Solace ~ h.s.

If he weren't there... I don't know what would have happened.

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26. ⪻ 26 ⪼

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Sunday mornings are for sleeping in late and being lazy around the house. My day shouldn’t start before ten and with Edward being a late sleeper, it usually falls in my favour. Sundays are not supposed to start with a phone call so early in the morning, even if it is from a man that I adore.

“Hello?” I only got as far as looking at the caller id and groaning before I answer the phone. I’m not truly awake enough to do more than that.

“Morning sleepy-head.” His cheery voice is lovely to hear, but not whilst I’m half asleep.

“What time is it?”

“Eight.”

“Harry!” I groan, falling into my pillow. “It’s Sunday, why are you calling me so early? You know I like to sleep.”

“Well, I’m on my way over and -”

“You’re what?” And just like that I’m nearly wide awake, shooting out of bed to stand in the centre of my room.

The place, as well as myself, is a mess. Clothes are scattered everywhere, I know Edward’s things are all over the lounge, and my person is the farthest from ready as I can get. Sundays are for cleaning the house and lounging around like a slob. I usually don’t wear makeup, my clothes are wrinkled loungewear, and my hair is hardly ever washed.

“What if I hadn’t picked up my phone?” I wonder, rushing over to my wardrobe to look for clothes. I don’t think I’m ready for Harry to see me in a nearly see-through tee and sans bra.

“I would have waited until you did. What are you and Edward doing today?” He asks and I can almost see the smile on his lips as he speaks.

“Sleeping in; I don’t know.” Harry laughs at my response, knowing that he ruined my days plan.

“You’ve plans now, love.” I find myself smiling widely.

“Oh I do, do I?”

“Yes. Dress casual and ready to have loads of fun. And make sure Edward is ready to go too.”

It’s considerate of him to plan a day for not only us, but Edward too. I don’t know if he’s trying to get on Edward’s good side, or impress him, but it’s not needed. Edward already adores Harry, more than me sometimes.

“How much time do we have?”

“As much time as you need,” okay, relax, “but, I’ll be there in five.” What!

“Harry! I’m not dressed!” Harry laughs at me again as I throw my door open and run for the front door, unlocking it. “Let yourself in when you get here, doors unlocked. I gotta go, bye.” I hang up on Harry, rushing like a mad woman to Edward’s room.

My brother isn’t the easiest person to wake up on the weekends, or any day really, so it proved to be a bit difficult to wake up. He moaned and groaned as he tore the duvet off his body, but he seemed to perk up a bit when I promised we were doing fun things and Harry was on the way.

As for getting dressed and cleaning the flat, only one of the things got done by the time Harry arrived. Thankfully, I was finally decent.

“I’m here!” I hear Harry shout from the front room as I stand before my mirror, applying my usual drugstore makeup to my lids. I don’t reply right away, trying to focus on not giving myself a black eye with my eyeliner. “I brought coffee!” I don’t need anything else to be said before I’m making my way out of the toilet and rushing towards Harry.

“Thank you.” I say, seeing him standing at the table, dressed completely different from last I saw him.

We were busy rest of the week, since the date on Tuesday. Harry was working crazy hours, so I only saw him occasionally and he was always dressed in scrubs or joggers and a tee. Now he looks well rested and extremely attractive in his tight skinnies and patterned button-up.

“Ah, so coffee is what you’d rather see.” I take the steaming cup from him and blow on the contents lightly, cupping it in my cold hands.

“Yes Mr. I-Show-Up-Unexpected.” I retort, taking a cautious sip from the cup and smiling when I taste my coffee, ordered to perfection.

“I called beforehand.”

“I know.” I say, causing us both to laugh lightly. “Good morning.”

My lips are drawn towards his almost immediately, skipping the cheek peck and going in for a proper kiss. Harry returns the favour, causing me to blush with the contact, having missed it.

“Morning beautiful.”

“How has work been?” I wonder, knowing very well that he’s been stressed recently. They’ve been short handed in the emergency department, so not only has he been working in neurology, but he’s been in the chaos of the A&E as well.

“Busy, tiring as per usual. Nothing special.” Harry answers with a shrug of his shoulders as he takes a seat at the table.

“I think what you do is pretty special. You make a difference and are very good at what you do. If I were ever to need brain surgery, you’d be my first choice.” I sit beside him and take another sip of coffee, the caffeine waking me the rest of the way up.

“That’s sweet, but please don’t ever need brain surgery.”

“You got it.”

“And how was the rest of your week?” Harry asks me.

His voice is light and I know he’s hesitant about asking, which matches my attitude of being hesitant to answer. He wasn’t necessarily asking about work, but I know that’s what he really wants to know. It wasn’t the best work week I’ve ever had, that’s for sure.

“According to Kate, Edward has been making a slow progression with school and everything else. I’ve seen a slight change in him, but it’s only been a few days. He does talk to me a tad more than he had been, so that’s good.”

I know grieving isn’t an overnight fix and I’m open to him taking his time with his healing, but I’m glad that I can see a little change in him.

“How about work?”

“Okay.” I answer in short, taking a long sip of coffee to distract myself from answering. I feel Harry’s eyes on me from where he’s sat and I know he’s reading me like a book; the way he does so well.

“Are you sure?” Nope.

“Promise you won’t get mad.”

Immediately, there’s a fire that burns behind Harry’s eyes and that makes me nervous. Even his hand grips tighter around his cup of steaming tea.

“What’d she do?”

“Harry,” I warn, peeling his hand from his cup to hold in mine, “promise me.”

He takes a deep breath, allowing his eyes to close momentarily to calm down a little bit. Once he opens his eyes and I can see that he’s calmed a little, I continue on.

“Ms. VanCarlton has been making me come in early everyday, which is fine because it gives me more time to do her grunt work.”

“She has you doing her grunt work?”

“Yes, I guess in a way I’m not only a receptionist now, but I’m also her personal assistant.” I breathe out. It’s not the most pleasant thing in the world, but it’s manageable.

“What kind of stuff is she making you do?” Harry asks, his hand squeezing mine a bit tighter. I give him a look, peeking down at our hands, and his grip lessens right away. At least he knows how serious I am about him staying calm.

“It’s not horrid. I just go on coffee runs, pick up her dry cleaning, run some other errands for her, send emails she doesn’t want to deal with, go to meetings she doesn’t want to go to, contact writers who have deadlines; stuff like that.”

“Belle, that’s not okay. You’re not a bloody intern, or her assistant.” Harry says, shaking his head to himself before running his free hand through the chocolate curls that lay messily upon his head. “If you want to quit, I’ll help you find another job.” He says out of the blue.

I’m not normally a quitter, and I’d like to see this job through if I can.

“Harry, no. I can handle it.” Harry shakes his head again and looks me dead in the eye. I can’t see any anger behind them anymore, just a hint of pity.

“I don’t like the idea of her abusing her power like that. She needs to be knocked down a level or two.” After a second or two of silence, where Harry’s eyes have done nothing but stare at our joined hands, he speaks again, this time more aggressively. “You know what? Quit.”

“What? Harry -”

“No, listen.” He says softly, giving my hand a comforting squeeze. “I can find you another job. I have connections, not just in the medical field, but in the city. Maybe I can find you a job as a receptionist at the hospital or maybe Niall can ask around. He’s got quite a bit more connections that I do and together we can -”

In order to stop Harry from talking, I disconnect our hands and grab his face between my hands, pressing my lips against his. The words stop tumbling from his mouth before he lightly relaxes into the kiss.

“Babe,” I say once I’ve pulled away, “enough. I’m going to make it through this job. I thank you for your concern and your want to help, but right now I politely decline.” Harry looks disappointed by my answer, sighing heavily. “You will be the absolute first to know if I need career help. Okay?” Harry nods his head, but doesn’t look too happy about his decision to agree with me. “Harry, don’t pout.”

“Alright.” He vocalizes, sending me a miniscule smile in my direction.

“Great. Now, let’s go on an adventure.”

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