Chapter 24

Carly’s POV:

 

            “So who exactly is this Austin guy?” Soha asks, popping a grape into her mouth. I was over at Niall’s flat with her, Eleanor, and Danielle. We were just missing Perrie, who was sadly on tour. It didn’t feel complete without her.

 

            I let out a sigh, tucking my legs underneath me as I sat on the couch next to Danielle. “The two of us used to be best friends,” I say.

 

            “How come you never mentioned him before?” Danielle asks, picking a grape from the big bowl in front of us.

 

            “He wasn’t worth mentioning,” I shrug. “We were friends, and then had a thing going on. But that soon ended later on.”

 

            “Why? What happened?” Eleanor asks.

 

            I bite my bottom lip. “I found out that he was just using me to get back with his ex girlfriend,” I say with a shaky sigh. The girls’ faces dropped, and I just chuckle bitterly. “I honestly can’t believe I was so oblivious to it. I mean, she was the first girl he ever fell in love with, and he...”

 

            Soha gives me a small, sympathetic smile. “And he was the first guy you ever fell in love with, huh?”

 

            I nod, feeling the tears coming into my eyes as Danielle rubs my upper left arm. “I never talk about him, at all. Ashley knows about him, but we never, ever talk about him. I never told Harry because all I wanted to do was forget about Austin. He was a person in my past, something who isn’t worth remembering.”

 

            “You don’t still love him, right?” Eleanor asks.

 

            “I sure hope not,” a deep, raspy voice spoke.

 

            We turned around, and my eyes widened when I saw Harry leaning against the entry way of the living room, arms crossed against his chest. His green eyes burned into my brown ones, curly hair sitting perfectly on top of his head.

 

            Danielle bites her bottom lip and says, “Come on, girls. Let’s leave these two alone.”

 

            The three of them stand up and exit Niall’s flat. I keep sitting on the couch, and Harry walks over to me, sitting on the couch right next to me. “How come you never told me about him?” Harry asks, breaking the defeaning silence.

 

            I bite the inside of my cheek. “Like I said, he wasn’t worth remembering,” I say. “I wanted to forget him. He was just... Someone in my past.”

 

            Harry’s right hand envelops my right one, giving it a squeeze. “So why is he coming back now?”

 

            I shook my head. “I wish I knew,” I say, a tear falling out of my eye. “Ugh, why the hell am I crying?” I groan, my left hand reaching up and wiping the tears away.

 

            “Because the jerk hurt you,” Harry says, his hands now cupping my face. “But trust me, he’s not going to again.”

 

            I sigh. “I don’t want to see him again, Harry.”

 

            “Does your mum know what he did to you?” Harry questions, tucking a strand of hair behind my ear.

 

            I shake my head. “I don’t think so. For all she knows, Austin had to move away and we lost touch. To her, this is like two best friend reuniting.”

 

            “Why don’t you just tell her?” Harry frowns.

 

            I run a hand through my hair. “She probably put the whole thing together of bringing him here,” I say. “I don’t wanna disappoint her – but I don’t wanna see him either.”

 

            “Don’t worry,” Harry gives me a small smile. “I’ll be with you, okay? You won’t have to be with him by yourself.”

 

            “Thanks, Haz,” I smile, leaning in and placing a kiss softly on his lips.

 

            “No problem,” he mumbles against my lips, before leaning back in and deepening the kiss.

 

*************

 

            “So when is Austin coming?” I ask Mum. The lads and I were all over at my parents house and were having lunch, which was lasagna.

 

            “He should be here in half an hour,” Mum answer, sipping her water.

 

            “Half an hour?!” I almost choke on my pasta. I had no idea he was coming this early! I look at Harry, who’s jaw clenches, and the boys who have worried looks on their faces. They too knew about what Austin did, and it’s safe to say they weren’t pleased with him.

 

            Mum nods and Harry asks, “How long is he staying here for?”

 

            “Only five days,” Mum replies, as if it were no big deal.

 

            I let out a quiet sigh as I continue eating my food. We all ate in a semi-awkward silence, until the doorbell rang. My eyes widened as I realized a half an hour past much too fast, and Mum got up to get the door, setting Riley on Niall’s laugh as he grins at her. Two minutes later, Mum enters the room with the familiar boy.

 

            He had grown taller than the last time I saw him, almost Harry’s height. He had dark blue eyes and dirty blonde, almost brown hair. His broad shoulders and toned chest grew as he had grown, and it’s safe to say he was really good looking. But I had no interest in him, and I never will.

 

            Austin’s eyes landed on me, an annoying smirk on his face as Mum grins at me. “I’ll leave you lot to it,” she says happily, taking Riley from Niall and leaving the room.

 

            “Hey, Carly,” Austin smirks, walking further into the room.

 

            I roll my eyes. “Austin,” I say bluntly, standing up and then look at my friends, who are too standing up. “These are my friends Niall, Louis, Zayn, and Liam,” I introduce each of them. “And my boyfriend, Harry,” I add with a smile.

 

            Austin’s smirk somewhat falters but it doesn’t fully vanish from his face. “Nice to meet you all,” he says.

 

            “Wish we could say the same,” Harry mumbles from next to me, causing me to giggle slightly.

 

            “What was that?” Austin asks him, raising an eyebrow.

 

            “Oh, nothing,” Harry smirks, and I bite my bottom lip to keep me from smiling.

 

            “So, Austin,” I cross my arms over my chest. “Why are you even here?”

 

            He shrugs. “Your mum invited me.”

 

            I roll my eyes. “No, why are you really here?” I ask, my jaw clenching.

 

            The smirk comes back on Austin’s face. “I wanted to see you, Carls,” he says. “I can’t visit my best friend?”

 

            “You lost that oppurtunity when you hurt her,” Harry spat, his hand lacing with mine and squeezing it.

 

            Austin’s gaze shifted from me to Harry, and he glared at him. “I don’t think you’re in any position to tell me what I can and can’t do,” Austin retorted. “I can be friends with Carly if I want to.”

 

            “Question is,” Louis smirks, “does Carly wanna be friends with you?”

 

            “Because I doubt it,” Zayn adds.

 

            I personally thought it was sweet how the boys were backing me up, knowing what Austin had done to me in the past. But Austin ignored what they were saying, and locked his eyes with mine.

 

            “Why are you even with that boy band member?” he asks me, raising an eyebrow. “Didn’t he cheat on you?”

 

            Harry’s eyes widen and the boys’ jaw drop as Austin simply smirks, and I glare at him. Did he seriously have the nerve to say that? After what happened? “Austin, Harry cheating on me wasn’t nearly as bad as what you did,” I snap at him. “At least Harry was sorry about it, but you? You didn’t even care to apologize.”

 

            “Yeah, three years later!” I exclaim. I let out a breath, shaking my head. “I don’t see why you’re here, because I never wanted to see you again.” Austin’s face slightly dropped. Letting out a sigh, I look at the rest of the boys and then back at Austin. “How’s Lindsay? You still with her?”

 

            “We broke up a few months ago,” Austin admits.

 

            “Aw, too bad,” I say sarcastically. I was in no mood to be nice to him, and I didn’t care if I appeared like a bitch. “Were you using her too?”

 

            Austin glares at me. “When did you become such a bitch?” he asks, proving my thoughts from earlier.

 

            “Don’t you dare call her that!” Harry barked, stepping forward. I grabbed his upper arm, my eyes widening at how angry he got just by Austin simply calling me a bitch. Harry then turned to me, “C’mon, Carls.”

 

            Grabbing my hand, Harry took me out of the room and towards the stairs. But as we walked up, I looked up and my eyes widened as I saw the person standing on the top of the stairs, and it looked like she had heard everything.

 

            “Mum.”