You + Me + Him

Alyssa Rossi has always been in love with Zayn Malik. Zayn has always been her best friend, but never shared her feelings. Harry Styles was Zayn’s pesky step-brother and has always hated Alyssa because she and Zayn always got into trouble together. They were teenagers, now they’re all adults. Things can change in a blink of an eye. And they did.

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6. 6: The one with the fight…

Fall 2015

 

“Why are you so quiet?” Doniya asked Alyssa as they sat in Trisha’s master bathroom getting their hair and makeup done for the charity event that evening.

“Oh… uh, I’ve just got a lot on my mind,” Alyssa said, sitting up a little straighter in her chair, realizing how blasé she was being.

“Is Zayn being a pain in the ass again?” She asked knowingly. She knew all about how big of a shit her brother could be.

“How’d you know?” Alyssa said sarcastically, smiling weakly at her.

But the truth was, she wasn’t even thinking about Zayn. Her mind was on the boy that was sitting two floors below them – Harry

“What did he do now?” Waliyha asked, rolling her eyes.

“It was nothing. We just… we kind of got into a fight,” Alyssa told them, trying to wave it off.

“What about?” Doniya asked, sending her a puzzled look.

Alyssa looked over at Trisha who was currently getting her hair put up by the stylist she hired to do all their hair and makeup. She didn’t exactly want to air her and Zayn’s dirty laundry in front of his mother. It didn’t seem right somehow. 

“No need to refrain because of me. I know my son has a terrible track record. He’s always been so careless with people’s feelings,” Trisha said, looking at Alyssa through the mirror.

“We just got into a fight over this girl he had over to the house,” Alyssa told them truthfully, trying to be as vague as possible.

“When are you going to tell him how you feel?” Waliyha blurted out, catching Alyssa completely off guard.

“What?” Alyssa choked out. Her eyes went back and forth between Trisha and Zayn’s sisters, feeling the panic rise in her chest. They were all giving her a knowing look, like they’d known all along.

“Alyssa, everyone knows how you feel about Zayn,” Waliyha said finally.

“Everyone?” She asked, feeling her throat closing up at the thought. Trisha nodded matter-of-factly, giving her a sympathetic look.

“Frankly, I don’t know why you’ve stayed around as long as you have,” Trisha said casually.

“Just tell him,” Waliyha encouraged.

“I-I… I don’t know if I feel that way anymore. Well, yeah, I still love him. He’s my best friend, but… I don’t know…” Alyssa stammered. It was one thing to think those things in her head, but it was a whole other ball game speaking them aloud… in front of people.

“You may be kidding yourself, but you can’t fool us, Alyssa,” Doniya said knowingly, taking a sip of the mimosa she had in her hand.

Alyssa hated it. She hated being so hung up on Zayn. But most of all, she hated that everyone knew.

“I-I… I’m going to go put my dress on,” Alyssa stammered, feeling her whole body heat up with unwanted embarrassment.

“Oh, Alyssa. We didn’t want to make you feel uncomfortable,” Trisha called after her.

“No, no. I’m fine. We’ve got to get going. It’s almost time to go,” Alyssa told her before she fled the bathroom. 

She made her way to Zayn’s room – Zayn’s old room, closing the door behind her. She took a deep breath trying to calm her nerves. She hated this. Tonight wasn’t going to be easy to get through – not with the black cloud hanging over her and Zayn.

Alyssa pulled the long black, flowing gown out of the garment bag it was housed in and re-hung it on the door, looking at it. It was a beautiful dress – she just wished someone besides herself would appreciate her in it. 

She removed her clothing and stepped into the gown, trying her hardest to zip it up herself – to no avail. She growled under her breath, realizing she was going to need help to actually finish getting dressed. She opened up Zayn’s door to go back to the master bath so Trisha or one of the girls could finish the job, but as she turned down the hall she bumped smacked dab into another body – Harry. 

“Oh my god!” Alyssa shouted.

“Alyssa,” he said, grabbing her bare arms in his hands to steady the two of them.

“Sorry. I’m sorry,” she said, feeling absolutely flustered.

“It’s okay,” he chuckled, lessening his grip on her before finally letting go altogether.

She was blushing, she knew it. Her ass was practically hanging out of the back of the dress and she was standing in front of her crushes little brother.

“Do you… do you need some help?” He asked, noticing her dress practically falling off of her. 

She had to look down to make sure it wasn’t. She wasn’t wearing a bra and with the back being open, it was pretty loose on her chest. Luckily, it was all good. She wasn’t having a major wardrobe malfunction. 

“Uh, I can’t zip it up myself,” Alyssa told him, her mouth going dry with the words.

“I can help… if that’s okay,” Harry said, and she noticed the slight pinking of his cheeks.

“Uh, as long as you don’t look at my ass,” Alyssa smirked at him, trying to ease the tension a bit.

“I can’t make any promises,” he said, smiling slyly as he slid behind her. 

She felt his fingers grasp the zipper, gently grazing the skin right above the top of her thong. She froze instantly, realizing how intimate it all was. 

“You look beautiful,” Harry said quietly, his voice coming out in more of a whisper.

Alyssa was shocked. Absolutely Speechless. She had no idea what to say in response. She was silent for a few moments before she finally spoke, her mouth void of all moisture.

“Thank you,” she croaked out, the words coming out slightly raspy.

“You’re welcome,” he replied before she turned to look at him.

He had a slight smile on his face – hidden away at the corner of his mouth.

“You know, you don’t look half bad yourself, Styles,” Alyssa smirked at him, admiring how well he cleaned up in his tux.

“Thanks,” he said as his features took on a full-on bashful smile. 

The moment got awkward in about 2.5 seconds as they stood there looking at each other. Harry cleared his throat, breaking both of them out of their daze.

“So, uh, are the other girls ready?” He asked quickly.

“They’re in the process. What about your dad and, uh, Zayn?” Alyssa inquired.

“We’re all just waiting,” Harry said with a sideways smile.

“Okay, well… I’ll go try to push the girls along,” she told him, darting her eyes away from him.

“Alright,” he said and let her pass down the hallway.

At six p.m. sharp, the whole group of them were rolling out the door to the limo. Zayn didn’t say two words to Alyssa while they waited or even while they were in the limo. He did a great job of ignoring everyone by texting on his phone the whole time. Alyssa kept up an animated conversation with Waliya, Doniya and Alex, Doniya’s boyfriend, to show she didn’t give two shits that Zayn wasn’t talking to her. Trisha and Des talked quietly with one another in the corner of the limo, while Harry sat quietly, looking quite nervous.

Once they arrived at the event Zayn helped Alyssa out of the limo by taking her hand, which surprised the hell out of her. And then he proceeded to hold out his arm to guide her in. If she knew one thing about Zayn though, it would be that the boy loved to make an entrance. His silent treatment continued as they got inside the venue though, going directly to the bar to get a drink, not bothering to offer to get her one. Once he strolled away from the bar, Alyssa walked up to get her own drink.

“Alyssa? Alyssa Rossi?” She heard a male’s voice from behind her. 

She spun to see a face she hadn’t seen in quite a long time – a face that once upon a time she would have loved to stomp on with her stiletto. 

“Hugo Reid,” Alyssa breathed, feeling a wave of resentment and annoyance hit her hard.

“You remember,” he said, sending her an arrogant smile.

“How could I forget?” She retorted spitefully.

 

Summer 2006

 

Alyssa was waiting very patiently for Robbie, Zayn and Harry to get to the basketball court so they could play their game. They planned the night before to meet there at noon. But it was now twelve-fifteen and they were nowhere to be seen. Luckily, Alyssa had the ball so she was able to get a little practice in before they got there – not that she needed it though.

From a distance she saw a group of four boys coming toward the basketball court where she stood. She squinted, but didn’t recognize who it was. She thought it might be the guys, but who would have been their fourth player? As the boys got closer, Alyssa recognize them from school – Hugo, Tommy, John and Shane. They were what you would call ‘popular’. They were on the boy’s basketball team and they literally thought they ruled the school. But they were just a bunch of assholes in her opinion. 

Alyssa groaned inwardly as they made their way onto the court. 

“Get off. We’re playing now,” Hugo told her snidely.

“No. I’m waiting for my friends. We’re playing,” Alyssa retorted immediately.

“Seriously, leave,” he snapped at her.

“No!” She shot back.

“Don’t make me remove you,” Hugo said.

“Don’t freakin’ touch me,” she practically growled at him.

“Listen to the mouth on this one,” Hugo laughed with all his friends.

“Find somewhere else to play. This court is taken,” Alyssa spat at him.

“I don’t think you understand, lesbian. We’re playing on this court,” Hugo said viciously.

“Lesbian?” Alyssa scoffed. If he only knew the thoughts she had for her new friend Zayn, he most definitely wouldn’t be calling her a lesbian.

“Yeah, you’re flat-chested and you only hang out with dudes. You’re a lesbian,” Hugo retorted. Alyssa was only thirteen. She was working as hard as she could to sprout some boobs – no need to get nasty.

“What did you just say to her?” Alyssa heard Zayn from behind her. She spun to see all three of her friends – Robbie, Zayn, and Harry.

“Here’s your girlfriends now, LESBIAN!” Hugo said, making fun of all of them. 

Seconds later Alyssa saw Zayn’s fist get introduced to Hugo’s face. She couldn’t believe her eyes. It all happened so fast. All of the guys jumped in to start some sort of basketball court brawl and it was just so surreal, among other things. It was intense and scary – especially seeing her friends fighting… for her. In her honor.

“STOP! JUST STOP!” Alyssa screamed over and over. It didn’t break up until a few parents from the park came and broke it up, sending them all scattering home.

All of the boys were pretty scuffed up, but Zayn got it the worst. His nose was so bloody that Alyssa was sure it was broken. He had to take off his shirt just to catch the cascade of blood that gushed out of it. Alyssa cried the entire time they walked back to their house. Stuff like that just didn’t happen in real life. But it did happen, and it scared the crap out of her. 

“Don’t cry, Lyss,” Robbie said, wrapping his arm around her shoulder.

“I’m fine, Alyssa,” Zayn said, rolling his eyes.

“You’re not! Look at you,” Alyssa cried.

His shirt was sopping with blood. He had blood dripping down his bare chest. His mouth was all bloody – so bloody that she couldn’t even tell if it was from his nose or if that too was bleeding. It was a nightmare.

“I’ll be fine,” he assured her again. She just shook her head, knowing it wouldn’t be fine. Zayn stopped in his tracks, grabbing her arms in his hands.

“Lyssy… I am fine. Stop crying,” he told her firmly, looking straight into her eyes.

“You just got blood on my shirt,” Alyssa said with a straight face.

“Sorry,” he said immediately. 

Seconds later they both started laughing. They were all a pathetic sight. But Alyssa couldn’t help but ooze out love for the three of them. They were standing up for her in the most obvious way possible. They had her back. She loved them all.

 

“So what have you been up to, Alyssa?” Hugo asked as they stood by the bar, as if Alyssa gave off some vibe that alluded to her wanting to carry on a conversation with him.

“Uh, not a whole lot,” she said before she took a sip of her gin and tonic, her eyes scanning the venue, wondering where her date ran off to. She knew Zayn would be ripe with hatred if he knew Hugo Reid was anywhere in his vicinity.

“You look truly beautiful,” Hugo told her as his eyes scanned up and down her body in an obvious manner – in turn, giving Alyssa the heebie-jeebies. Smugly, she thought to herself, how do you like my flat chest now, mother fucker?

“Uh, thanks,” she replied awkwardly, wishing she didn’t have to endure anymore small-talk with him.

“Are you like, still friends with that Malik guy?” He asked, quirking an eyebrow at her.

“Uh, yes. Zayn is still my best friend. We actually live together now. And he’s my date tonight,” Alyssa explained to him.

“If he’s your date then where is he?” Hugo asked, taking a step toward her, making it obvious that he wanted to make a move on her.

“I’m right here,” Zayn said, practically coming out of nowhere, like some god damn white knight, wrapping his arm around her waist, pulling her close to his body. All she could do was stare at Zayn and wonder what the hell was even going through his head at that point. Though, his timing couldn’t have been any more perfect.

“I’ve been looking all over for you, darling,” Zayn said, looking over at Alyssa with a knee-weakening smile. Darling? She knew he was obviously putting on a show for Hugo, but she was more than grateful for it.

“Oh, have you?” Alyssa asked, quirking her eyebrow noticeably.

“Mm-hmm,” he said, leaning his face toward hers. 

Zayn kissed her lips delicately before pulling back. He was playing games, but luckily that time they weren’t with her. He was trying to one-up Hugo.

“Nice to see you again, Hugo,” Zayn said before pulling Alyssa along with him, leaving Hugo in their wake. 

Zayn guided Alyssa to their table with his hand on the small of her back. It felt good to get the hell away from Hugo, because he gave her the creeps, but it unnerved her a little because of the way Zayn did it. They weren’t in a relationship, like he seemed to portray. And it kind of annoyed her that he thought she wanted to pretend with him just to get her away from another guy. What if it was just some random nice guy whose company she was enjoying? Zayn might have ruin something with a potential suitor. 

Alyssa’s annoyance level for Zayn sky rocketed, especially when he went back to ignoring her during dinner, and continued to ignore her through all of the speeches the speakers gave for the charity. Awesome. Maybe she’d have to go find Hugo again just so she could get some attention from her date.

After dinner, guests started to make their way out to the dance floor, dancing to the house band’s music. As Trisha and Des got up to dance, Alyssa noticed Harry disappear from the table, and she wondered if he found a lady to dance with.

“Where did Harry go?” Alyssa asked Doniya, who was sitting to her left.

“He’s going to be performing soon,” she explained, catching Alyssa completely off guard.

“Performing?” She asked, quite confused.

“Yeah. Singing,” she clarified.

“Really?” Alyssa asked, looking up at the house band that was on stage. She tried to picture Harry up there singing, but she just couldn’t. The only times she ever heard him sing was at his house, tucked away in the music room with his piano.

“Yeah, you didn’t know?” Doniya asked, with a puzzled look on her face.

“My date failed to mention it,” Alyssa grumbled before leaning over toward Zayn.

“You didn’t tell me that Harry was performing tonight,” she stated.

“I didn’t think it was that big of a deal,” Zayn said, shrugging his shoulders, not even bothering to look up at her from his phone.

“What do you mean? Your brother is performing… onstage… in front of people. That’s a pretty big deal, Zayn,” Alyssa told him.

He shrugged his shoulders again and continued texting. Alyssa growled inwardly, about ready to let Zayn have a piece of her mind, but instead held it in and watched Doniya’s boyfriend Alex lead her out onto the dance floor. It was only Zayn and Alyssa left at the table, which made her feel absolutely worthless.

“Are you even going to ask me to dance?” Alyssa asked him.

“I didn’t think you’d want to dance with someone that is such a slut,” he retorted viciously. Alyssa rolled her eyes at his petty remark.

“Wow. Never mind,” she scoffed.

“What?” He asked, finally looking up at her, his dark eyes narrowed at her.

“You’re such a child,” she replied spitefully.

“Hmm,” he hummed, pursing his lips at her.

“You can’t even pretend for one night to be a half-decent human being. You’re the one who begged me to be your date for this thing and here I am, feeling like the most worthless person on the planet because you won’t even talk to me, let alone look at me. Thanks for a great time, Zayn,” Alyssa snapped, standing up so she could get away from him. She slid her chair in toward the table and began to walk away from him.

“Wait,” he said, grabbing her wrist before she had a chance to free herself from him.

“What?” She snapped, spinning around to face him.

“I’m sorry,” he said with a sigh.

“I’ll make sure to mark this day down on my calendar. ‘The second time in history that Zayn Malik apologized for something shitty he did,’” Alyssa shot at him sarcastically.

“What did I do!?” He yelled back at her. 

Well, shit. She really didn’t have an answer for that. ‘You slept with another girl?’ No, that wasn’t an excuse. ‘You made me fall in love with you so hard I can’t get out?’ No, that excuse wouldn’t work. ‘You pressured me into moving in with you after I knew things would turn out exactly the way I didn’t want them to?’ Maybe. 

“I’m just sick of the way you treat me,” she told him vaguely.

“And how is that?” He asked, appalled by her answer.

“You’re only nice to me when you want something from me – namely sex,” she shot at him.

“That is not true, Lyssy,” he said, his voice softening.

“And you constantly call me Lyssy. I fucking hate that,” she told him, getting even more worked up.

“Come on, that’s a term of endearment,” he said with a slight smirk.

“Zayn, I’m just sick of you using me,” she said with a sigh.

“I do not use you,” he retorted.

“Oh. Hmm. I must have misread everything then,” she said sarcastically.

“Alyssa, can we talk about this later?” He asked, looking annoyed with her.

“Later? Are you serious?” She asked him. Of course he was going to shirk the conversation, because god forbid he be called out on his bullshit.

“Yeah, later. Later when we’re not standing in the middle of a ballroom wearing ridiculous clothing at a freaking charity event. Later,” he argued.

“Yeah, whatever,” Alyssa said with a roll of her eyes, knowing the conversation wouldn’t be breeched again.

“Dance with me?” He asked finally, holding out his hand. Alyssa narrowed her eyes at him, trying to read his intentions. 

It took her a few moments to debate whether or not she wanted to even be around him at the moment, but of course her heart won over her head and she took his hand. He led her gracefully out on the dance floor near the rest of his family. Zayn pulled Alyssa close to him and held her there. Their faces sat cheek-to-cheek, which she was kind of grateful for. She didn’t really want to look into his stupid beautiful brown eyes and cave like she usually did. His eyes always made her weak. She couldn’t fight her feelings if she looked into them. And her annoyance for him was at a level where both her head and heart wanted to fight her feelings for him – rip them up and burn them until they were ashes. Because it got to the point where the butterflies all flew away and just left a gaping hole in her chest cavity from where they escaped. Zayn no longer made her happy, but made her bitter instead. There wasn’t much more bullshit she could handle from him.

After their dance, the emcee got on the mic and introduced Harry Styles as their esteemed musical guest. And somehow, some way the butterflies found their way back to her and began their rapid assault on her stomach again – for Harry.

 

 

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