Silent. That is what I had been for most of the day. As I looked over at Harry, I could tell that my silence was bothering him. I knew it. I didn't know how to speak to him at the moment. I was overwhelmed by everything I was feeling. I sighed and picked up my sketchbook. I flipped to a blank page. I needed to relax. I needed to clear my mind.
I stared at the blank page of my sketchbook. I'd been just staring at the page for almost twenty minutes. I heard a quiet huff from the other side of the room. Harry. Something was bothering him. I glanced up to see he was standing from his seat beside Louis. I dropped my eyes back to the blank page in front of me.
"Noli." Harry spoke gently to me. I looked up at him, still avoiding eye contact. "Lacking ideas?" He asked sadly when he saw the blank page. I shrugged casually. He seemed upset when he took my hand. "C'mon." He pulled me up from the chair and led me into the bathroom. I was confused when he locked the door behind us.
"Harry, I'm not feeling well, right now." I said softly as he tried to lift me up onto the counter.
He seemed distraught, "I know that. I can tell that you're not." I took a step back, making his hands drop from my waist. "Hey, come here." He murmured taking my hand in his. I gave into him. He didn't seem to be one for getting cheeky with me. Harry placed his hands on my hips again then lifted me onto the countertop. He brushed some hair out of my face before cupping my cheeks tenderly. It took everything I had not to recoil from his touch. I couldn't stand being touched at the moment. "Are you alright?" He asked with a genuine concern.
I smiled weakly to ease his worry, "I'm fine. I think I'm jetlagged."
"Is there anything I can do?" He inquired quietly, rubbing my arms gently. I shook my head, keeping the fake smile. "Why don't you go back to the hotel and get some rest?"
"Oh no, Harry. I can stay here." I said not wanting to be a burden on him.
"No. I can have someone take you back to the hotel. If it's something more than jetlag I don't want it to get worse because you're not getting enough rest. Please. Just go back and get some sleep." I agreed with Harry. How sweet could he possibly be? He lifted me down from the counter and set me on my feet, placing a tender kiss on my forehead. As we walked out of the bathroom, I felt all eyes on us. Everyone in the room probably though Harry and I were in the bathroom for a romp. Not that I blamed them.
Harry helped my pack up my things while Paul was on the phone to get me a car back to the hotel. Harry didn't say much and neither did I as he handed my art supplies while I packed them neatly into my bag. I could tell that every time he handed me something, he was touching my hands on purpose. He would let his fingers linger on mine for a moment longer than necessary. Or he would brush his thumb against my knuckles gently.
"Harry." Paul's voice was quiet but he caught Harry's attention. "The car is ready for E." Paul informed us. Harry nodded and picked up my packed bag. Harry slipped his hand into mine before he led me out the door. We walked in silence to where the car was parked and waiting. I didn't want to leave Harry's side. I knew he liked me being in the audience but I just didn't feel up to it.
"I'll be back around midnight. I'll try not to be any later than that." Harry murmured after throwing my bag into the back of the car. I nodded still not looking him in the eye. "Please try to get some rest. Don't just sit in bed and work." Harry smirked a bit, pressing his forehead to mine.
"Okay." I whispered.
"Noli, promise me that you'll go to sleep." Harry pleaded.
"I promise I will sleep, Bear." I spoke sweetly.
Harry placed a soft kiss on my lips, "I love you." I fought the urge to shy away yet again. Harry combed his fingers through my hair and stared at me with loving eyes.
"I love you more." I replied. I meant it. I loved Harry with all of my heart but there were things in my mind that were making me doubt how he could love me. How could this man love me? Harry helped me into the car before placing another sweet kiss on my forehead.
"I'll see you in a little while, Noli." Harry assured me once again. I gave a single nod to show I understood. Harry closed the door carefully before telling the driver it was okay for us to leave.
I crawled into bed in my huge hoodie and baggy sweatpants. They were comfortable and warm, things I needed since Harry wasn't in the bed with me. As much as I didn't want to admit it, sleeping in the heavier garments made me sweat when I was lying with Harry. But I didn't want him to see me, all of my imperfections Charles had so kindly pointed out when we spoke on the phone. It stung like nothing else to have Harry and everyone else hear the way Charles spoke to me. Granted, what they had heard was very mild but I'd done a good job of playing it down for Harry's sake.
I turned over in the bed and buried my face into Harry's pillows. I frowned when I didn't smell him. Stupid hotel rooms. I frowned and sat up. I looked around the room for a moment. When my eyes fell on what I was looking for, I climbed back out of bed. I stripped off my hoodie and tank top, swapping them for the shirt Harry had worn the day before. It was a long sleeved button down so it would keep me warm as well. When I returned to the bed, I pulled the collar of the shirt up just a little so I could take in Harry's scent. Tears sprung to my eyes when I thought of the look on his face when he heard Charles' voice. He seemed sad and angry at the same time. But what I noticed the most was that he got defensive. He tensed and leaned closer to me. His hand clenched in a fist and I don't think he realized it. It was like he was trying to hold in all of his emotions. If he was that close to losing it I made the right decision taking Charles off speaker phone when I did. Harry definitely would've have lost control had he heard what Charles was saying to me. My frown grew even more as Charles' words replayed in my head.
"I don't know why you're so mad at me. I am just telling you facts. A woman in your place should be fitter and skinnier than you." I winced at the words. I know Harry saw it when I did it the first time. I bit down on my lip as the rest of Charles' little "pep talk" entered my brain. "When we got married, it was a vow to be at my side and serve me as I see fit. Looking the way you do, makes me wonder if you took it seriously. We don't last as long in bed anymore and it's annoying. Lose weight and maybe it'll be easier for me to accept service. Maybe it won't be such a chore to have sex anymore. I didn't marry you for the conversation or you intellect. Men get married to have a woman in their bed and children in their halls." Tears fell down my face as the words stung all over again. While I didn't really love him and I didn't want to be intimate with him, it still hurt. "And don't even try to tell me that someone else would find you attractive. Your ass is getting bigger and your breasts as well. And no man wants thighs that look like yours. I'm the only one who is going to love you if you keep up with whatever shit you're doing. And that's only because you've got the hips to carry children."Then why did Harry enjoy making love so much? If I was so repulsive, why was he with me? Harry was a heartthrob according to every magazine and website on Earth. What could he possibly see in me? I tried to shake the thoughts away. Maybe Harry saw the same things in me that Charles did. Maybe he didn't love me. Maybe all I was to him was a hormonal fire starter. Did he just look at me and see what Charles was talking about and his body reacted to it? Was I just used to soothe Harry's ID? The thoughts plagued me. I hugged myself tighter as I cried and inhaled Harry's cologne from his shirt. What was this relationship with Harry? Was this even real?
I woke to the sound of Harry's voice. I opened my eyes to see him sitting on the bed beside me. His eyes were tired but happy. It hurt that he was so happy to see me. He reached out and laid his hand on my hip. I was too sleepy to fight his touch. I wanted to but I couldn't move from exhaustion.
"Hey baby." He smiled as I turned to face him more.
"Hi." I whispered. I still felt as though I could sleep for another ten years from all the crying I had done. He kissed my forehead gently. I closed my eyes at the feel of his lips: warm, soft, and loving. It was an innocent gesture. One that made me feel at ease for the first time all day.
His smile widened, "I need you to get up." He brushed his fingers against my cheek lightly. Another innocent gesture that made me feel comfort.
"Did I sleep through the night? Do we have to go to an event?" I asked feeling a bit panicked.
"No." Harry chuckled. "I just want to show you something. You don't have to get dressed. Your jammies will work just fine." I nodded but my eyes closed again. "Come on. You can half sleep on me in the lift." Harry laughed again. I sat up and Harry removed the blankets from my legs. He gave me the same frown as earlier when he saw the sweatpants. I knew he didn't like the pants but he didn't say a word about it. It was a bit of a comfort that he didn't ask me to change or ask why I was wearing them. But I could tell he was happy to see me in his shirt. He always made comments on me wearing his shirts.
Harry pulled my body against his as we stood in the elevator waiting to be brought to our destination. I wrapped my arms around his waist and rested my head on his collar bone. I hummed when he started to rub my back in a slow, soothing, circular motion. He knew how much I loved it when he rubbed my back while we were cuddling in bed. I loved that he was doing it now. I started to fall asleep against him when the bell for the elevator rang. The doors opened quietly.
"We have to walk up a few more flights for what I want to show you, okay?" Harry informed me. I nodded and let him lead me off the elevator. I followed him down a long hall to a smaller doorway. After entering the stairwell, we traveled up another three flights of stairs. I didn't bother looking at the floor we stopped on when Harry turned to me. He was getting too excited. "I love you. You know that right?" Harry asked sweetly. I didn't say anything. "Well I do." He opened turned the door handle. "And I am going to prove it." He flung the door open with a huge smile. My hands instantly flew over my mouth. I didn't know what to say. I had no idea what to think.
Sorry about a delayed post. I was going to update earlier in the day but I got caught up reading another fic. It's called Whiplash and it is just fantastic. It's a Niall story and SO worthy of a read. GO. Go now. :)