Chapter 8

Elena’s POV:

 

            “Yeah, Mum, I’m fine,” Harry says into the phone, running a hand through his curls. “Yeah, erm, I’m staying at a friend’s house.”

 

            I bite my bottom lip, leaving the living room so he could talk to his mum as I go to find Lucy. “Hey, Luce?” I ask, approaching her near the stove.

 

            She turns. “Yes, love?” she asks.

 

            I bite my bottom lip hard. “Could you, um, not tell Mum and Dad about this? About Harry staying here? They’re just gonna get really angry about it.”

 

            Lucy gives me a soft smile, nodding. “Of course, dear,” she says. “Your secret’s safe with me.”

 

            I give her a smile and return back into the living room. Harry is looking out the window as the rain pelts it, drops streaming down the surface. Thunder roars outside and lightening flashes, the clouds darkening the skies.

 

            I still couldn’t believe that Harry would have to stay here – and for how long, I don’t even know. This storm could go on for days, which means Harry’s gonna be staying here for days. I don’t know if I should be glad or not. I mean, I know I fancy Harry, but having him live here for a couple of days? That’s just a whole new stage of danger. But the longer the storm goes on, means the longer my parents are gonna be away, which also means the longer I get to spend time with Harry.

 

            Suddenly, a loud gust of wind could be heard from outside, and something slammed up stairs on the second floor. My eyes widened, knowing exactly what it was. “Shit,” I curse, before turning and running up the stairs.

 

            I could hear Harry’s footsteps behind me as I run into my room. Wind with slight water blow around my room as I run towards my balcony doors which were swaying back and forth fastly because of the wind. I try to push them closed, but the wind was too strong for me. Suddenly, a hand places itself next to mine on the door and pushes the door close with force, and I look up to see it was Harry.

 

            When he managed to shut both doors, I quickly locked the doors so they wouldn’t open again. Once locked, I look up at Harry, letting out a breath. “Thanks,” I say, running a hand through my light brown hair.

 

            “You’re welcome,” Harry says, stepping back. He looks around, gazing at everything in the room. “Is this your room?”

 

            I nod. “Yeah,” I say, leaning against the balcony door.

 

            Harry walked over to my dresser where there was a picture frame of me and Tyler. It was last year during the summer, where my hair was lighter and my skin was tanner. It was taken at the beach, with me in my blue bikini and him in his dark green swimming trunks. Our hair was dripping wet as the two of us stood in front of the glistening ocean, smiling at the camera.

 

            “Who’s that?” Harry asks, pointing to the picture.

 

            “My older brother, Tyler,” I tell him. “He goes to Manchester University.”

 

            Harry looks at me, a small smile on his face. “My sister does too.” I smile and he looks around a bit more. “How come you don’t have pictures with your parents?”

 

            I shrug, sitting on the edge of my bed. “My parents aren’t really ones to take pictures,” I say. Suddenly, my phone rang. Looking at the screen, I saw that it was my mother. Biting my lip, I answer the phone. “Hey, Mum.”

 

            “Elena, are you alright? We heard about the storm,” her voice came through the ear piece.

 

            “Yeah, I’m fine,” I tell her. “It’s just a little rain.”

 

            “Okay, well stay safe,” she lets out a sigh. “Stay home.”

 

            I roll my eyes. “Alright, I will. Bye.”

 

            “Bye,” she says, before hanging up.

 

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

 

            “This rain isn’t slowing down any time soon,” Harry murmurs as he stares out the big living room window.

 

            I let out a sigh, standing up. “It’s getting late,” I say. “We should go to bed.” Harry nods and stands up as well, and the two of us walk to the second floor. I show him where the guest room is, and then go into Tyler’s room to get out a pair of his old pajamas. “You can just wear these,” I say, handing the clothes to him.

 

            “Thanks,” he murmurs, taking the clothes from me.

 

            “Night, Harry,” I say, walking out the door.

 

            “Night,” I hear him mumble.

 

            I walk back into my room, and change into my own pajamas. I change into a blue tank top and white night shorts. Once I had brushed my teeth, I walk over to my bed and plop down on it. The thunder keeps roaring outside, and every five seconds my room lights up because of the lightening. I’ve never been a big fan of thunder storms since they always scared me. Tyler would always be there to comfort me at night whenever they occured, but he’s not here right now.

 

            Staring up at the ceiling, my mind wandered over to the boy who was in the room next to mine. I don’t even know how we became friends. We were just harmless project partners, but now we’re friends. We talk at school and he visits me at work some times, gives me a lift in his car, and occasionally steals glances at me. I don’t know what’s going on between Harry and I, and no matter how much it’s confusing me, I kind of maybe like it.

 

            For some reason, my mind started thinking about Harry. His curls, his green eyes, pink lips, dimples, and that smirk. That smirk that never leaves his flawless face. He was so hot, but at the same time really adorable. His low voice sent shivers down my spine every time he spoke. The way he looked at me, as if he was looking through me. He had such an intense stare, it could make me melt on the spot.

 

            Thunder suddenly loudly roared out, making me gasp and shoot up in bed. I breathed heavily as I tried to calm myself down. Stupid thunder. Sighing, I swung my legs over the edge of the bed as I stood up. Lightening lighted up my room once again as I walked out of my room. Slowly, I walked towards the guest room where Harry was sleeping, and opened the door. Peering inside, I saw that Harry wasn’t in fact sleeping. He was laying in bed, arms crossed at the back of his head as he looked up, staring off into space.

 

            “Harry?” I ask quietly, stepping inside.

 

            Harry’s head turned, looking at me. “What’s up?” he asks.

 

            I bite my bottom lip. “I can’t sleep,” I say as a blush rises up to my cheeks. Thank God it’s dark in here.

 

            I hear Harry lowly chuckle. “Come on over.”

 

            I smile slightly as I walk over to the bed and he moves over to give me some space. Climbing on to the bed next to him, Harry pulls the cover on top of the two of us. Another loud thunder passes by and I let out a quiet whimper.

 

            “You’re really scared of thunder, aren’t you?” Harry’s husky voice asks, amusement lacing it.

 

            “Just a bit,” I mumble, tightening the duvet around me.

 

            “Come ’ere,” he mumbles, and I soon feel two strong arms wrap around my waist. My eyes widen as Harry pulls me towards him, my back being pressed up against his hard chest. “You’re safe,” he whispers.

 

            It’s safe to say I fell asleep with a smile on my face.

 

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

 

            The next morning I woke up in the guest room bed, Harry nowhere in sight. Letting out a yawn, I stood up and walked out of the room and down the stairs, my bare feet padding the cold marble floor. I enter the kitchen, where I see Lucy making pancakes and Harry eating them.

 

            “Seriously, you’re the best cook ever,” he tells her with a smile on his face.

 

            “Aw, thank you, dear,” Lucy laughs, turning around. She sees me and her eyes light up. “Morning, darling!”

 

            Harry green eyes travel over to me and he sends me a small smile. “Morning,” I mumble, pushing my hair back. I sit down on the chair opposite of Harry as Lucy places a stack of pancakes in front of me. “Thanks,” I say. I pick up the syrup and pour it over the pancakes. Taking a fork, I cut some pieces and start eating them. “Is it still raining?” I ask.

 

            And as if on cue, loud thunder struck, causing me to jump in my seat. “That answer your question?” Harry smirks, a dimple in view.

 

            I roll my eyes, eating my breakfast. Once I’m done, I put my dish in the plate and Harry does the same once he’s done too. Exiting the kitchen, I walk into the living room and sit on the couch that’s in front of the window. I look out the window and see how the rain is still pouring down, lightening lighting up the sky and thunder deeply roaring. I sigh, propping my right elbow on the couch and my chin resting on the palm of my hand.

 

            “It looks so depressing outside,” I sigh, looking out.

 

            I feel the couch dip to my left and from the corner of my eye, I see Harry sitting there.      “It sure does,” he chuckles lowly. “We should be productive,” he then adds.

 

            I give him a weird look. “What do you have in mind?”

 

            Harry looks at me before standing up. “Stand up,” he instructs.

 

            I look at in him confusion, but stand up anyway. My height is up to Harry’s nose, so I have to look up at him. As Harry looks down at me, his smirk reappears. All of a sudden, I’m being lifted off of the ground and am thrown over Harry’s shoulders. His arms were wrapped around the back of my knees to keep me from falling, and my hair was falling over my head.

 

            “Harry!” I yell, startled but laughing. “What are you doing?!”

 

            “Being productive,” he replies, and I can practically hear the smirk in his voice.

 

            Harry starts spinning around in the middle of the living room with me still on his shoulders, laughing. “Let me down!” I laugh, pounding his back even though it doesn’t effect him. “LUCY! Help!” I shout.

 

            Lucy comes out of the kitchen with a worried look on her face. But when she sees Harry and I, she just laughs and returns to the kitchen, murmuring, “What cuties.”

 

            “Harry, oh my God, let me go,” I laugh as he stops spinning around. He finally sets me down, my bare feet touching the carpetted floor. “Than – Whoa.”

 

            “Careful,” Harry chuckles, holding on to my shoulders as I felt really dizzy.

 

            “The room’s spinning,” I say, closing my eyes tightly. “Your fault,” I add, smacking his chest as I open my eyes.

 

            Harry simply laughs. My phone starts blaring Heart Skips A Beat by Olly Murs. Looking at it, I see Melody’s face lighting up the screen. Reaching for my phone, I press accept. “Hey, girl,” I say, falling back on the couch as Harry goes on the other couch, laying down.

 

            “How you holding up, El?” Melody asks, referring to the storm.

 

            “Good,” I say. “I have company,” I chuckle, looking at Harry who sends me a cheeky wink.

 

            “Who?” she asks.

 

            I chuckle. “Harry.”

 

            “NO WAY!” she yells, causing me to flinch. “Don’t do the dirty!”

 

            My eyes widen. “For goodness sakes, Mel,” I say. At this moment, I’m glad Harry can only hear one side of the conversation.

 

            She just laughs. “At least you’re not alone,” she says brightly. “I know how much you hate storms.”

 

            “Yeah, I know,” I chuckle. “What about you? Everything okay there?”

 

            “Mhm,” she hums. “Just that Monti’s bedroom’s ceiling is leaking a bit. Nothing that can’t be fixed.” A loud thunder suddenly roars, causing Harry and I to look outside. A minute later, everything blacked out.

 

            “Shit, Mels, I gotta go. The lights just went out,” I say, standing up. Hanging up the phone, I put it in my pocket.

 

            Harry stands up as well as I look around. The whole house was dark, only some light seeping through the wet windows and when lightening strikes. I walked over to where the kitchen was. “Lucy?” I call out. She doesn’t reply. “Lucy?!” I shout louder. Where was she?

 

            “She’s probably in the bathroom or something,” Harry tries to calm me down.

 

            I nodded, trying to calm myself down as well. That attempt soon failed when another round of thunder went by, and I let out a shriek as I clutched on to Harry’s bicep. “For fuck’s sake,” I mumble.

 

            Harry chuckles in amusement. “Come on; do you have any candles anywhere?”

 

            I nod, motioning for him to follow me. We walk into the kitchen and I head over to where the pantry is. Looking up, I saw that the candles were on the top shelf. “Up there,” I point.

 

            Harry walks over and reaches up easily, picking up the candles. There were three of them – two apple scented one and one cinnamon scented. I took out a lighter and lighted up each of the candles. I picked up the cinnamon     scented one and Harry grabbed the other two, walking into the living room. I set the candle on the coffee table, as Harry set one in the kitchen and the other one in the bathroom.

 

            From under the bathroom cabinet, I grabbed a flashlight that we kept. Walking back into the living room, I sat down on the couch as Harry sat on the recliner. “So what now?” he asks, the candle light lighting up his face.

 

            I sigh, running a hand through my hair. “Now, I’m going to go take a shower,” I say, standing up.

 

            “Seriously?” Harry asks, quirking an eyebrow.

 

            I chuckle, nodding. “Yeah.”

 

            Harry rolls his eyes as I take the flashlight and go up the stairs. Once in my room, I quickly grab a pair of denim short shorts that compliment my slightly tanned legs and a baby blue off-the-shoulder top. Grabbing the clothes and the flashlight, I walk into my bathroom and close the door. Setting the flashlight on top of the closed toilet lid, I got into the shower.

 

            Once I was finished with the shower, I changed into the clothes I had picked and since I couldn’t dry my hair with the hair dryer, I used the toilet. Once my hair was a bit dry, I took the flashlight and walked back down the stairs. I found Harry still on the recliner, doing something on his phone. Turning my head, I looked at the clock as I pointed the flashlight towards it as well. It was only half past three.

 

            “The storm’s supposed to pass along by tomorrow,” Harry says, locking his iPhone.

 

            I let out a sigh of relief as I turn off the flash light, the only light now glowing is the one because of the candle. I looked at my phone as I unlocked the screen, and saw that I had a new message. My eyes widened when I saw that it was from Lucy.

 

From: Lucy.

 

I’m at my place. Things were flying all over and I had to make sure everything was okay. Stay safe! Xx

 

            We had a guest house right next to my house, but we had given it to Lucy for her to live in. If she ever got married and had kids, they were allowed to live there too. “So did you talk to your mum?” I ask Harry as my feet rest along on top of the couch.

 

            Harry nods. “Yeah,” his deep voice speaks. “She’s doing okay.” He then adds, “What about you? Did your parents call?”

 

            I let out a dry chuckle and shake my head. “No. I’m not surprised, though.”

 

            “They’re probably busy taking care of your mum’s aunt,” Harry reassures me.

 

            I scoff. “She’s in surgery,” I say pointedly. “Not much they can help with.”

 

            Harry looks at me from the recliner, and I can see the intense look in his green eyes. “Why are you so sure that your parents don’t care about you?” he asks, leaning forward a bit.

 

            “They never really gave me a reason to believe otherwise,” I shrug. “All they showed interest in was test scores and report cards. They didn’t care when I passed my driver’s test, or even when I lost my first tooth.”

 

            Harry’s face drops slightly. “What about your birthdays? They probably cared then.”

 

            I shake my head. “Nope,” I sigh. “For my sixteenth birthday, they paid for the whole thing, but never bothered showing up.”

 

            “So they never got your presents?” Harry questions.

 

            “All I ever got was money as gifts,” I roll my eyes.

 

            “Doesn’t that count for something?”        

 

            “No. I mean, I get it when people say ‘it’s the thought that counts’, but my parents don’t even know me well enough to know what I want. They just throw their money at me and think it satisfies me.”

 

Harry’s POV:

 

            Mum was right, I have to be honest. She told me not to judge Elena so quickly and that there may be more to her than meets the eye – and she was right.

 

I would always see Elena walking in the hallway with her little group of friends, and I always thought that she was a girl who was full of herself, kind of like the other girls around here. I thought that Elena Carter didn’t care about anyone or anything except for herself, but I was proved wrong. Here I am, looking at an upset girl sitting on the couch, staring off into space as if she was thinking about something dreadful.

 

I had judged Elena by what I saw on the outside – a girl who has everything she possibly could want – than actually seeing what’s on the inside – a girl who has everything she possibly could want, but not having what she really needs. She needs someone who actually cares for her, not her grades like her parents do. Personally, I think her parents are being assholes for just caring about their daughter’s grades. I mean, yeah, school is important and all. But you can care about it only so much.

 

Just by looking around and talking to Elena, I can tell that her parents haven’t been there much for her. They’ve been there physically, but not emotionally. They basically didn’t care about anything that had to do with Elena except for her school grades, which is utter bullshit. No child should go through that; it deprives them of their sense of love. Elena may have never even felt what love was, since her parents never even showed any of it towards her. They worked; that’s all they did.

 

My eyes wandered over to Elena, who was now standing up. “Do you want dinner? I can boil up some hot dogs.”

 

I nod and stand up as well. “I’ll help.”

 

“You don’t have to,” she chuckles lightly as we walk towards the kitchen.

 

“No, but I want to,” I smirk, entering the kitchen.

 

Elena went over to the freezer and took out the hot dog sausages and the buns from the top of the fridge. “The pot is under the sink,” she tells me.

 

Bending down, I open the cabinet under the sink and took out a small pot and filled half of it with water. Setting it on the stove, Elena walked over and put in four sausages. The entire kitchen was lit up by the single apple scented candle that was set up on the kitchen island. As the sausages boiled in the water, Elena jumped and sat on the counter top, swinging her legs off the edge.

 

“So how come you never date?” Elena asks, palms resting on the counter on her side.

 

I lift my head a little to look into her sky blue eyes that were filled with curiousness. Her question seemed so genuine and she seemed really interested. I smirked, leaning against the wall as my ankles crossed over each other and my arms were crossed over my chest. “All of these girls around here seem so... Fake. They were too easy.”

 

“Too easy?” Elena repeats, raising an eyebrow.

 

I shrug. “They would give themselves in way too quickly,” I explain. “I don’t want a girl like that, nor do I want a girl just for the sake of having  a girlfriend. I want a girl for me that I know is someone special; that I can see myself in the future with. Not one that’s just gonna be some girl that I date.”

 

By the time I finish my little speech, Elena has a small smile as the candle light illuminates her face. “That’s actually really... Thoughtful,” she says.

 

I give her a small smile. “What about you?” I ask, leaning my head against the wall. “Do you ever date?”

 

Elena lets out a sigh. “No,” she says. “Between school and work, I’d never be able to give a guy the time of day.” Elena bites her bottom lip. “It wouldn’t be fair to him if my focus wasn’t on the relationship.” I nod, understanding her reason. She then hops off the counter and walks over to the stove. Turning it off, Elena says, “Hot dogs are done.”

 

Pushing myself off of the wall, I grab two plates and pull out four hot dog buns as Elena takes the tongs and takes out the sausages. Once the two of us have our two hot dogs, I grab the ketchup bottle and put some of it on my hot dogs along with some mustard. When we have our food, Elena and I walk out and into the living room, sitting down on the couch next to the window.

 

            Elena and I ate our dinner together as we looked out at the rainy sky and had conversations about random things. We talked about friends, movies, books, all that type of stuff. It was half past nine, and the two of us were getting tired pretty quick.

 

            “Do you wanna just sleep in here?” she asks me, looking around the living room. “We can bring in some sleeping bags with blankets and pillows.”

 

            The room was big enough for that, so why not? “Sure,” I shrug.

 

            I follow her up stairs with a flash light as the two of us get some blankets and pillows. Once we have enough of them for the two of us, we return to the living room and Elena starts spreading them out. When we’re done and I’m about to stand up, a pillow hits my chest. I raise an eyebrow as I look at Elena, who’s smiling innocently.

 

            “Here’s your pillow,” she grins.

 

            I just chuckle. Elena and I then changed and returned to the living room. The two of us laid down next to each other on the floor on top of the blankets and pulled a duvet over us that we shared. As we laid down, thunder struck outside, and I could make out Elena shifting nervously. It was cute how she was afraid of thunder storms. So to calm her nerves, I wrapped my arms around her small waist as I pull her closer.

 

            She got a bit tense but when she realized that it was just me, she relaxed. “What are you doing?” Elena mumbles.

 

            “Shh,” I say quietly. “Just go to sleep.”

 

            And within minutes, she was knocked out, will me following soon after.