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Stars & Stripes

I love you.

Olivia woke up to the feeling of cool hands through her hair. She popped open her dark, tired eyes and smiled. “Hi,”

“Morning, love.” Harry whispered.

“What time is it?” She muttered, rubbing her sleepy eyes as Harry sat up and away from her.

“Four-fifteen.” He answered, glancing at his cell. “Lou’s picking us up in forty-five.”

“Picking us up?” She questioned, chuckling a bit, “He lives across the hall.”

“The bloody fool insisted.” Harry shook his curly locks, stretching his lengthy limbs and getting up to take a quick shower.

Olivia heard the water turn on and rolled over to Harry’s side of the bed, stealing the warmth before it could sneak away. She knew she had to get up and throw something on, but she didn’t feel up to it. She didn’t feel all too well. Her throat ached, her nose felt stuffy, and she was a bit nauseas on top of it. But, this was Harry’s big day. Granted it was actually the rehearsal for the big day, but still. Tomorrow, Harry and his mates were meeting the Queen of England and that felt pretty exciting, even to Olivia.

Before Olivia could move out of the comfy covers, Harry popped out of the shower, a white towel wrapped snugly around his slender waist. “You going to get up anytime soon, love?” He laughed, pulling items of clothing from various draws. He dropped the towel, his naked behind facing Olivia as he quickly pulled on his drawers.

“I’m warming up to it. I don’t feel too hot.” She confessed. Harry immediately glanced over at the brunette in concern. He covered the space between them, hopping on his bed and placing a damp hand to her head. “You don’t feel warm, but then again my mum is usually better at this magic hand temperature stuff.”

Olivia smiled softy, shaking her head, sitting up. “I’ll be fine. Just finish getting ready and I’ll make something to eat.”

Olivia quickly pulled on the dress she had laid out the night before and pulled her hair into a messy bun, clipping a small pink bow on top for a fancier affect. After, she made her way to his kitchen and pulled out the kettle and brewed some tea. Next, she pulled out two breakfast burritos and placed them on the counter.

A sudden wave of nausea fell over her and she tossed her frozen breakfast back in the fridge, putting the single burrito in the microwave. Instead of making herself a pot of coffee, she decided to sip on some tea with a bit of honey drizzled in it, the way Harry took his.

She made a swift scan of Harry’s cupboards, looking for any vitamins that might make her feel better, but no dice. She hadn’t thought Harry was the type to keep them, not when he had dozens of people looking out for him with stuff like that. Olivia had a quick coughing fit before taking a few swigs of tea. The scolding hot drink eased her throat.

After five minutes, Harry popped out of the bathroom, fully groomed and clothed. Olivia had set both their drinks in traveling containers and wrapped Harry’s burrito in a paper towel, handing it to him when he walked in. Harry smiled appreciatively, going in for a kiss when Olivia put her hands up. “I might be catching something. I don’t want you getting sick before tomorrow.”

Harry was struck by that thought. It was so silly and simple but he didn’t think a girl had ever done something so considerate before.

Right on cue, as the clock in the kitchen turned five, there was an obnoxious knock on the door. Olivia made to grab it before Louis took the door down when Harry opened his mouth without truly think and said,” I love you.”

Olivia froze, gazing back at Harry, so shocked that she couldn’t respond. In four months, neither had uttered those three words. Olivia was afraid of what those words would mean to Harry if she ever admitted it to herself. Harry had never felt those words before in his life.

“Well, I’ll just have to let myself in since you’re all bloody ignoring me!” Louis entered the flat unannounced.

“Sorry, mate, just got finished.” Harry said a little too casually. “Let’s go, yeah?”

“Yeah,” Olivia agreed quietly.

+ + +

The rehearsal went smoothly. Eleanor showed up halfway through, sitting with Olivia in the audience. They had met a few times before and liked each other’s company. Whenever there was a break, the boys would come over and chat. Harry and Olivia were a bit too polite with each other, his spoken words she never returned still looming over him like a dark, suffocating shadow. He wanted to take it back but he knew he couldn’t simply erase those three powerful words from their relationship. Harry couldn’t believe he had just dropped that bomb because she would kiss him in fear of getting him sick. How stupid could he be?

No one but Louis (once again) seemed to notice. Once the boys were done and released for the day, they left the theater. Eleanor and Louis were going dress shopping for her outfit for the Royal Variety Show. They invited Harry and Olivia along. Olivia agreed, hoping some fresh air would give her some clarity and make her feel better in her sick fog. Harry politely declined, muttering something about some errands he had to do before tomorrow. They all knew he was obviously lying but said their goodbyes and walked on.

Louis waited until Eleanor was in the dressing room of some expensive French boutique to ask about Harry.

“Was it about last night?” He questioned.

Olivia furrowed her brows, “Last night?” She didn’t understand, “What happened last night?”

Louis’ eyes widened. Of course Harry hadn’t told her about last night. Either he had kept it purposely a secret or he just hadn’t had the time.

“Nothing, never mind.” Louis muttered evasively. Olivia didn’t push. Her mind was too preoccupied.

“He said he loved me.” She blurted nervously. “This morning. That’s why we didn’t come to the door.”

Louis’ jaw dropped to the floor. “He said—That’s—My God.” A wide smile broke across his face and Olivia swore he was about to cry.

“That’s probably the reaction I should have had.” Olivia mumbled angrily to herself.

“What did you do?” Louis interrogated.

“Nothing! You burst through the door, Lou, and the moment was over!” She cried.

Louis smacked his palm against his forehead. “Damnit. Call him.” He ordered her. “Call him before he goes crazy. This is huge, Olivia. I don’t think even you know the magnitude of Harry saying ‘I love you’ to anyone.”

Olivia did know this was an astronomical deal to Harry Styles and the longer she waited to return the phrase, the more insecure he was sure to get before he convinced himself he didn’t mean it. “I should call him but I have to do it in person. Like him.”

“We could be here all day, Olivia.” Louis shook his head. Eleanor let out a little ‘hey!’ hearing that part of the conversation. “Sorry, love, but you know it’s true! I love you.” He called, hearing her tingling laugh echo in the dressing room. “Call him, Olivia. Call him now.”

Olivia did as she was told, fumbling anxiously with her phone. She pressed his name, their smiling faces popping up as it dialed. Her heart was pounding furiously, waiting for his husky voice to pick up.

But, he never did. It went straight to voicemail. She tried again but met the same results. So this time she left him a message.

“Hey, Harry. So, it’s been eating at me all day. You know, what happened in the kitchen this morning. I wanted to do this in person but Lou said Eleanor could be awhile and I’m not sure where you went and since you’re not picking up, this’ll have to do.” Olivia took a deep breath, “I love you, Harry Styles.” A weight felt like it had been lifted off her shoulders, “I love you so much that it scares me because this is new to both of us and I’m not sure how it’s going to end but right now I love you and that feel like enough, right?” She smiled, even though he wouldn’t be able to see it in a voicemail, “I’ll say it as many times as you want me to when you get home. I love you, Harry. I really do.” And she hung up.

Louis half-smiled happily, “That was perfect, Olivia.”

“I hope so.” She put the phone back in her purse just as Eleanor came out of the dressing room in a stunning black gown.

A lop-sided, love-sick grin played upon Louis’ lips and Olivia couldn’t help but smile as well. “You look beautiful, Elle.” The look between their gaze was enough to convey the rest of his feelings.

Olivia glanced out the tall, glass windows that surrounded the boutique, hoping Harry would get her message soon and call her back.

+ + +

The sun had set by the time they headed back home. They raced all over town trying to find Eleanor the perfect dress, only to go back to the first dress at the first store. Louis didn’t complain once. He loved everything about Eleanor, from her scattered thoughts to her nightly sleep talking. Everything about the woman he loved was perfect.

“One day, I’m going to make her mine.” Louis confessed to Olivia when Eleanor went to freshen up when they’d stopped to eat dinner.

Olivia simply smiled and said, “I know you will.”

They walked back up to the flat with fully bellies and frozen noses.

“This is where we leave you.” Louis said somberly, Eleanor in his grip.

“See you tomorrow.” Olivia waved goodbye and used her spare key to unlock the door.

The apartment was dark and quiet, and for a moment, Olivia thought Harry hadn’t come back yet. But as she gazed across the living room, she saw him perched on the bench by the window overlooking the city. “Harry?” She called softly.

She heard him sniff and she dropped her purse on the counter and hurried over to him. “Harry, why are you just sitting in the dark?” She turned on the lamp by the television, putting his face into relief.

Olivia let out an audible gasp. Tears were steadily streaming down his blotchy, red, tormented face. His green eyes were bright with heavy tears and looked completely torn apart. He wiped his hand under his nose and sniffed again. Harry’s gaze finally met Olivia’s wondering gaze and he let out a sob. In a flash, Olivia was there, kneeling beside him, holding his snot covered hands in hers.

“Harry, what’s wrong?” She begged quietly. “Please, tell me what’s wrong.”

“I’m so sorry, Olive.” He cried, leaning down to cry into her shoulder. “Please forgive me.” Sobs raked his tall frame violently.

“Harry,” Olivia’s own eyes were tearing up, “You’re scaring me. Tell me what’s going on. Did I do something wrong? What did I do? Did you get my message?”

He shook his head, hiccupping. One shaky hand grabbed a small blue box, handing it to Olivia without looking in her terrified eyes.

She mutely opened it and the infinity necklace from the shop months ago sat pristine on a bed of cotton. She didn’t understand. She couldn’t speak. Why was Harry apologizing for giving her this thoughtful gift?

“I love it.” Olivia gulped, unable to hold back her own waves of tears. “And I love you.” Another sob escaped from his trembling mouth.

“Don’t. Don’t say that. Don’t mean it.” He begged, running a hand through the hairs that had fallen out of her bun during the long day. “Please don’t mean it. I’m not worth it.”

Harold Edward Styles.” Olivia said firmly, sniffling, “I’ll be damned if I say something I don’t mean and I love you, Harry. I love you, I love you, I love you! Deal with it because I know you love me, too.” She smashed her lips against his. Harry sobbed into it, trying so hard to keep it together, “And don’t you ever tell me you’re not worth it, Harry. Because you are. I promise you.” She whispered, their foreheads connecting as Harry let her unknowing words wash over him. “Now help me put this on, you sap.” She pulled out the small necklace. It took him as few tries with his shaking hands but he finally got it and Olivia kissed him again, grabbing his hands and bringing him back to their room.

Once they were back there, Olivia kissed him again, more forcefully, wanting nothing more than to show Harry how much she loved him. She fumbled with the buttons on his shirt but he fended her off, sniffling. “Not tonight, love.”

Harry climbed into the bed, kicking off his shoes but not bothering to change out of his dress clothes. Olivia did the same, almost forcing herself into Harry’s unwilling arms.

Olivia thought to herself as she stared out the window of the bedroom, staring up at the black sky, that tonight should have been magical. There should have been fireworks, a parade, something. But there was nothing but guilty tears. She didn’t understand what she could have done wrong. Maybe Harry just needed time for his self-destruction to understand that she really did love him.

Olivia couldn’t help thinking that tonight, in Harry’s stiff arms and his necklace around her neck, that she had never felt colder.


One more chap.



I can't find it on mibba did you change the name?

Could you post it on here?
I apologize! I thought I had put up the first chapter! RuthlessAdandon is correct. It is up on my Mibba page.
oh ok thanks :)

It's on her Mibba page under the same username.