Solace ~ h.s.

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

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25. ⪻ 25 ⪼

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If there ever were a time where I’ve nearly been floating in thin air, it would be now.

How I felt after our first date with the cheek peck was suddenly amplified x100 with our first kiss. I hate to say it, but it was like our lips were made to be molded together.

Why yes, it has been a long time since I’ve kissed somebody...

All the while Harry was driving me home, I couldn’t concentrate on anything he was doing. I was too focused on the tingling sensation of my lips. It was like his lips were still on mine, molding perfectly.

If I had a backbone, or even a couple drinks, I’m sure I would have ordered Harry to pull over so we could snog in the backseat of his car. Thankfully, I hadn’t, so here I stand dazed in front of my door, my fingertips playing with my lips as a smile beams brightly.

Harry had dropped me off five minutes ago, with another peck to the lips, and I’ve been standing outside our fourth floor flat ever since, unable to move.

Pulling myself together with a deep breath, I dig the keys out of my clutch and unlock the door, popping it open with a bit of force. It’s an old flat, sometimes you have to use brutal force to open the front door. Upon stepping into the flat, I see all the lights out, the only glow emitting from the telly that’s on in the lounge.

“Ello Niall.” I greet, throwing my clutch down onto the ground, with my keys soon following after, not a care in the world about the fact that they’re just on the floor.

Niall’s head turns his attention from the golf channel and smiles wildly at me as he sits up from his laying down position on my sofa. I don’t see Edward anywhere so I take that as a sign he’s already asleep in bed.

“Careful, your Northerner is coming out.” He warns cheekily. I chuckle lightly to myself, rummaging in the kitchen for a small glass. I most definitely need a glass of wine after the night I had. I’m sure to stay up all night if I don’t have a big girl drink.

What can I say? Wine puts me to sleep.

“How was Edward?” I wonder, pouring myself a heaping glass before replacing the bottle of wine in the refrigerator.

“Great. We had a nice chat, him and I.” Walking over to where Niall is, I take a seat opposite of him on the sofa and lean back, having a nice sip.

“What’d you talk about?” I find myself asking, trying so hard to keep the smile that wants to play on my lips from making a scene.

Niall just smiles at me as if he knows that I’m trying to hide a smile of my own and goes on to tell me about their chat in short details, saying that what was said was a boy’s only secret.

“How was your date? He didn’t ditch you again, did he?” He asks, and I can’t be happier that the question was out in the open.

As you can tell, I don’t have a lot of girlfriends, nor friends at all. After a night like tonight there’s just some part of woman that wants to gush about it to a friend. In my case, that friend is the only adult that I really know, aside from Harry.

“No, he didn’t ditch me. And it was wonderful. We had a lovely dinner at this pub and then some ice cream before we took a walk around the canals.” I answer, doing my best to hide my enormous smile behind the half empty glass of wine.

“You sure are smiling a lot; did anything else happen?”

“Nope.”

“Stop smiling.” He orders with a smile, poking at my knee gently. I shake my head, but try my best to stop the grinning.

“I’m not.”

“You are; knock it off.” Again, I try to fight the smile, but I’m still so giddy about that kiss that it just won’t leave my face.

“I’m really trying, but I can’t seem to stop.” I’m laughing lightly as I take another sip of my wine, hoping that it’ll soothe me.

“Alright,” Niall says, motioning his hand towards himself, “tell me about it.”

“Really?” Truthfully, I was really hoping he would offer. If not I might have offered him a beer and more golf just to stay whilst I gushed about the magnificent date.

“Yep, tell me like I’m one of your girlfriends. I fear if you don't, you may just explode. As a doctor, I know it’s best not to keep things in.” I squeal a little bit like a schoolgirl and set my wine glass down, lightly clapping my hands together. Niall’s eyes widen and I know he’s thinking: what have I gotten myself into.

“Okay, so we went to this pub, like I said, and the food was American themed -”

“Oh!” Niall interrupts, gushing like a small boy would… like Edward would. “Matthew’s? I love that place!”

“Yes, now shush.” I order, hitting him against the arm. Niall apologizes, but it doesn’t stop him from laughing at me. “Anyways, it was delicious. Then we went and got artisan ice cream at this little place in Castlefield. I had Mint Chip and he had Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.” In the moment, I really feel like details are everything, and from the look on Niall’s face, I know they are entertaining him. “And then Harry took me to the canals and we just walked along the walkway, just talking.”

“Did you two do more than just talk?” Niall asks, leaning in a little bit and wiggling his brows at me.

“We kissed.” I blurt, feeling my cheeks heat up immediately, my mind replaying the kiss over and over again.

Am I really lame?

“You’re this giddy over a kiss? I would have thought by the way you’re acting that something more serious happened! Did you guys fool around in his car a bit?”

“Niall!” I scold, hitting him in the arm. “No, we just kissed. I wouldn’t talk to you about my sex life.”

Gushing over a kiss and a date is one thing, but I would never, in a million years, be able to talk about my sex life, or lack thereof, with Niall. If he wanted to know about stuff like that, he’d probably have to talk to Harry, because he wouldn’t hear it from me.

“No? Never?”

“Never ever.”

“Okay, so you kissed.” I can already see the curl of his lips in a smirk, meaning there’s probably laughter to follow soon after.

“Don’t laugh.” I warn; Niall holding his hands up in surrender. “It was magical, like truly magical. I know that’s cliche and like child-like of me, but I’m serious. There were butterflies and fireworks, everything. I haven’t had an interaction like that in a long time, if ever. I just can’t stop thinking about it, and obviously I can’t stop smiling.”

“Some kiss, damn.” Is all Niall says, clearly a little taken aback by everything I had just shared. “You really like Harry.”

“I really like Harry. I know I should just calm down, because I will fall in deep, fast.”

“Too late.” Niall mutters, picking up my wine glass to take a small sip. I roll my eyes at him and take the glass from him, knowing he still has to drive home this evening.

He’s Irish, so I know one sip won’t do him, or anyone, harm.

“I’m happy for you, really I am. I’ve never actually seen him this happy before, it’s refreshing. He’s usually such a drag. He smiles more than he used to and he’s a lot more level headed.”

At mention of his level-headedness I find myself thinking back to what had happened on the way to the pub. I had been able to push the yelling and fist slamming against steering wheel to the back of my mind, but unfortunately it had surfaced again.

“What?” I guess I lost the smile that I was wearing, because Niall notices my change in demeanor. And like that, like the snap of two fingers, the mood of the conversation has shifted entirely.

“Have you ever seen Harry angry?” Niall exhales deeply and nods.

“Yes, honest to God some of the scariest moments of my life were with him when he’s mad. Why?”

“I was telling him about my boss today and he got a tad bit angry.” Niall practically shoots straight up in his seat, turning fully to me with widen eyes.

“What’d he do?” He asks in a protective manner. The two may be friends, but clearly Harry’s anger has something over Niall.

“Yelled a bit, hit the steering wheel; it was pretty scary though.” Niall sighs as if glad that was the extent of his outlash. I can only imagine the extents he’s gone to in the past with his anger, which causes me to grow a little anxious.

Harry said it was something that I really shouldn’t worry about, that he hasn’t gotten angry in a long time. But the way Niall is acting, it’s as if he’s nearly killed someone before.

“I’ve only seen him angry a couple of times: once when we were at university; once at a pub, where he was slightly drunk; and once at work.”

Getting angry whilst drunk, I can kind of see because drunk people get annoying and handsy and erratic. But getting angry whilst at work, is something that shouldn’t be too easily done, especially with Harry.

“Has he ever hit someone?” Niall’s eyes immediately dart anywhere around the room but me, causing my heart to clench painfully in my chest. “Niall.”

“Yes, but the guy deserved it.”

“Should I worry when Harry drinks?”

“God no!” Niall places his hand on my shoulder and gives it a squeeze almost immediately. “Annabelle, he’d never touch you, or Edward; I swear to you. All the times I’ve seen him angry were when he was protecting others. At university, some arse was messing with this girl, so Harry stepped in and got the guy to back off. At the hospital, these parents weren’t letting Harry do his job to save their son; he got a bit heated in trying to protect the kid’s rights.”

“And at the pub?” The incident I’m most worried about.

“Harry was at a pub with me and my girl, at the time. Some guy, believe it or not, insulted me and my girlfriend got in the middle of it. She got shoved around, we both did. Harry just went off.”

I’m not 100% happy to hear that Harry loses his temper easily, but at least in all the times he has there was reasoning behind it.

“Did your boss do something to you?” Niall asks, changing the subject over to me slightly.

“Yeah, she literally screamed at me.” I say, the yelling replaying in my head.

“That would be enough to set him off.”

“What do I do about it?” I wonder.

Am I just to leave it and see if it happens again? Or should I talk to him about it? I’m clueless, although it isn’t the first time I’ve seen a guy that I’m dating angry. Unfortunately near the end, that’s how my ex was.

“Just be honest with him. If he scares you or it worries you, tell him. Be easy with him though. He’s sensitive, believe it or not.” Niall says, patting my shoulder again. I smile over at him and bring him into a hug. “And if you ever have any issues, just ring me; whether it’s Harry related, or Edward, or you just want to talk. I’m here for you, Annabelle.”

“Thank Niall.” I say, giving him a tight squeeze. “You’re pretty great.” Niall laughs loudly, enough to worry that he’ll wake Edward.

“Oh, I know.”

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