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short sleeve homecoming dress

AFTER ROMANCE
SEASON 1
EPISODE 69 & 70

I follow Liam to the stadium, I decided earlier to drive on my own so I could leave when I wanted without disrupting Liam and Danielle's night. I park my car in the spot next to Liam and text Zayn to tell him that I have arrived. He tells me to meet him at the far left corner of the field.
"Zayn is going to meet us in the back." I tell Liam as him and Danielle walk up.
"Sounds good." Liam says, he seems less than thrilled.
"Who's Zayn?" Danielle asks.
"He's my.. friend. " He is just my friend.
"Harry is your boyfriend right?" She asks. I look over at her. She doesn't seem to be implying anything, she just seems confused.
"No babe, neither of them are her boyfriend." Liam laughs.
"It's not as bad as it sounds." I laugh too. The school band begins to play and the field becomes more and more crowded, I am relieved when I spot Zayn leaving against the fence.
"Oh." Danielle squeaks. I can't tell if she surprised by his tattoos and piercings or his good looks, maybe both.
"Hey beautiful." Zayn beams and hugs me. I smile at him, returning the hug.
"I'm Zayn, it's nice to meet you both." He nods towards Liam and Danielle. I know he has met Liam before but he is just trying to be polite.
"Have you been here long?" I ask him.
"Only about ten minutes, there are a lot more people here than I expected." he tells me. Liam leads the way to a less crowded area by the enormous mound of wood and we sit on the ground. Danielle sits between Liam's legs and leans back against his chest. The sun is going down and the breeze is picking up, I should have worn long sleeves.
"Yea, have you been to one before?" I ask and he shakes his head.
"No, this isn't my typical scene" he laughs. "but I am glad to be here tonight." he adds.
I smile at his compliment and someone begins to speak into a microphone talking about lighting the fire. Less than a minute later, the fire ignites and swallows the mound of wood fiercely. It's actually quite beautiful being this close to the flames.
"So how long are you here?' Zayn asks Danielle.
"Only the weekend, I wish I could be here for the wedding next weekend." she frowns.
"What wedding?" Zayn asks. I look at Liam and he answers.
"My mother's wedding." He tells him.
"Oh.." he seems to be thinking about something.
"What?" I ask him.
"Nothing, I'm just trying to remember who else is going to a wedding next weekend. Oh yea, Harry I think. He was asking us what he should wear to a wedding." he says. My heart stops. "It's probably a different wedding though, right?" He asks. Harry hasn't told any of his friends that his father is the chancellor or that he is marrying Liam's mother.
"No, they are.." Danielle begins.
"I'm sure it's a different wedding" I interrupt her and Liam says something in her ear. Harry was actually considering going to the wedding? Why else would he ask his friends what he should wear to a wedding?
"I can't imagine Harry at anyone's wedding anyway." Zayn laughs.
"Why not?" My tone is a little harsher than I meant it to be.
"I don't know, because he is Harry. The only way to get him to go to a wedding would be if he knew he could have sex with all the bridesmaids." He says and rolls his eyes.
"I thought you and Harry are friends?" I say.
"We are I am not saying anything bad about him, that's just how Harry is. He has sex with a different girl every weekend, sometimes more than one." he informs me. My ears are buzzing and the fire feels too hot on my skin. I stand up before I realize what I am doing.
"Where are you going? What's wrong?" Zayn asks.
"Nothing, I just.. I need some air. Some fresh air." I mumble. I know how stupid that sounds but I don't care. "I will be right back, I just need a second." I walk away quickly before any of them can follow me. What is wrong with me? Zayn is sweet and he actually likes me, he enjoys my company and I can't stop thinking about Harry. I take a few deep breathes and walk back over to them.
"Sorry, the fire was just.. to hot." I lie and sit back down. Zayn has his phone out and turns the screen away from me as he slides it back into his pocket.
Zayn tells me it's fine and we make small talk with Liam and Danielle for the next hour.
'I'm getting sort of tired, I had an early flight." Danielle tells Liam and he nods.
"Yea, I am tired too. We are going to get going." Liam stands up and helps Danielle to her feet.
"Do you want to go too?" Zayn asks me.
"No, I am okay. Unless you want to go?" I ask and he shakes his head.
"Cool." he smiles. We say goodbye to Liam and Danielle and watch as the disappear into the crowd.
"So what is the reason behind the bonfire?" I ask Zayn, I am unsure if he will know but I am curious.
"I think it's like to celebrate the end of the football season." he tells me. I look around and notice a lot of people are wearing jerseys. He must be right.
"Oh." I say and look over at Zayn. "I see it now." I laugh.
"Is that Harry?" He says and I snap my head in the direction that he is looking. Sure enough, Harry is walking towards us with a short brunette wearing a skirt.
I scoot closer to Zayn. This is exactly why I didn't listen to Harry on the porch, he has already found some girl to bring here just to spite me.
"Hey Zayn." The girl says in a high pitched voice.
"Hey Emma." Zayn says and hooks his arm around my shoulder. Harry glares at him and takes a seat.
I know I am being rude by not introducing myself to this girl, but I can't help but dislike her already.
"How's the bonfire so far?" Harry asks.
"It's almost over I think." Zayn replies. There is tension between the two of them, I can feel it. I don't know why there would be, Harry made it clear to his friends that he doesn't give a shit about me.
"Do they have food here?" The girls voice is annoying.
"Yea, they have a consession stand." I tell her.
"Harry, come with me to get some food." She demands and he rolls eyes but stands up.
"Bring me back a pretzel, yea?" Zayn smiles and Harry clenches his jaw. What is up with them?
As soon as Harry and Emma disappear I turn to Zayn. "Can we go? I don't really want to hang out with Harry, we sort of hate each other in case you forgot." I tell him. I try to laugh but it doesn't happen.
"Yea, sure we can go." He says. We both stand up and he reaches for my hand. We hold hands as we walk, I find myself looking around for Harry and hoping he won't see.
"Do you want to go to the party/" He asks as we reach the parking lot.
'No, I don't really want to go there either." That is the last place that I want to go.
"Okay, well we can just hang out another.." he begins.
"No, I still want to hang out. I just don't want to be here or that frat house." I say quickly. He looks surprised as his eyes meet mine.
"Okay.. well we can go to my place? If you want, if not we can go somewhere else? I don't really know where else to go." he laughs and I join him.
"Your place is fine. I will follow you there." I tell him.
During the drive I can't help but picture Harry's face as he returned and we were gone. He brought a girl there with him so he has no right to be upset. Zayn's apartment is right off campus and it is small but clean. He offers me a drink when I get inside, but I decline since I plan on driving back to my room tonight.
"You can have the remote, I don't know what you like to watch." he laughs and hands me the remote.
"Do you live alone?" I ask him and he nods. I feel a little nervous as he sits next to me and puts his arm around my waist but I hide my nervousness with a smile. Zayn's phone buzzes in his pocket and he stand up to answer it, holding a finger up to tell me he will be back.
"We left." I hear him say from his small kitchen area.
"So.." "Fair." "Too bad." Are a few of the snippets of his conversation that I catch. None of it makes sense to me. Except 'we left' Is that Harry on the phone? I stand up and walk towards the kitchen as he hangs up on who ever it was.
"Who was that?" I ask.
"No one important." He assures me and leads me back to the couch. "I am really glad we are getting to know each other, you're different from the rest of the girls here." he says sweetly.
"Me too." I tell him. "Do you know Emma?" I can't help but ask.
"Yea, her girlfriend is Niall's cousin." He tells me.
"Girlfriend?"
"Yea, they have been together a while. Emma is pretty cool." He says. So Harry wasn't there with her, not in that way at least. Maybe he actually came there to try to talk to me again instead of hurting me by bringing another girl.
I look over to Zayn and he leans in to kiss me. His lips are cool from his drink and taste like vodka. I know he isn't drunk, its his first drink. His hands are careful and smooth against my arms then my waist. Harry's heartbroken face from earlier pops into my mind, the way he begged for one more chance and I didn't believe him, the way he watched me drive away, the outburst in class about Catherine and Heathcliff, the way he always shows up when I don't want him to, the way he never tells him mother that he loves her, the way he said he loved me in front of everyone, the hurtful way he took it back, the way he breaks things when he is angry, the way he came to his father's house tonight even though he hates it there, and the way he asked his friends what to wear to the wedding, it all makes perfect sense but no sense at the same time. He loves me. In his own damaged way, he does love me. The realization of this hits me like a truck. short sleeve homecoming dress
"What?" Zayn says and pulls away from the kiss.
"What?" I repeat his words.
"You just said Harry."
"No I didn't." I defend.
"Yes, yes you did." He stands up and steps away from the couch.
"I have to go.. I am sorry." I say and grab my purse and rush out of the door before he can say anything else.

As I drive away from Zayn's apartment I take a second to think about what I am doing. I know I left Zayn to go find Harry, but I really need to think about what will happen next. Harry will either say terrible things to me, curse at me and make me leave or he will admit that he has feelings for me and that all these games he has been playing are just his way of not being able to deal with his feelings and express them in a normal way. If the first situation happens, which I mostly expect it to, I will be in no worse of a state than I am in now. But, if the second happens am I ready to forgive him for all the terrible things he has said and done to me? If we both admit the way we feel about each other will everything change? Will he change? Is he capable of caring for me the way I need him to and if so, am I capable of putting up with his mood swings?
The problem is, I can't answer any of these questions, not a single one. I hate the way he clouds my thoughts and makes me feel unsure about myself. I hate not knowing what he will do or say. I pull up to his house, this damned fraternity house that I have spent way too much time at. I hate this house. I hate a lot of things right now and my anger towards Harry is almost to its boiling point. My car is parked on the street and I rush up the steps and into the crowded house. I head straight for the old couch Harry is usually perched on but I don't spot his mop of hair, I duck behind a heavy set guy before Steph or anyone else spots me and I rush up the stairs to his room.
I bang my fist against the door, annoyed that once again he has his door locked.
"Harry! It's me, open the door!" I yell and continue to pound again. No answer. Where the hell is he? I don't want to call him to find out, even though that is obviously easier than trying to find him but I am angry and I want to stay angry so I can say what I mean and not feel bad about it.
I call Liam to see if Harry is at his fathers, but he isn't. The only other place that I know to look is the bonfire but I doubt he would still be there. I don't have another option right now so I drive back to the stadium and park my car. I repeat the angry words I have saved for Harry over and over to make sure I don't forget any of it in case he actually is here. Almost everyone has left by now, the field is nearly empty and the fire is almost out. Just as I decide to stop looking, I see him leaning against the fence by the goal post. He is alone and he doesn't seem to notice me walking towards him as he takes a seat on the grass, he wipes his mouth with his hand and when he removes it, it is red. Is he bleeding? His head snaps up as if he can sense my presence, the corner of his mouth is bleeding and the shadow of a bruise is already forming over his cheek.
"What the hell?" I say and kneel down in front of him.
"What happened to you?" I ask him. He looks up at me and his eyes are so haunted, my anger dissolves like sugar on my tongue.
"Why do you care? Where is your date?" He growls. I roll my eyes and move his hand away from his mouth, examining his busted lip. He jerks away from me but I bite my tongue.
"Tell me what happened." I demand. He sighs and runs his hand over his hair. His knuckles are busted and bloody. The cut on his index finger looks deep and very painful.
"Did you get in a fight?" I ask.
"What gave you that idea?" He snaps.
"With who? Are you okay?"
"Yea, I am fine now leave me alone."
"I came here to find you." I tell him and stand up, wiping the dead grass off of my jeans.
"Okay and you found me so go."
'You don't have to be such an asshole, I think you should go home and get cleaned up. You might need stitches on your knuckle."
He doesn't respond to me but he stands up and walks past me. I came here to yell at him for being such an idiot and tell him how I feel and he is making it very hard, I knew he would.
'Where are you going?" I ask and follow him like a lost puppy.
"Home, well I'm going to call Emma and see if she will come back and pick me up. She drove."
"She left you here?" I don't like her at all.
"No, well technically but I told her to."
"Let me take you home." I say and grab his jacket. He shrugs me off and I want to slap him. My anger is returning and I am more pissed off than before. The tables have turned, our..whatever this is has shifted. I am usually the one running from him.
"Stop walking away from me!" I yell and he turns around. Eyes blazing.
"I said let me take you home!" I scream. He almost smiles but he frowns instead and sighs.
"Fine. Where is your car?" He asks.
He follows me to my car and climbs into the passenger seat as I start the car. I turn the heat on and rub my arms to warm up. His scent immediately fills the car, only now there is a hint of metal mixed in. It is still my favorite smell in the entire world.
"Why did you come here?" He asks as I pull out of the parking lot.
"To find you." I try to remember everything I had planned to say, but my mind is blank and all I can think about is kissing his busted mouth.
"For what reason?" He asks quietly.
"To talk to you, we have so much to talk about." I say, I feel like crying and I have no idea why.
"I thought you said we didn't have anything to talk about." Why is he making this so difficult?
"Do you love me?" The words come out rushed and strangled, I had not planned on saying them.
His head snaps to the side to look at me. "What?" His tone shocked.
"Do you?" I repeat, my heart might pop right out of my chest.
"You are not seriously asking me this while we are driving down the street." His eyes are focused forward.
"What does it matter where or when I am asking, just tell me." I practically beg.
"I.. I don't know.. No, I don't. You can't just ask someone if they love you when they are trapped in a car with you. What the hell is wrong with you?" He says loudly. Ouch.
"Okay." Is all I can manage to say.
"Why do you even want to know?"
"It doesn't matter." I say.
"Tell me why you asked me that, now." He demands.
"Don't tell me what to do!" I shout back. I pull up to his house and he looks towards the crowded lawn.
"Take me to my dad's." He says.
"What? I am not a damn taxi."
"Just take me there, I will get my car in the morning." His car is here so why not just drive himself?
I don't want our conversation to end yet so I roll my eyes, but drive away towards his father's house.
"I thought you hated it there?" I say.
"I do. But I don't feel like being around a lot of people right now." he says quietly.
"Are you going to tell me why you asked that? Does this have something to do with Zayn? Did he say something to you?" He seems nervous. Why does he always ask if Zayn said something to me?
"No.. it has nothing to do with Zayn. I just wanted to know." I lie. It doesn't really have to do with Zayn, it has to do with the fact that I love him and I thought for a second, he may love me too. The longer I am around him, the more ridiculous that seems.
"Where did you and Zayn go when you left the bonfire?" He asks as I pull into his fathers driveway.
"Back to his apartment." I admit. Harry's body tenses and his bloody fists clench, tearing the skin on his knuckles further.
"Did you sleep with him?" he asks and my mouth falls open.
"What? Why the hell would you assume that? You should know me better than that by now! And who do you think you are to even ask such a personal question? You made it clear that you don't care about me so what if I did?" I shout.
"So you didn't?" He asks again.
"God Harry! No! He kissed me, but I wouldn't have sex with someone I barely know!"
He leans over and turns my car off, clenching his bloody hand over the keys and pulling them out of the ignition.
"You kissed him back?" His eyes are hooded as he seems to look straight past me.
"Yea.. well I don't know, I think I did." I don't remember anything except Harry's face in my mind.
"How do you not know? Have you been drinking?" His voice is louder now.
"No, I just.."
"You what!" He shouts and turns his body to face me.
"I.. I just kept thinking of you." I finally admit. His stone features soften tremendously and he brings his eyes to mine.
"Let's go inside." He says and opens the passenger door. What? "Come on." He says again, I climb out of the car and follow him up the sidewalk.

To be continued..

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