In Transit

When Mason meets a mysterious guy at a club and goes home with him, she doesn’t ever expect to see him again. But when their paths cross again two years later, they both instantly feel the undeniable force between them. Mason is desperate to forget the demons of her past, while Harry lives a life fighting off his own. But after a life-changing revelation, he is determined to free them once and for all, and hopes he can help Mason in the same way she has helped him.

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4. Four

February 2018

 

Mason’s eyes blinked open and she found herself waking up in the bedroom that used to be hers at her grandmother’s house – the bedroom that usually was the center of her nightmares.

“No, no, no,” she whimpered as she threw her legs over the side of the bed, wanting to be anywhere but there.

Before she could make a run for it though, the bedroom door opened, making her blood run cold because she knew what was coming next. She knew. She was stuck in the beginning of the nightmare, reliving the past – reliving reality.

“Please, no,” she whispered as she shut her eyes tightly, praying the outcome would be different somehow.

She didn’t even believe in God anymore, but she was brought back to the times she would pray to him in her childhood – hoping if he were real he’d hear her.

When Mason bravely opened her eyes again to face her nightmare head on, she was surprised the outcome changed – he wasn’t there. He wasn’t there where he usually stood. He wasn’t coming for her. Her breathing shuddered in her throat as she tried to control the pounding of her heart. She took a few deep breaths and stood up, knowing she had to get out of there before he came back. She was not going to be there when he came back for her.

She cautiously made her way to the bedroom door, making sure to check both ways for any danger. And when the coast was clear, she ran as fast as she could up the stairs and out the front door.

It was pitch black outside and so cold, but he wasn’t coming for her, so she wasn’t scared anymore. Nothing scared her like the inside of that house, where all her demons awaited. Nothing could get her to step foot back into that world. 

“Mason,” she heard through the whipping of the wind and she turned quickly in a circle to try to see where the voice came from.

“Who’s there?” She called out as the wind picked up, chilling her to the bone.

“Mason!” She heard louder. It was a male’s voice, but it wasn’t the man she ran from. It was the man she ran to.

“Harry?” She questioned.

“Mason, where are you? Mason, I need you,” she heard his voice again and quickly began to walk toward the sound.

“Harry, where are you?” She called out.

“Mason, I need you,” she heard again, his voice growing louder and more frightened.

“HARRY?” She called out louder yet as she trekked through the deep snow in her grandmother’s backyard.

“MASON!” She heard him yell, frightening her immediately. He was in trouble and she couldn’t find him. She needed to find him.

“HARRY, where are you? I’m coming. Where are you?” Mason cried out desperately.

“I need you. I need you,” his voice growing fainter and fainter.

“No! Harry, come back! I’m coming. Please,” she cried out, feeling the panic set in. Her feet moved as fast as they possibly could but she was getting nowhere.

“HARRY!” She screamed, but she got no response.

“HARRY!” She cried out breathlessly as she collapsed onto her knees in the freezing snow.

He was gone. She lost him. He was gone.

 

 

Mason’s eyes opened quickly as she found herself lying on the couch in her apartment, safe and sound. The TV was on some ridiculous infomercial she wasn’t watching when she fell asleep. Her heart was still beating rapidly from the dream. It was always the same – just revised a little each time. She’d been having the same reoccurring dream since she met Harry the first time at the club. His eyes haunted her. His sad soul hung over her head for years and to this day, even as she did the best she could in real life to help him, she still had the unfulfilled nightmares.

Mason jumped as she heard the text ringtone on her phone. It was nearly one in the morning, and she could almost be certain the text was from one person in particular. She pulled herself off the couch and walked to the kitchen counter where her phone was.

It had been over a month since her near nervous breakdown; since she saw the man she’d been running from. She hardly left her apartment; even when she was left with nothing but her own self-destruction. She didn’t want to chance ever running into him on this God-forsaken island. She kept a low profile, only going out for work and being there for Harry’s needs – and occasionally her own.

 

Harry:

I need you now.

 

She knew it was urgent just by the words he texted and she knew by using the word ‘now’ there was a gnawing desperation in his message. She’d never deny Harry, ever. She’d never say no to him when she was well aware it was her on the other side of that text message many times. She knew what desperate felt like.

 

Mason:

Okay, my place or yours?

Harry:

I’m in Jersey. I can’t drive. I need you to come here.

 

Mason bit her lip wondering what the hell could possibly be going on that he needed her to drive to New Jersey to sate him.

 

Harry:

Please Mason.

Mason:

Okay.

 

It took over an hour to make it to Clifton, NJ from her apartment in New York. During her drive Harry texted her specific directions to slip in the backdoor of the house through the kitchen and go directly downstairs where she would find him in the first door on the right. She wasn’t really nervous sneaking into his parent’s house. She was more nervous about what state she would find Harry in. It was not normal for either of them. They had a pretty solid routine and it never involved sneaking into childhood homes in the middle of the night.

Mason saw the light under the door and knew she reached him. When she pushed it open slowly, she found him sitting on the edge of his bed with his head in his hands. He looked up to see her standing there; his eyes so forlorn and desolate. She knew something big was plaguing him.

Mason closed the door and took a few steps in, their eyes never leaving one another’s.

“Mason,” he breathed and she watched as the dam broke; his face scrunching up with emotion.

She had never seen Harry cry. She had never seen any emotion besides sadness when they were together, but it was never a sadness like this – this was heartbreak, this was torture.

“Harry,” Mason said, taking another step forward. But she didn’t know what to do or say.

He was weeping and she was frozen solid, unaccustomed to situations like this. She learned to shut off emotions like that and she never learned how to soothe someone with those kinds of emotions.

“H-he… he’s not my father,” Harry whimpered as his face fell into his hands.

“W-what?” She stammered, the beating of her heart increasing.

“My dad – he’s not… my dad,” Harry cried, looking up into his eyes.

Ohmygod,” Mason gasped, her eyebrows furrowing. She was so confused. She didn’t know what to do.

Fuck,” Harry snarled, startling her with the anger in his tone. She noticed right away he was drunk, but even more so than she ever saw him.

“It’s their fucking anniversary – my parents. Ugh. He’s such a god damn bastard,” Harry growled, his frustration coming out hard.

 “Harry, what is going on?” Mason piped up, needing to understand him better. His tear-filled eyes looked up into hers.

“He was drunk and… and he’s… he’s always been abusive. But it was only ever to me. And I never understood it. He always got violent when he was drunk and he only ever took it out on me. And tonight… tonight he hit me and I… I fucking hit him back. I’m twenty-fucking-four years old. I’m not some fucking scared kid anymore. So I fucking hit him. And he… he lashed out, telling me that I was a mistake. I was my mother’s mistake. And I told him he was just a sorry piece of shit drunk and he told me… he fucking told me…” Harry explained before his emotions overwhelmed him again.

“Told you what, Harry?” Mason questioned, goose bumps overpowering her flesh as he told her about the darkness he lived in.

“He told me I wasn’t his son – that my mother cheated on him and that I wasn’t his,” Harry told her. She just watched on wide-eyed, shocked into submission.

“I’m not his child. My older sister Gemma is his. My younger brother Reese is his. But I’m not. How fucked up is that?” He explained, looking her straight in the eye.

“Has he always known?” She asked.

“It explains so much. I-I never understood what was wrong with me? What the fuck was so wrong with me? Why did he hate me so much? Why did he look at me differently than he did my sister and brother? Why was I so different from them? But it all makes sense. It all makes perfect fucking sense. GOD DAMN IT! He bellowed as he stood quickly. Mason could feel the anger radiating off of him.

She stood motionless as she watched him walk toward the wall, his hands coming up as he started ripping the posters and pictures off of it. And when he was done with that he stomped over to his dresser and with one huge swipe, his arm swept the top of it causing everything to fly through the air before breaking and shattering across the floor. Harry was crying and freaking out and all of a sudden he was grabbing her and throwing her up against the now bare wall, his body pressed against hers, his mouth kissing hers hard. She could feel the makings of a fat lip, he was kissing her so hard. And his fingers were almost painfully pinching her flesh as he groped her.

She should have felt differently having just learned something so big about Harry’s life. But she didn’t feel differently about him. He was still the boy who made her forget and she was still his outlet.

“Lights,” Mason breathed between his fevered kisses and he ungracefully fumbled for the light switch, pulling both of their bodies awkwardly toward it without ever breaking the kiss.

His hand came down the wall, smacking off the light switch, recovering quickly as if nothing deterred them for even a moment as he pulled her body hard up against his. A moment later he turned and tossed her down onto the mattress. He was on top of her within seconds, his mouth reconnecting with hers as his hands worked their way up her body. His kisses weren’t delicate, his groping wasn’t gentle. He was aggressive, but she knew he had a reason to be. He was releasing all of his frustrations out on her and she was okay with that.

He didn’t leave heated kisses down her body. He didn’t bother to tease and nip her skin with his stubbly face like he usually did. He just kissed hard, as his hands worked both of their jeans down. They quickly kicked out of them and he was breaking the kiss only to rip her panties off her legs. He didn’t even bother to pull his own underwear off, he just pushed them down and pressed himself roughly inside of her. She let out a hollowed cry as the roughness brought on a sharp discomfort through her lower half.

“Oh god, Harry,” she groaned as her fingers dug into the skin of his back, but he didn’t let up. He continued and she had to bite her lip as the pain multiplied within her. He went faster and faster and she was gasping as tears pricked her eyes. 

“Stop. Stop,” she whimpered, and it broke him out of the bender he was on – his body stilling immediately.

“Mason?” He breathed, looking down into her eyes, his own filled with concerned. Her breathing was ragged as she looked back up at him.

“Are you okay?” He questioned.

“I just… can we change positions?” She asked quietly.

“Yeah. Yeah, sure,” he swallowed hard as he tried to catch his breath.

He pulled out slowly, sitting up on his knees as he threw his t-shirt over his head and kicked off his underwear.

“Me on top?” She questioned.

“Yeah, sure. Sure,” he said, nodding lightly. 

She wanted to ask him if he was okay, because just a few minutes ago he wasn’t, but she bit back the question as they quietly switched positions. When she sank down on top of him, she felt none of the pain she felt earlier and she knew she just wasn’t ready for him before. He took her by surprise after the bomb he dropped on her. 

Mason quickly built up a rhythm on top of him and she found herself moaning as pleasure engulfed her body. Harry’s hands were gripping her hips tightly as her palms rested firmly against his bare chest. They have never done much beyond missionary because they both loved the control Harry had during sex, but she was beginning to find out that with her on top, it was the most pleasurable it had ever been during sex. She was plowing through an earth shattering orgasm when Harry gripped her hips tighter and pounded upward into her. She collapsed against him, her moans muffled against his chest. When her body had completely lost its rhythm, Harry flipped her onto her back and continued, only this time there was no pain – just aftershocks that kept bringing her to her brink until she fell off the cliff again and again.

When Harry finally lost himself, he rolled off of Mason onto his back next to her in the dark. She felt completely sated for the time being, their breathing ragged and loud as they lay in the bed coming down from their highs. All she could think about was how much she enjoyed their fucked up relationship for that reason alone.

As their breathing evened out, the room fell completely silent, neither of them moving a muscle. They were just there, lost in their own heads. She didn’t know what to say. She had no idea what state his mind was in, and figured if he needed to, he could spill his guts again. She would be here.

“Mason?” Harry whispered through the darkness.

“Yeah,” she answered softly.

“Could you talk to me? Talk to me about anything. I don’t care. I just… I can’t sit here thinking about… everything. I just can’t—” He said, sounding as if he might be having a panic attack.

“Sure, Harry,” she told him, but her mind was drawing a blank having been put on the spot.

“Uhh…” She stammered, unsure of what to say.

“Anything, Mason,” he said, his voice pleading.

“Have you ever wondered why the shape of a heart doesn’t actually look like a real human heart?” She asked him, saying the first thing that came to mind. There was a pause while Harry quietly contemplated it. And of course, he surprised the hell out of her by letting out an amused snicker.

“I can’t say I’ve ever really thought about it. Why?” He chuckled through the darkness and Mason couldn’t help but smile to herself at his reaction.

“The traditional shape – I’ve heard, it actually comes from the concept of two human hearts tethered together. I don’t know whether it’s because they think that two hearts tethered together means ‘love’ or what— Frankly, I don’t believe in love,” Mason explained.

“You don’t believe in love?” Harry gasped, breaking her out of her train of thought.

“No. What proof do I have that it exists? Just because people tell me it does?” She asked, pausing for a moment, hoping Harry wouldn’t take it the wrong way. She took a deep breath before she continued.

“I don’t know. Maybe I can believe in something like unconditional love – like the love between a parent and a child. But all I know is the human race is selfish and I don’t believe we’re even capable of loving another that we’re not obligated to – you know, not for the rest of our lives. Anything can be broken. Including hearts. If someone ‘loved’ someone, why would they choose to hurt them?” Mason rambled, trying to explain her view on the subject.

“You don’t believe in love between two people – like a husband and a wife?” He asked, his voice sounding disappointed.

“Mainly it’s just lust. It’s primal – the urge to procreate is what drives us to one another. And then there’s society. Society tells us in order to be happy we need to find that one person – our soul mate – and live happily ever after. It just… it doesn’t happen. There is no ‘happily ever after’,” Mason finished, shrugging her shoulders.

“Hmm,” Harry hummed.

“I’m sorry,” she said quietly.

“Why are you apologizing?” He asked.

“I don’t know. Maybe you believe in love or something,” she replied, shrugging again.

“I do believe in love,” he said confidently.

“Oh,” she breathed quietly.

It got quiet between them for a few moments and she almost thought she really offended him.

“Thanks, Mason,” he said quietly.

“For what?” She asked, looking at him through the darkness.

“For talking to me. For being here. I don’t know. For everything,” he said, and it almost felt too intimate. It felt like too much, like she might suffocate. But she didn’t want to make him feel any worse than he already did.

“You’re welcome,” she whispered through the lump in her throat 

 

 

Mason woke up uncomfortable in a foreign bed with the ironclad grip of Harry’s arms wrapped around her waist as he spooned her. His face dug into the nape of her neck and the fact that they were still naked really made everything awkward to her. She never did this before. They never had a sleepover, let alone cuddled. She wanted to push him away. She wanted to run like hell all the way back to New York, but it was Harry – and as uncomfortable as she may have been, she could never do something like that to the one person who made her darkness slip away when she was with him.

Her whole body ached from being weighed down by his arms, but she didn’t want to be the one to bring him back to consciousness; to his own personal hell. But then again, it wasn’t up to her – his cell phone blaring through the stillness did it just as well as she ever could.

She felt his arm slip away from her waist as he stretched out to reach for his phone on the nightstand. 

“Hello,” he mumbled into the receiver as he clicked the phone on speaker.

“Oh, did I wake you?” They heard Casey’s voice come through the other end of the line and Mason immediately stiffened. It was too close for comfort.

“Yeah. It’s… it’s nine o’clock in the morning,” Harry grumbled after sitting up to look at the clock on the nightstand.

“I’m sorry. I was just wondering if you wanted to go out for brunch or something,” Casey said as Mason quietly pulled herself up so she was sitting with her back to Harry.

She was aware his eyes were watching her, but she didn’t care. She needed to get out of there. As she tried to pull herself up from the bed to find her clothes, Harry gripped onto her arm to stop her from moving. Her head snapped back to look at him, a slight glare in her eyes.

“I’m still in New Jersey,” he told Casey as their eyes bore into one another’s.

“Oh. You are? I thought you were just going for dinner,” she said, sounding disappointed.

“We had a little bit too much to drink and I just stayed over,” Harry said and Mason could see the sadness in his eyes as he began to recall what happened the night before. Mason felt a twinge in her chest thinking about how upset he was finding out that his father wasn’t really his father.

“Oh. Okay. When do you think you’ll be back?” Casey asked curiously.

“I don’t know,” he told her.

“Okay. Do you have an estimate?” She pressed.

“I don’t know,” he said more firmly.

“Why don’t you give me a call back later when you’ve actually woken up?” She snapped at him and quickly disconnected the phone call.

Ohh-kay,” Harry said, tossing his phone on the nightstand again, finally letting go of Mason’s arm. She took the opportunity to get out of the bed and began dressing herself.

“Mason?” Harry called and she turned her head back to look at him.

“Thanks for last night,” he offered.

“Anytime, Harry. You know that,” she told him.

“Yeah,” he said quietly and nodded his head.

Mason replaced the clothing on her body trying to come up with a plan as to how she was going to sneak out of his parent’s house without being seen. Harry began to dress too and when she finally faced him again, they were both completely clothed.

“Is there any way I could hitch a ride back to New York?” He asked as he awkwardly rubbed the back of his neck with his hand.

“Uh, sure,” Mason breathed.

Getting out of the house was easier than she imagined. All they had to do was sneak up the staircase and slip out the back door. They could hear his parents chatter from the living room, but they were oblivious to them making their getaway.

It was weird to share time with Harry in the daylight hours – in any sort of public setting. The only time they were ever together during the day was if they were hidden away under the sheets with one another where no one in the whole world could see them. And this – this was so forbidden in the unspoken rules of their relationship.

The car ride was silent as Mason drove them through New Jersey to the boarder. They didn’t say anything until they reached the Lincoln Tunnel – and it was then she felt like she might explode if she didn’t say something.

“Harry,” she said, finally breaking the silence.

“Hmm?” He hummed, turning his head to look at her.

“Are you okay?” She asked him quietly. His eyes danced back and forth between hers as he contemplated her words.

“I don’t know yet,” he said honestly, and quietly went back to looking out the window.

Mason dropped him off outside his apartment, and besides the thanks he sent her way, they didn’t speak. She watched him walk up the staircase to his door and disappear inside. She was still left feeling stunned.

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