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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37. ✗ thirty-five ✗ (Part 2)

A gasp tumbles from my lips at the recognition of the man and I immediately duck down so that Anne's body is shielding mine. Anne's eyes are wide and her lips are parted in confusion.

"Shay, are you alright?" I quickly nod and try to smile at her like I'm not totally freaking out.

I need to find Harry.

 

"Yes, I'm fine. I just remembered something about Harry's speech that I must speak with him about, immediately." I look over my shoulder and spot Harry where he had been standing before. He's pacing lightly behind a pillar to block his view from the people in the room. "Excuse me."

I get up swiftly before Anne can even respond and rush towards Harry. My hands hold up the fabric of my dress so that my feet can move quicker without getting caught on the hem. I peer over my shoulder; almost running directly into the pillar hiding Harry as I check to make sure the man hasn't spotted me.

"Harry." I hiss, gaining his attention from the notecards in his hands. He sends me a wide smile, but it quickly disappears from his face when he notices my appearance. I feel flustered, so I must look it.

"Hey," He says slowly, eyeing me up and down, "What's wrong? Are you feeling alright?" I glance over my shoulder, noticing that him and his wife are stopped to talk to another couple, but the wife is scanning the room with her big eyes. I grab Harry's large bicep in my hand and tug our bodies directly behind the pillar so they can't see us. "Whoa, Shay, what's going on?"

"I'm not crazy I swear." I start off by saying, as I catch my breath. Harry's expression is of complete confusion, his eyebrows are knitted together and his lips pressed in a straight line. "I don't want you to freak out, but he's here." Harry looks absolutely confused now and I realize I'm making zero sense.

"Who is here?" He asks, leaning around me and looking around the hall. I groan lightly and tug him back, spinning our bodies around so he's standing where I just was. He can see Harry, but if he sees me I'm ruined. "Shay, what is going on?"

"Tom is here." I finally blurt with wide eyes.

Harry is shaking his head lightly and his mouth opens to speak, but quickly shuts. He glances around the pillar once before looking back to me, jaw slightly ajar and eyes wider than before.

"Are you telling me that Tom Chapman son of William Chapman, our biggest donor for the foundation is the same Tom you were engaged to at eighteen?"

I gulp nervously, having no idea that William Chapman is here as well. I'm pretty sure Tom's parents despise me with every bone in their body. I mean they have a right to; I humiliated their family in front of hundreds of people.

"I'm sorry." I stutter out, feeling the familiar burn in my throat from trying not to cry. I can feel the tears brimming my eyes, but I don't dare let them fall, not after all the time I put into making myself look good tonight.

"No, Shay," Harry sighs heavily, stepping closer to me and cupping my face in his hands, "don't be sorry." He tells me, his thumbs caressing my skin. My eyes fall shut and I take a few deep breaths, riding myself of the urge to cry. "I just had no idea. His father is such a lovely person. His donations are doing so many great things to help the children and their families. It's just hard to imagine that they could possibly be related." I open my eyes and place my hand over one of Harry's.

"Have you met Tom before?" Harry shakes his head and I sigh.

"I've only ever seen him in passing. He's never come to one of the banquets before." I roll my eyes and shake my head.

Of course he's never come here until now.

"What am I going to do?" I wonder, taking a step back and leaning against the pillar hiding us away from the party. Harry stares down at our joined hands, his thumb rubbing lightly over my knuckles as he thinks.

I don't want to leave this banquet, I refuse to be coward enough to run and hide from my ex-"fiancé". I won't let Tom ruin this night for me like he ruined my last year of sixth form. But I also don't want Tom to ruin this night for Harry and I know my being here will do just that. Tom will do anything to make me mad and if that means making Harry angry, then he'll do it.

"I should go home." I finally decide.

I'm a liability; just standing here is going to cause trouble with not only Tom, but with William as well. Harry shakes his head wildly, taking a step towards me.

"No. Don't let him ruin tonight for us." Harry pleads with big eyes. "I won't let him bother you Shay, I promise. Just please don't go home, I need you tonight. I don't know if you can tell, but I'm a wreck. I am completely freaked out about this speech tonight, usually Louis' handles the big speech, this year it fell on me. I need you here with me Shay or I may not make it."

There's nothing but complete honesty in Harry's words and expression. He makes me feel guilty for even considering leaving this banquet and leaving his side. I'm an idiot for coming to that conclusion.

"Okay." I breathe out. "I won't leave. I'm sorry I suggested it."

Harry relaxes and leans forward pressing his lips against mine. I smile into the quick kiss and squeeze Harry's hand.

We stand behind the pillar for a few more minutes as Harry reads over his speech a bit more and as I calm myself internally. I have a feeling that once Tom sees me he's going to make it his duty to come over and speak with me. I wish he wouldn't, but unfortunately I know how he is.

"Mr. Styles."

Harry and I look to the person that's hissing at us. Louis peeks his head around the pillar and takes in our hands joined and our bodies hidden behind the barrier. He rolls his eyes before pulling us both out from behind the pillar and motioning to a man that standing a few meters away from Harry.

I gasp and wiggle out of Harry's hand, seeing as the man is Mr. William Chapman himself. The woman at his arm is only the world's largest snobby wife, Clarisse Chapman.

Before I make it two feet away Mr. Chapman's voice sounds Harry's name and I'm stuck standing awkwardly between Louis and Harry. Louis' is staring down at me with clear confusion across his features before he looks to the couple that has just approached our small group with a warm smile on his lips.

Harry spins me around by grabbing my hand and I force myself to stare at the floor, hoping the two won't recognize me if my heads down. It's completely rude and for anyone else I would look to them, but with the Chapman's I just can't.

"Mr. Styles." Mr. Chapman's gruff voice sounds in front of us but I keep my eyes on his perfectly shined shoes and the hem of his wife's pearly white dress. Of course she would wear white to a foundation banquet, the dress, at least the bottom, looks to be a wedding dress.

"Ah, Mr. Chapman." Harry reaches forward with his hand shaking his hand. "Mrs. Chapman, you look stunning." He compliments, taking her hand and giving it a soft kiss to the top. I want to vomit. "Glad you both could make it tonight." He's being very polite and I pray that introducing me will completely slip his mind. Unfortunately, it's customary to introduce the woman at your side in formal greetings, or if you want to be remotely polite. "I'd like to introduce you to my girlfriend, Shay Nichols."

Fuck.

I slowly raise my head and meet the gaze of the two people I had hoped I'd never have to see ever again. They both stare back at me with wide eyes and unreadable expressions. I cannot tell what they're thinking, but I know them well enough to hope they won't make a scene. I find myself wanting to run and hide, but I maintain my composure.

"Well, well, well, Ms. Nichols." Mr. Chapman says deeply. I nod my head, pursing my lips together and sliding my hand discretely into Harry's for comfort. He gives my hand to squeeze as if to silently say that it's going to be okay. "It's been such a long time."

"It has."

"You're dating Mr. Styles now?" Clarisse chimes in with her nasally voice. It takes everything in my power not to reply with a snide comment but instead remain quiet. "I bet your parents are very happy."

I knew they would think that as soon as they found out. All our old money parents' care about is marrying their child off to someone with wealth, and though Harry is from new money he's still one of the wealthiest people in this city, hell this country.

I glance to Harry, seeing the sorrowful expression his face holds. I feel awful, so I do my best to smile through the pain and speak with these people like an adult.

"Yes, they are." I bite out. My parents couldn't care less about me right now. "Thank you both so much for attending this evening, it means so much for the children." I remind, putting emphasis on the word children. I'm hoping I can get the spotlight off me and onto the real reason we're all here tonight.

Mr. Chapman smiles wildly and his laugh booms loudly throughout the room, almost too loudly. 

"Well it's just our pleasure." He replies. "Oh Tom," He calls over his shoulder to the man who I don't realize is closer than before, "Ms. Nichols you remember our son Tom, correct?"

You fucking bastard... how could I forget?

"Shay, what a surprise!" I fight the urge to vomit as Tom and his wife join the circle of people we've created. I smile over at him with pressed lips and glance to Harry. He's incredibly silent, as is Louis' who looks completely oblivious to the situation at hand. "Babe, this is the old friend I ran into the other day at the shoppes." Tom says to the woman at his arm.

His parents look quite surprised by the fact that we ran into each other, but it's not like they would know unless Tom is attached to mummy and daddy like a fucking dog.

"Unfortunately." I mutter under my breath, earning a small nudge from Harry's elbow. I ignore it and wrap my arm around Harry's bicep, leaning into his embrace. "Tom, you remember my mention of Harry, correct."

The sick smile on Tom's lips grows double in size as the woman on his arm looks completely bored out of her mind.

"Ah, yes Harry." Tom reaches out to shake hands with Harry, which Harry slowly returns.

"It's Mr. Styles to you." This time I'm the one to nudge Harry in the ribs. He's used to the attitude coming from me, but I'm not used to him throwing out attitude. "Thank you so much for coming out tonight." Harry says through gritted teeth.

Unlike Harry, Tom completely skips over introducing us to his wife and begins to make some smug remark about how amazing the foundation is. I know he can't care less about the children; this is just something his parents forced him to.

"You'll have to excuse us," Harry says after a few more minutes of awkward small talk between everyone but Tom's wife and I, "we have a banquet to attend to."

As soon as we bid goodbye to the Chapman's and insure that a big donation is made towards the foundation from William, Harry and I are on our way to our table.

"Are you okay?" I nod to Harry and put on my best smile. I don't want him to know that they ruined my evening. I don't want to put a damper on tonight. We deserve to have a good time and focus on all the amazing things that tonight will lead to.

"I'm good. Thank you so much for getting us out of that. I know he's a big donor."

"None of that matters if you're unhappy." I smile over at Harry and give his hand a squeeze.

"As long as I'm at your side, I couldn't be happier." 

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