for me, waiting for me to enter. But I stand frozen.

The lights are already flicked on in the foyer, showing off the same area of the house that I have been in last. The light marble floors that were once covered in blood and dirt are now scrubbed clean as if I had never trailed into that house almost two weeks ago. I don't know why I'm expecting it to still be here; honestly I want to never see blood again.

"Shay. If you don't want to stay here we can go to a hotel or something." I shake my head. This is the first step in getting over my past. I'm going to face this part of the home without crying or going back into a flashback from that night.

"No, it's fine." I slowly hold onto the doorframe and step inside, breathing in the scent of his home. The smell is welcoming and very familiar for me. With eyes closed I shuffle past the part of the floor that I collapsed down upon until I am going down the few steps to enter the living area of the house.

I let out a large sigh and drop my bag and jacket down onto the small table behind one of Harry's crème colored couches with ease. I run my hands through my hair and try to settle my erratically beating heart. If only there's a way to get it to calm without having to take a moment for myself. I hear his footsteps approach from behind and then feel his hand on my shoulder, yet again the contact making me jump.

"Sorry." I apologize right away, turning to look up at him. He shakes his head and smiles lightly down at me.

"You have nothing to apologize for." I nod my head, agreeing with him. "Now, when was the last time you ate?" I bite my lip and shrug my shoulders lightly. "And I want the truth." I lick my dry lips slowly and gaze over towards the kitchen, admiring how spotless it is.

"Yesterday."

"Shay, it's almost half seven in the evening and you haven't eaten since yesterday? That's not good for you." I shrug my shoulders, not really wanting to get into details with him. If only he knew that I simply had a few crackers and not a full meal. "Okay, first line of duty is to get you to eat."

"Nothing big." I chirp in. The thought of a big meal makes my stomach twist in uncertainty.

Harry stares at me as he walks backwards and up the steps into his kitchen. He turns away from me and pats the spot at his island where a bar stool sits. I slowly trail up there and take a seat, tapping my fingernails against the countertop. Harry moves swiftly around his kitchen, opening cabinets and peering in.

"How about a sandwich? Do you think you can handle that?" I nod my head yes, earning a smile from Harry before he gets to work.

Thirty minutes later I'm feeling a bit better with an entire sandwich in my system. Harry had spent the entire time watching me eat, which made me severely nervous as well as a bit uncomfortable. After I had finished he washes the plate and then turns back to me.

"Are you tired?" I shrug my shoulders. Of course I'm tired; I haven't slept right in almost two weeks and I'm running on four hours of sleep within the last couple of days. "When was the last time you slept?"

"Wednesday night." I answer in a whisper. Harry exhales deeply, running a hand through his long curls before composing himself again.

"Okay, how about when was the last time you had a shower?"

"Couple days ago."

"Alright then, shower first, then off to bed." My eyes grow a bit wide in size when he suggests what he did, but he holds up his hand before I have time to counter his orders. "Don't worry, I'll just get you set up and then I'll be out of your way."

Harry grabs my suitcase from next to the stairs and begins leading me up to the second floor. I follow him to the open doorway of his bedroom where he steps into, setting the suitcase down on the floor. I stop at the doorway and watch in silence. He walks around the room, grabbing a few clothing items from his drawers and setting them down at the edge of the bed.

"My guest rooms aren't in the best of shape right now, purely because I don't usually host guests." He chuckles at his own words before shaking his head. "The last time I had a guest over it was my sister and she got so drunk she slept on the living room floor." I stare up at Harry with widened eyes for his sister's sake. His eyes widen immediately, thinking I'm probably hardcore judging him. "I mean I put her on the couch, but she fell off it in the middle of the night. Anyways, you can stay here and I'll sleep in one of the guest rooms."

"That's not necessary."

"Trust me, it is. You deserve a good night's rest." He says honestly. I glance over towards his large, king-sized bed. It does look like a cloud of feathers awaiting my body to flop down upon it. "Plus, my mattress is the comfiest in the whole house." He says with a proud smirk. I nod my head as he motions for me to follow him into the en-suite bathroom.

The bathroom is magnificent, fitted with a large marble tub that at least four could fit in. There's a glass-encased shower at the edge of the room with a rain setting, from what I can tell. The entire bathroom is gorgeous and fit for a king. I won't lie when I say it's one of the biggest bathrooms I've ever seen, aside from my parents' shared bathroom, which is like the size of my entire flat. Harry moves towards the shower, about to tell me how to work it but I cut in.

"I think I got it." I call out, nervously fiddling with my fingers. I know he would never try anything, but us being alone in a bathroom is making me antsy. Harry nods and stands awkwardly by the door. "Thanks, for everything." I follow Harry out into the main part of the room and over towards the door. He picks up his clothes on the way out and stops at the doorway.

"If you need anything I'll be right upstairs in the bedroom across the hall from the staircase." I nod my head. "I mean it Shay, if you need anything you come and get me." I nod my head again in thanks. "Goodnight."

"Night." I mutter, watching him leave and close the door behind him.

After a very long hot shower where I had to use Harry's soap as my own for the night and after I got dressed in leggings and a jumper, I flop into the bed. Harry's wasn't lying when he said it's the comfiest bed in the whole house, hell it may even be the comfiest bed in the entire world.

Surprisingly, it doesn't take long for the drowsiness to kick in and my body to lose the fight of staying conscious. I slowly slip into a peaceful slumber... that only lasts about two hours.

^^^

HARRY

I shut the door firmly to my bedroom and let out a large sigh. If Shay is keeping score of how many times she's scared the hell out of me in my entire lifetime, she will surely be within the lower teens by now. I've never known such a calm and collected member of society to be so broken and dare I say it, a bit violent. So I think for her safety, as for that of others, it's best for her to stay at mine.

If she thinks for a minute I'm letting her out of my sight she's wrong. The lock on my bedroom door doesn't work after an incident that shall go un-discussed. I will be able to peek in throughout the night to check on her. My home is also fitted with an in-house security system, meaning there are cameras in the house, everywhere aside from the bedrooms and baths. My liquor is even locked up and all the sharp implements are, hopefully, put away for her safety. I'm not going to let anything happen to her whilst on my watch.

I sneak down to the ground floor and into my office, pushing the double doors wide before closing them softly. I walk over to my desk and plop heavily down on the swivel chair. Turning to face the back of the room, I grab the bottle of whiskey I have and pour a quarter into my glass, spinning back around to face my desk soon after. I take a small sip and stare at my blank computer screen, my reflection staring back at me.

Guilt. I feel guilt every time I look at myself in the mirror or even when I look at Shay. There are a lot of what-if's from that night that will forever go unexplained and eat me away like acid.

What if I had insisted that Shay take my car that night? What if I had walked her home myself? What if she had stayed a bit longer? What if I kept her a minute longer with the lads or a minute less, would this still have happened? What if she hadn't come back and was still wherever the hell that evil man ra-

Buzz. Buzz. Buzz.

I take a sip of the whiskey quickly, allowing it to burn down my throat as I answer my phone, briefly reading the caller id. It is only a bit after half eight, so it isn't too late but hopefully the person on the other line isn't going to talk my ear off. I'm not in the mood tonight.

"Make this short Louis."

"Wow, somebody's in a mood." He huffs out. I can almost sense the eye roll from across the city. He always knows how to push my buttons as well; it's one of his best qualities. I sometimes question our friendship, but remember I wouldn't have survived any form of schooling without him. "Would this have anything to do with business or your personal life?"

"That is none of your business my friend." I mutter, taking another swig of the burning whiskey. Truthfully, I hate the taste and really a glass does nothing for me but ease some of my nerves. All I need is something to calm me from today's events.

"How's your assistant doing?" Louis asks after a long pause of silence between the two of us. Out of all my friends, he's the only one I told, mostly because he's the only person in town rather than sprawled across the world. And I trust Louis enough to know he would never tell a soul if he knows what's good for him. "I take that huff as a not so good."

"Not at all."

"Whelp, tell me about it. I've got the time."

"I called her today to check up and she was obviously distressed, hell she even called me Harry." Louis lets out a soft huh at the realization. I've told him about what Shay said about a week and a half ago. I told him that she said if there ever came a day where she called me by my first name then she needed help, or something along those lines. "That's the first time in in three and a half years that she has ever called me that. So, I knew something was up. I rushed over there to hear her screaming and crying on the other side of a locked door."

"God." He breathes out.

"Thankfully, the guard at her building was there and let me in. She had thrown a bottle of vodka at the wall of her lounge and was bawling her eyes out from across the room. It wasn't just crying, it was the body shaking, heart breaking sobs that you only see in movies or on the telly. She completely lost it, Louis. I've never seen her that upset in all my years of knowing her. Hell, I've never seen anybody that upset in my entire life."

"Tell me you did not leave her there by herself."

"What do you take me as Lou? An idiot?" I hiss, trying my best not to raise my voice. The walls in this house are thick, but I still don't want Shay to overhear my conversation with Louis. There's no telling how she could react. "She's taking a shower and then sleeping at my place."

"For how long?"

"For as long as she needs." Truth. She's welcome here for as long as she deems necessary or for as long as I keep her here. I don't want her hurting herself and she wants help, so this is how it's going to be done. "But I need help Louis."

"Name it."

"Can you reach out and find me the best psychologist in the city; somebody who knows how to handle situations like these, preferably female? I think it might help Shay to talk to someone who knows more about this than I do."

"Yeah, I can do that." Louis assures me. "Has she talked to you yet?" He questions, causing me to sigh. I can't help but wonder if she had talked to me when I brought her home after everything whether we'd be here or not.

"No."

"What are you going to do then?" I sigh deeply and finish off the last of my drink before setting it down on my clean desk. "If I'm getting the psychologist, than surely you've got much to handle."

"I'm going to talk with her in the morning. I think I'm going to just try and get her to open up."

"That does not sound like a good plan mate." He warns lowly. "You can't push her Harry, if you do you could ruin everything and break her further."

"She's not a damn porcelain doll."

"Yeah, but you said it yourself; Shay is broken."

"I know, I know what I said, but hear me out. The police are doing everything in their power to find who did this and so is the private investigator I've hired."

"You hired a PI?" Louis utters in disbelief. I don't know why he's so shocked; surely he figured that I'm going to be following through with that plan we discussed last week.

When I had approached him about hiring a PI, he basically was in utter disbelief as he is now. But I assured him Shay isn't going to find out until it's necessary for me to tell her. I want to catch this guy as soon as possible, and I figure a PI might be able to speed the process up.

"Yes, and what happens when they get one step closer to finding the guy? They're going to want to talk with Shay. She needs to be prepared for that day when it comes." I slowly lower my head down so that it's resting on the top of my desk. I let out a large sigh and grumble to myself about sleep. I haven't had a good night's sleep since everything happened. "Listen, I'm going to go." I mutter to Louis, rubbing my tired eyes with the back of my hand.

"Yeah, you sound like you need some sleep. When was the last time you slept?"

"Goodbye." I grumble. I can't stand to listen to him baby me about not getting sleep. If he knows how much sleep I've gotten in the last week or so he'd shun me.

I drop my phone onto the surface of my desk and sit up straight, running a hand through my abnormally long curls.

Tomorrow is a new day and I can't do anything about it until then. In the meantime, I can finally get some much-needed rest knowing that Shay is safe in the house. And then tomorrow we can work on fixing everything. As long as Shay will allow me to help, I'll be there. I'm not going anywhere.

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