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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33. ✗ thirty-two ✗

SHAY

 

“I had fun today.” I mutter as I slip my shirt over my head and throw my blouse from the day into my suitcase. “Especially at the bakery.” I add, glancing over my shoulder to ensure that Harry’s not looking from his place on the bed.

 

We’d spent easily over four hours in the homey bakery with the older ladies and Sam. They told stories of Harry during his youth and how much of a hard worker he was. Harry spent the entire time rolling his eyes and trying to defend himself in some of the stories that they told me.

 

The rest of the time seemed like twenty questions about me. They wanted to know where I grew, how old I am, what I do for a living, where I live, what my hopes and dreams are, they wanted to know all.

 

“Can I open my eyes now?” I chuckle and shake my head, though Harry cannot see me.

 

I hear him shuffle around in the bed behind me as I take my jeans off and begin to search around for my pajama shorts. I shuffle around my clothing, wondering where I packed them. The past few nights have been cool, but the house seems extra steamy this evening and I know I won’t be able to sleep well sweating.

 

“How about now?” I squeal when Harry’s arms wrap around my waist, resting on my stomach.

 

My bottom lip gets taken into my mouth by my teeth as I begin to breathe heavily. My heart begins to race as my eyes dart down at Harry’s hand placements, hoping they don’t slip lower.

 

Damnit, where are those fucking shorts?

 

Even as I’m internally freaking the hell out I still find myself getting slightly turned on with his hands on my body.

 

“Um, Harry.” I squeak lightly, hoping that he’ll remove his hands if he hears how very uncomfortable I am. He hums, his chest vibrating against my back, sending a shiver down my spine. I can’t tell if I’m more freaked out at the moment and uncomfortable or if I’m more turned on and hot and bothered. His hands start to slide out, finding my hips, his motions freezing. “Uh…”

 

His one hand slowly begins to slide down to the top of my thigh as his lips make contact with my neck. All of his motions stop immediately, his lips pulling from my skin as I start to breath heavier.

 

“Shay, please tell me you’re wearing pants.” Harry utters, his voice almost breathless. I gulp loudly and watch as his hand stays completely motionless on my skin; his warm palm almost burning my skin where he touches me. “Fuck.” He hisses when he doesn’t receive an answer. “Can I open my eyes now?” I roll my eyes before shoving him off me lightly, his hands falling from my hip and thigh. “I ruined the moment didn’t I?”

 

“What moment?” I ask as I bend down and finally find my shorts hiding under one of Harry’s t-shirts, which somehow found its way into my suitcase. I pull them on quickly before turning and pattering around Harry to the bed. I jump in and snuggle underneath the light duvet, pulling it up to my chin. “Okay, you can open them.” Harry spins around quickly, looking slightly confused at my placement.

 

“Tease.” Is all he mutters, causing me to giggle.

 

“In what way?” I ponder whilst Harry comes to the bed and gets underneath the duvet with me.

 

“In all the ways.”

 

“Shut up.”

 

“Never.”

 

Harry lies down and flicks off the lamp so that darkness falls upon us. I turn onto my side and slide closer to Harry, intertwining our legs together whilst I rest my head down on his bare chest. He hums in contentment as I begin to trace patterns on his chest, some corresponding to the tattoos that litter the area. I’ve learned that he likes when I trace his tattoos, either that or when I run my fingers through his hair.

 

I find that once my eyesight adjusts to the darkness that my eyes never leave the art on his torso. The opaque ink seeming to glow in the dark, if possible. My eyes always seem to fit on the butterfly right in the middle of his torso, though I’m not a large fan of butterflies I am very interested in the invested detail the butterfly possesses. His tattoo artist has a true gift.

 

I’ve never really found that guys with tattoos were all too attractive. I really don’t like the sleeves that some guys get, the ink messily scribbled out on their skin for all to see. I like to see some tan skin instead of black ink, but Harry’s an exception. Harry’s always the exception it seems. I don’t know what it is about them on his body, but they make me swoon.

 

“Did this hurt?” I whisper, tracing the butterfly.

 

Harry’s arm wraps around me and his hand rests on my hip, his thump caressing the skin underneath my t-shirt. I doubt he’ll admit the truth to me, he likes to play tough guy. Once he ran into the coffee table in the lounge and played it off as if it were nothing. I found him in his room ten minutes later, cursing like a mad man whilst rubbing his toe.

 

“A bit.” I shuffle around a bit so that I’m basically lying on Harry and resting my chin on his chest. I raise my eyebrows at him, causing him to chuckle. “Okay it hurt a lot, but totally worth it.” I shrug and place a chaste kiss to his chest.

 

“Why all the tattoos?” I wonder.

 

I’ve always thought about getting a tattoo, especially during my rebellious teenage years when I would do anything to defy my parents. In the end I swore it off because whatever would piss my parents off would be forever on my skin.

 

“Why not?” He shrugs. I’ve never actually asked him this question before, but it’s always something I wonder about, even before we were close. “It’s my body, my canvas. I want to paint my story right here.”

 

“I like your tattoos. They make you unique.” I say, a yawn leaving my lips as I press another kiss to his chest. “Do you have any you regret?” Harry chuckles underneath me, his chest vibrating as he runs a hand through his messy curls.

 

“I got my buddy a tattoo gun one year for his birthday and he let me use it once.”

 

“You tattooed yourself?” I question, my jaw dropping. Harry bites his lip and nods to me. “What’d you tattoo?”

 

“I tattooed the word big on my big toe.” I roll my eyes and can’t help but burst out in laughter at the thought.

 

“You’re an idiot.”

 

“But you love me.”

 

“I do, very much.” I admit, rolling back onto my side so that I’m comfortably lying in his embrace. “I can’t believe we’re leaving tomorrow.” I pout lightly. If it were up to me, we’d never leave.

 

I’ve grown up in a city, I’ve lived in the city my entire life. Until now I never knew what silence was like. Harry’s neighborhood isn’t that loud, but it’s not this peaceful and quiet either.

 

“Yeah.” He mutters.

 

“I wish we could stay longer.”

 

“Me too.” He agrees, pressing a kiss to the top of my head. “But we’ll come back. How about we plan a trip back here in a few months?”

 

“I’d like that very much.”

 

“Okay.”

 

We lie in complete silence for a bit just listening to each other breath and each other’s hearts thumping lightly.

 

My mind still can’t wrap around the words shared at the bakery today when we first got there. Cindy’s words continuously swirling around in my brain still to this hour, even after she brought it up the first time she still continued to make things unintentionally awkward.

 

“There should be a ring on this finger.”

 

“They’re young and they’re in love, I can sense it.”

 

“You both just need to be married already.”

 

“Your children will be gorgeous.”

 

That last one really got me, and I’m almost 100% positive that it got to Harry as well.

 

At the time we both froze up, my hand squeezing his larger one upon instinct. Harry’s face lost all colour and he faked a phone call to get out of the conversation a bit, stepping outside. He acted off since she brought it up, but quickly forgot about it when they started sharing stories of his youth.

 

I couldn’t blame him for being uncomfortable though. I know how much he loves me and I can’t help but think of how he feels. He never tells me these things.

 

I don’t know if he’s angry that this baby isn’t his or not. I don’t know what he’s feeling because he won’t tell me in fear of hurting my feelings. I wish he would talk to me though. I almost lost it today when he left me alone in the bakery to fend for myself.

 

“Harry?” I mutter, hoping that he hasn’t fallen asleep yet. Judging by the way his breathing is still uneven and his thumb is drawing circles on my hip, I gather that he’s still up.

 

“Yeah?”

 

“Thank you for taking me to the bakery today.” I say. I don’t want to come right out and say it; maybe he’ll get the picture and speak for himself. I don’t want to push something that may lead to a fight or something. “I really enjoyed getting to know everyone and talking with them. They’re a great group of people.”

 

“They are, aren’t they?” He mutters, chuckling lightly.

 

“Especially Cindy.” I push, hoping that Harry will get my drift and talk to me about some of the things she hinted at today. He stiffens ever so slightly, but it’s enough for me to feel it.

 

“She’s just a bit crazy.”

 

“No, she’s sweet.”

 

“Yeah.” He sighs out, pulling my body closer to him. I sigh to myself and shut my eyes. As much as I would love to talk to Harry about this, I know he doesn’t want to, so I won’t push him.

 

“Goodnight Harry.” I whisper, placing a kiss to his side before I turn over and hug onto his arm as his hand rests on top of my stomach. He kisses the back of my head, making me smile and sigh in contentment.

 

“Night, love, sleep tight.”

 

^^^

 

HARRY

 

Shay thinks she’s good at hinting at things without thinking I’ll notice, but she’s really not. I can hear the shift change in her voice and basically read her features like a book, even in the dark. I know she wants to talk about what Cindy brought up today, probably why I left the bakery for a few minutes to clear my head and breathe. I know it wasn’t a smart thing to do at the time, but I couldn’t help it. Being in there with them questioning everything and bringing up sore subjects made my head spin.

 

Cindy’s words just keep on spinning in my head, giving me a headache. She’s never been like that before, but granted I’ve never brought a girl to meet them. Maybe she senses something that I don’t.

 

“They’re young and they’re in love, I can sense it.”

 

She was 100% correct about that one. Shay and I are in love. I love Shay more than another man could ever love another woman. I love her so much that it hurts sometimes. My love for Shay keeps me up some nights, just thinking of ways to make her happy and love me back. Of course that was before I knew that she loved me. Now that I know it’s taken a bit of a load off, but it’s still painfully wonderful.

 

Most of the time I just want to take Shay away, just her and I, no one else. My heart sings to be alone with her for more time than there are hours of the day.

 

Sometimes I think that if we could, I’d move us to an island, somewhere warm and sunny, where no one can bother us and we can just be in love. I dream of running away with her, going with her until the end of the Earth. I’ll do anything to be with her. I’ll do anything to make her happy.

 

I honestly don’t know if Cindy knows exactly how in love with Shay I truly am, but maybe she does if she’s hinting at bigger and brighter things.

 

“There should be a ring on this finger.”

 

“You both just need to be married already.”

 

If it were up to me, Shay and I would have been married from the first day she set foot in my office that fall day in 2012. I remember the day like the back of my hand. I know exactly what she wore that day, a black pencil skirt with a matching blazer and a white blouse underneath, and exactly how her dark hair was styled, up in a high ponytail. She had bangs back then, coming just down beyond her perfectly sculpted eyebrows. She didn’t wear that much makeup that day, not that she needs any to look gorgeous.

 

I remember finding out about her from the chancellor at the local university, an old friend of my father’s. He spoke fondly of her and her incredible talent and knowledge as only a first year student. He only knew of her for a mere few weeks, yet he saw so much potential. I knew I wanted her the minute he spoke of her work ethic, professionalism, goal to attain her degree in finance and marketing, and of course the quirky humor he noted. He scheduled us the meeting later on that week, after I offered to give her credit for her time with me.

 

After a week of her on the job, I wanted nothing more than to keep her around permanently. I needed her. As sad as it sounds, I was, and still am, dependent on her, as childish as it sounds. I thought I could function perfectly without her, my old assistant nothing but a middle aged woman with too many children and a husband that wanted to move on to bigger and better things in a different country, hence the reason why I needed a new assistant.

 

Looking back at those times now I have no idea how Shay didn’t know I had feelings for her from the start. I thought I was completely obvious with it, not that I was trying to be. I would buy her coffee in the morning, when it should have been the other way around. I would invite her into my office to do our prep for meetings and then ask her to stick around just to talk. I held doors open for her, well I do that for all women, but still. Sometimes when she was so engrossed in work she wouldn’t notice me watching her from my office door, even if I had called her name multiple times.

 

Louis always gave me crap, still does actually; he still thinks I don’t have the balls to really ask her out. He thinks that we’re just good friends. I’m actually surprised that he didn’t come to the office more than he did back then. He always wanted to mess with me in front of Shay, but too bad he never got his chance. He’ll have a cow when he finds out about us.

 

Marriage.

 

The only fault in my plan is Shay’s feelings. Does she even want to be married?

 

After seeing her parents marriage and the way they treat their daughter, I don’t know if she’ll ever want to fall in their footsteps of marriage. Her parents almost forced her to marry right out of sixth form; maybe she never wants to be married. I don’t know what her past relationships have been like and whether they scared her off at the thought of ever being married.

 

There’s still so much to learn about Shay before we take it to the next step in our relationship. If it weren’t for those doubts in my mind, I would propose right now, ring or no ring.

 

I glance down at the girl huddled up beside me, she’s clutching onto my arm as if I’ll disappear in the midst of the night. I can tell she’s not asleep yet. Her breathing is still uneven and her fingertips are tickling the skin of my inked arm. She likes to trace my tattoos until her eyelids fall heavy. I don’t know if she is aware that I know exactly what she’s doing.

 

My eyes scan down her body further to her almost flat stomach. She’s still not showing, but I cannot seem to wait until the day she does.

 

Shay seems to have gotten more beautiful since being pregnant. They say that there’s this glow that women get when they’re with child. Shay’s definitely got it. I’ve read that women can sometimes get really bad acne when they’re pregnant, but not Shay. Her skin is clear as day, tanned to perfection.

 

“Your children will be gorgeous.”

 

I can’t help but replay Cindy’s words every time I look at my girl. I know what I shouldn’t be feeling and as hard as I try not to feel the awful jealousy, I can’t seem to help it. Our children would be gorgeous; if they looked anything like Shay and I I’d be perfectly happy. But this baby that she’s carrying isn’t mine. I try not to feel jealous, but it’s hard not too. I find myself wishing that it were mine though, so I could have this special bond with Shay, in the form of a beautiful baby boy or girl.

 

I’ve always wanted kids. A boy or girl, I’d be happy with either. My good friend Lou, who I met in university before my father died, was going to a beauty school. She’s amazingly talented with hair and makeup. She gave me my haircuts until recently when I’ve been letting my curly hair grow out. Anyways, she has a daughter, Lux, of nearly five. I treat her like a princess. I spoil the crap out of her even though Lou hates when I do. If I could have a kid, I’d want him or her to be as great as Lux.

 

It scares me thinking about the father of Shay’s kid. If he finds about the baby he could potentially fight for custody, even if his ass is in jail. I doubt a sane jury would ever allow it, but I never want that child to have to meet that monster of a man. He may be their father, but he will never be their dad. It also scares me to think about what Shay’s child is going to think of me.

 

“Shay.” I blurt out.

 

I don’t want to bother her with my worries right now, but I find myself unable to hold it in. I glance down to the girl in my arms, noticing the steady rhythm that her chest is raising and falling in. Her motions have stilled, signaling she’s asleep.

 

“Damnit.” I mutter, sighing lightly.

 

I take a couple of deep breaths to calm myself down from waking Shay and pondering her about the burning questions that race through my mind. I glance down one last time to the beautiful girl, pressing a long kiss to the back of her head as if it were the last time I’d ever get to kiss her before drifting off into a peaceful slumber.

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