In Transit || Harry Styles AU

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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14. Fourteen

March 2018

 

Harry must have turned up the heat in the hotel room before they went to bed, because the room was sweltering in the morning. Mason threw off the covers before she even opened her eyes. She was almost panting because she was too hot.

Jesus Christ,” she grumbled, swiping her hand across her forehead, feeling the perspiration built up on her brow.

She slowly sat up in the bed, concerned with the heat and looked over at Harry, still asleep, still naked, lying face down on the mattress. His side of the blankets were kicked to the end of the bed with only part of the sheet wrapped around one of his calves, sleeping in all of his naked glory. She contently watched him for a moment, his back moving minutely with his slow inhales and exhales.

Mason bit her lip, stifling the smirk that pulled up the side of her mouth at the sight of him. But a second later, her stomach lurched from the realization that it was the last morning she would wake up next to him. She sighed, running her hands over her face before she tossed her legs over the side of the bed and made her way to the heater.

“Are you kidding me?” She grumbled, seeing the heat was set to eighty-five degrees.

She quickly turned it down to sixty-five and tip-toed back to the bed to cover herself up because she, too, was still naked. As she laid back in bed, pulling only the sheet up her body, her head turned to look at the clock.

1:12 pm.

She sat up quickly, wide-eyed. It was one o’clock in the afternoon? She was aware they didn’t get to bed until the wee hours of the morning, but holy shit.

“Harry,” Mason called, poking his side. But he didn’t move.

“Harry, wake up,” she said a little louder, shaking him a bit heavier, to no avail.

“Harry!” She said even louder, using two hands to shake him, and he finally stirred. His head slowly turned to look at her, his eyes blinking as he woke up.

“It’s late,” she told him evenly.

“Hmm?” He questioned.

“It’s really late. It’s one o’clock, Harry,” she told him.

Mmm,” he grunted as he buried his face into his pillow, his body moving only slightly to get more comfortable.

Whelp…” She said under her breath as her eyes scanned lazily around the room, feeling slightly awkward.

“Why is it so fucking hot in here?” She heard him mumble into his pillow and she couldn’t help but smile. He turned his head to her again.

“The heat was set at eighty-five degrees,” she said, smirking at him, holding the sheet up against her bare chest to cover herself up.

“Holy shit. I’m like, dying here,” he grumbled in that sexy morning voice he had, turning onto his side as he ran his hand through his hair.

Mason’s eyes immediately fell to his naked lower half. Her cheeks flushed with embarrassment as she looked away quickly. She didn’t know why she constantly acted like a flustered little girl in intimate situations. Because when the lights were out, she was a totally different person. She could handle herself in the dark. But when Harry was this close to her, naked, she couldn’t even handle being alive. 

“I don’t want to go home,” Harry groaned, holding his hands over his eyes.

“I don’t either,” she said quietly, letting herself shamelessly take another look at his naked body. 

When her eyes came back up to his, she found him staring back at her with a smirk on his face.

“Hi,” he greeted, his smile never faltering, and Mason knew he caught her looking at him.

“Hi,” she choked out, sucking in her lips and biting them together as she looked away from him.

“You don’t have to be bashful, Mason,” Harry told he as he sat up and leaned closer to her.

“I’m… uh…” She stammered, feeling the absolute agony of being called out.

“It’s alright, Mase. You’ve seen it before. You’ve touched it, many times,” Harry’s voice was in her ear, husky and extra sexy.

Mason bit her lips even harder and closed her eyes tightly, trying to dispel the thoughts and images that were ravaging her mind because of his words.

“It’s been in you… and in your mouth,” he reminded her, his voice even lower and sexier than before.

“HARRY—ohmygod!” Mason yelped, throwing her hands over her eyes, her feelings out of control.

“Mason, I’m just messing with you,” Harry laughed heartily. She shook her head, her eyes still covered.

“I hope you know that,” he said, his voice softer than before. She took a deep breath and let it out as she let her hands fall away from her eyes.

“You know that, right?” He asked, his voice taking on more of an insecure quality. Mason turned to look at him, seeing the vulnerability in his eyes.

“I didn’t mean to… I didn’t want to…” He stammered.

“It’s okay, Harry. I can take a joke,” she told him and he nodded his head, the anxiety noticeably lifting from his demeanor.

“Good,” he said quietly as his eyes dropped to her now exposed chest as a smirk turned up his lips. Mason’s cheeks flushed again as his hand came up to cup her far breast in his palm.

“You’re warm,” he said, smiling at her.

“Yeah,” she breathed as she timidly stared back into his eyes, his hand still cupping her breast.

His smile got a little brighter seconds before he leaned in to kiss her. His lips were soft and inviting, and his kisses were gentle and addicting. And the butterflies in her stomach were violently thrashing around, making her ill.

“Can we just stay here?” He breathed against her lips.

“Stay?” She gasped.

“Yeah,” he said, nodding his head before his lips caught hers again.

“We could stay another day,” he proposed, sounding like he was really contemplating it.

“In this hotel?” She asked, her eyebrows furrowing as she pulled back to look at him.

“Yes. In this hotel,” he confirmed, looking into her eyes as she stared back, trying to read his mood.

Harry pressed forward, causing her to lie backwards on the mattress while he crawled on top of her, hovering above her.

“We could stay in bed all day,” he suggested in a low voice as he looked down at her. Her eyes blinked back at him, but her words were caught in her throat, blocked by a large road-block of a lump in it.

“There’s no room service, but I sure as hell could order us some pizza… or Chinese food. We could just stay… here,” he continued, making it a more plausible future in her brain.

“Just one more day away – one more day we don’t have to worry. One more day where we can be our normal selves away from everyone else,” he offered. His words came out more and more hopeful as he spoke, and Mason took it to heart when he referred to them as ‘normal’, because to him, she was normal, and to her, he was normal. 

Mason’s eyes were wide as she looked up into his, and she had to clear her throat to keep the tears away.

“What do you think, Mase?” He asked, looking at her with one of the most lighthearted looks she ever saw cross his face. She knew she couldn’t say no, nor did she want to.

She nodded her head because her mouth still couldn’t form words.

“You’ll stay?” He asked happily, his eyes widening along with his smile.

“Yes,” she agreed moments before his lips came down hard against hers.

She didn’t know how they got where they were. She couldn’t explain it. But somehow it felt right to be there with him in his arms. She didn’t want to question it. She didn’t want to jinx it. She just wanted to kiss him, and have him kiss her back like she was the only girl on his mind.

But the bliss was short lived once Harry’s phone rang from across the room. He quickly pulled up, moving away from her, letting out a low groan as his eyes shut tightly. 

“You turned your phone back on?” Mason asked him quietly.

Her phone had been shut off since Dallas, the first time around, when Harry’s then girlfriend Casey left her a nasty voicemail message wondering why the hell she was with her boyfriend in another state. As far as Mason knew Harry’s was off too, but apparently she was wrong.

“I wanted to text my brother last night. Just to… to let him know he’d be getting his car back soon,” Harry explained, looking down into her questioning eyes.

“Oh,” she said quietly as Harry finally made a dash to grab the still ringing cell phone.

“Hey, Reese,” he said breathlessly into the receiver.

Harry was still naked and Mason couldn’t help when her eyes washed up and down his frame as she sat up in the bed again.

“Yeah, we’re still… we’re still out of state,” Harry said into the receiver as he looked up at Mason.

“Maryland,” he continued to speak to his brother, but kept his eyes on her.

“Yeah, see… that’s the thing. I think we’re gonna… I don’t think we’re gonna be home until maybe tomorrow,” Harry told him as he ran his fingers through his messy bed hair.

“I know. I know. We just… we kind of just want to hang out,” Harry breathed into the receiver, his voice getting lower. 

Mason pulled herself out of bed and quickly tip-toed to the bathroom, feeling Harry’s eyes on her the whole time. She closed herself into the tiny room and took a deep breath. She could still hear Harry talking and it made her uncomfortable, but she couldn’t stop herself from eavesdropping.

“Yeah, I know I never told you about her. I just… it was just something I couldn’t… that I didn’t want to talk about. I still really don’t. I don’t really feel like I have the right to talk about her. I mean… I don’t want to – she’s different, okay. Just please, Reese. I can’t say much on it. I’ve just… I’ve known her for three years and we’re… we’re good friends. She understands me better than ninety-nine percent of the people in the whole world. She knows things about me that not even you do,” she heard Harry tell his brother and it made her all sorts of uncomfortable.

“I broke up with, Casey,” he said before pausing.

“It was never Casey. I never loved her,” he heard Harry confess to his brother, and the bile rose in the back of Mason’s throat.

“I don’t know. I don’t know, okay, Reese. I just… I can’t talk about it right now. I know you have questions, but I can’t—I’ve just gotta go, man,” Harry said, trying to cut his brother off.

“Your car will be returned to you in pristine condition, I promise,” he continued.

“Tomorrow. Maybe tomorrow night. I don’t know. And no, it’s not going to work out that way. Because I don’t even really know what’s going on. I’m not trying to scare her away. I’m not just going to ‘bring her by’, Reese. No,” Harry argued with his brother and it made Mason feel unsettled to know they were arguing about her.

“I’ve gotta go. Reese, I’ve gotta go,” Harry grumbled and Mason quickly pulled herself away from eavesdropping against the bathroom door. 

She did her business in the bathroom before quietly opening the door and coming out, still naked, still feeling weird about the intimacy level she and Harry were on during the trip. 

“Hey,” Harry said quietly, and her eyes shot up to his as he sat on the edge of the bed wearing his pajama bottoms.

“Hey,” she said awkwardly as she slumped toward her bag for some clothes.

She slipped one of her over-sized sleep shirts over her head before digging in her bag to discover she didn’t have any clean underwear left. She took a deep breath and let it out raggedly.

“You okay?” He asked almost immediately.

“All my clothes are dirty,” she sighed as she stared at the contents of her bag.

“Mine too,” he said quietly.

“Maybe we should just go home,” she said as she turned to look at him, watching as his whole demeanor plummeted.

“Or…” Mason began, hating that she made him look so unhappy.

“We can… if that’s what you want,” he replied, unable to look up at her.

“No,” she said, lightly shaking her head. It was hard to admit to herself, but she couldn’t deny how badly she wanted to spend the rest of the day and night with Harry in that hotel room – panties or no panties.

 Harry’s hopeful eyes looked up into hers as she leaned backward against the dresser facing him.

“Reese doesn’t need his car for anything, so it’s not like we have to rush,” Harry offered.

“He knows about me?” Mason asked quickly before she could talk herself out of asking the question.

“He knows there’s a you. But I wouldn’t say he knows anything,” Harry explained, shrugging his shoulders passively.

“What does that mean?” Mason asked, eyeing him carefully.

“He knows I am on this road trip with a girl named Mason, and that you aren’t Casey, and that—” Harry said, cutting himself off.

“And that, what?” She asked him.

“That… we’re friends,” he said quietly as he averted his gaze.

“Oh,” she breathed and idly played with the hem on her t-shirt.

“He told me he wants to meet you,” Harry explained, and her stomach knotted instantly.

“But I told him it would be weird,” Harry continued, waving his hand through the air nonchalantly.

“Yeah, weird,” Mason whispered, her eyes avoiding his.

“I don’t mean to burden you, Mason. I-I know we’re friends, but sometimes I just… I can’t keep the outside away from… from our little bubble,” Harry sighed, running his fingers through his hair.

“What—what do you mean?” She stammered, feeling the anxiety in her chest.

“There’s going to be consequences for me taking you on this trip,” he said quietly.

“Oh,” she breathed, nodding her head as her stomach churned.

“I couldn’t have imagined going through this with anyone but you, Mason,” he confessed, looking up at her. Her eyes met with his and she felt naked – bared to him.

“You being here is worth every consequence. And I will take them willingly,” he went on, making her heart beat so fast in her chest as he stood up from the bed and walked toward her.

“And if I could stay here, Mason. If I could stay right here with you, in this hotel room, I would. I’d keep you safe. We wouldn’t need anybody else,” he confessed as his hands came up to cradle her face in them.

She almost felt numb as he spoke the words. She couldn’t even take them all in. The sincerity was too real, too much. She took in a deep breath, breaking their eye contact as her hands came up to move his hands away from her face. 

Jesus, Harry,” she sighed as she stepped around him, feeling like her head was spiraling.

“Am I being too honest?” He asked, his voice sinking with the words.

“Mmm,” she hummed under her breath as she tried to shake off the overwhelming emotion.

“I’m sorry,” he said quietly, sounding slightly defeated.

“Don’t apologize,” she said as she bit at her thumbnail. Harry stayed silent, and she couldn’t face him, so she didn’t have a clue what he was thinking or feeling or doing.

“I’m just… I’m not good at… at anything that involves any type of intimacy. And like, I even mean on a friendship level. Like, I’m just bad. I’m uncomfortable and nervous and anxious, and I don’t know how to stop being that way. I don’t know how to be with you,” she confessed, using the same words she used in the past.

“Mason,” Harry cooed from behind her.

“I’m good at sex. I’m good at that. That’s why we’re so compatible. Because you’re good at it too. I’m good at no-strings-attached, straight-to-the-point sex. I can do that. But… but this trip has been so much more than that,” Mason confessed, finally turning to look at him. His eyes looked worried and vulnerable, and she hated making him look that way. 

She sighed and shook her head as the words she truly wanted to say to him caught in her throat.

“I just… I don’t know what else to say,” she whispered, conceding with those words as she dropped her gaze to the floor.

“Mason,” Harry sighed, taking a step toward her. She looked up quickly, meeting his eyes.

“I never want to pressure you or make you uncomfortable,” he insisted.

“I know.”

“Do you?”

“I do,” she told him, dropping her eyes from him again.

“I-I’m so afraid of… of things changing between us. They already have. I’m so afraid that… that I won’t—gahhh,” she growled, feeling the frustration build up inside of her as she tried to confess the burden on her heart and mind.

“What, Mason?” He asked quietly, trying to coax it out of her.

“I’m afraid—” She croaked. Her emotions got the better of her and tears welled helplessly in her eyes.

“Don’t cry,” he cooed, cradling her face in his hands again.

She took a deep breath and blew it out as she tried to fight off the tears. Harry wiped them away as soon as they came down her cheeks and it only made it harder to get her words out. She turned away from him, haphazardly wiping at the new tears that fell. 

“You’ve been a rock… the only stability in my life, Harry. You’ve been there whenever I’ve needed you, and… and I’m so afraid that… that you’re not gonna be there now... when we get home,” she confessed, speaking fast so she could get the words out.

“Mason, no. That’s not—” Harry sighed, sounding incredibly plagued.

“I’m so afraid you won’t need me anymore. That I’m going to need you so badly and you’re just not going to… to need me,” she said as the tears fell faster.

“Mason, that’s not—no,” he said, gripping onto her arm to turn her back to him.

“If anything, Mason—if anything, I’m going to need you more,” he told her, looking her straight in the eye.

“You have no idea,” his voice was almost breathless. It almost felt like he was staring straight into her soul through her eyes.

Mason whimpered as she closed her eyes tightly, dragging her fingers underneath them to catch the stray tears.

“I’ve never been this emotional in my life,” she sighed, feeling like a complete mess.

“That’s okay,” he told her as he reached up to help her wipe away the tears once again. Mason took a deep breath and let it out hard, trying to dispel her emotions with it.

“I’m not going anywhere,” he assured her, gripping onto her so he could wrap his arms around her.

He held her against him in a tight hug until her tears subsided, and to her, that moment sold her on his words. Maybe he would still be there and need her just the same when they got home. His heartbeat against hers made her hopeful.

“Hey, Mase,” Harry breathed, pulling her out of his arms just enough so he could look into her eyes.

“Hmm,” she answered, looking back into his.

“I have one question for you,” he said as a smirk turned up the side of his mouth.

“What?” She asked, furrowing her brow in question.

“Pizza or Chinese?” He asked, letting his whole face brighten with his wide smile. And she couldn’t help but let out a little laugh. 

Maybe things would be okay after all.

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