Chapter 71.

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When we enter the house Karen and Ken are sitting on the couch in the living room, they both look up when we walk in.

"Harry! What happened?" Ken asks, his voice panicked.

"I'm fine." Harry grumbles.

"What happened to him?" Ken turns to me.

"He got in a fight, he hasn't told me with who or why." I explain.

"I am standing right here and I just said I am fucking fine." He spits.

"Don't talk to him like that!" I scold him and his eyes widen. Instead of screaming at me, he takes my wrist in his busted hand and pulls me out of the room. I hear Ken and Karen talking about Harry's bloody appearance as he drags me upstairs. Once we reach his room he turns me around, pinning both of my wrists to the wall and steps towards me leaving only a few inches between us.

"Don't ever do that again." he says through his teeth.

"Do what? Let go of me." I tell him and he rolls his eyes before letting go and opening his bedroom door. He walks towards the bed and I stay close to the door. Ken and Karen are probably wondering why Harry keeps coming here, he never used to come here.

"Don't tell me how to talk to my father. Worry about your own relationship with your father before trying to meddle in mine." As soon as the words come out of his mouth, they register with him and he looks up at me as I take a step backwards. 'I'm sorry.. I didn't mean it like that.. It just came out." He tries to apologize.

"It always just 'comes out' doesn't it?" I can't help the tears pricking my eyes. The comment about my father was just too much, even for Harry.

"Tess, I.." He begins but stops himself. What am I doing here? Why do I keep thinking he will stop the endless string of insults long enough to have an actual conversation with me? Because I am an idiot, that's why.

"It's fine, really. That's who you are, that's what you do. You find people's weakness and you exploit it. You use it to your advantage. How long have you been waiting to say something about my father? You have probably been waiting for an opening since you met me!" I shout.

"Damn it! No I haven't! I wasn't thinking when I said that! You are not innocent here, you provoke me on purpose!' He yells, even louder than I did.

"Provoke you? I provoke you! Please, do enlighten me!" I almost scream. I know everyone in the house can hear be but for once, I don't care.

"You always push my buttons! You constantly fight with me! You go on dates with Zayn, I mean fuck! You think I like being this way? Do you think I like you having this control over me? I hate the way you get under my skin, I loathe the way I can't seem to stop thinking about you! I hate you.. I really do! You're such a pretentious little.." He stops and looks at me. I force myself to look back at him, putting on the charade that he didn't just tear me apart with every syllable.

"This is what I am talking about!" He runs his hands over his hair as he paces back and forth across the room. "You.. you make me crazy, literally insane! And then you have the nerve to ask if I love you? Why would you even ask that? Because I said that one time, on accident? I told you already that I didn't mean it so why would you ask again? You like rejection don't you? That's why you keep coming around me, isn't it?" He is screaming at me and all I want to do is run, run out of this room and never, ever look back.

"No, I keep coming around because I love you." I finally admit. I cover my mouth, wishing I could push the words back in. He couldn't possibly hurt me worse than he has and I don't want to be left wondering what he would have said if I told him. I am okay with him not loving me, I got myself into this knowing how he was all along.

"You what?" He looks astonished. He blinks rapidly as if trying to process the words.

"Go on, tell me how much you hate me again. Go ahead and tell me how stupid I am for loving someone who can't stand me." I say, my voice comes out foreign and almost as a whine. I wipe my eyes and look at him again. "I'll be going now." I say, I feel as if I am walking away from a battle in which I have been gravely been defeated. I need to leave the scene to bandage my internal wounds.

As I open the door he takes one long stride to close the gap between us. I refuse to look at him as he puts his hand on my shoulder. "Damn it, don't go." he says, his voice is full of emotion, which emotion is the question.

"You love me?" He whispers and puts his busted hand under my chin to tilt my head to him. I dart my eyes away from his and nod slowly, waiting for him to laugh in my face.

"Why?" His breath comes in a hot burst against my face. I finally bring my eyes to his and he looks.. afraid?

"What?" I ask softly.

"Why do you love.. how could you possibly love me?" His voice cracks and he stares at me and I feel like the words I say next will carry much more weight than I ever expected.

I have no explanation except that I just do. He drives me crazy, makes me angrier than I have ever been, but somehow I fell for him, hard. "How could you not know that I love you?" I ask instead of answering  him. He doesn't think I could love him?

"You told me you didn't, and you went out with Zayn. You always leave me, you left me on the porch earlier when I begged you for another chance. I told you I loved you and you rejected me. Do you know how hard that was for me?" He says. I must be imagining the wetness in the corners of his eyes.

I am too aware of his callused fingers under my chin. "You took it back before I could even process what you said, you have done a lot of things to hurt me, Harry." I tell him and he nods.

"I know.. I'm sorry. Let me make it up to you? I know I don't deserve you, I don't have the right to even be asking this.. but please, just one chance. I am not promising not to fight with you, or get mad at you but I am promising to give myself to you, completely. Please, just let me try to be what you need." He sounds so unsure of himself, it turns my insides to liquid.

"I want to think this can work but I just don't know how it could, so much damage has already been done." My eyes betray me as the tears fall. Harry brings his fingers up from my chin and captures the tears.

"Do you remember when you asked me who I love the most in the world?" He asks, his lips inches from mine.

I nod, how does he remember that? It seems so long ago and I didn't think he was even paying attention.

"Its you. You're the person that I love most in the world." his words surprise me and dissolve the ache in my chest.

"This isn't part of your sick game is it?" I ask before I let myself believe him and turn to my usually state of putty in his arms.

"No, Tessa. I am done with the games, I just want you. I want to be with you, in a real relationship. You'll have to take the lead of course because I don't know what in the hell that even means." he laughs and I join him.

"I have missed your laugh, I haven't heard it enough. I want to be the one to make you laugh, not cry. I know I am a lot to handle.." he says but I cut him off by pressing my lips against his. His lips are rushed and I can taste the blood from his lip being busted. My knees want to buckle from the electricity shooting through me, it seems so long ago that I last felt his mouth on mine. I love this damaged, self loathing, asshole so much that I am afraid it will crush me. He lifts me up and I wrap my thighs around him, tangling my fingers into his hair. He moans into my mouth and gasp, pulling harder. My tongue runs over his bottom lip and he winces, I pull away.

"Who did you get in a fight with?" I ask and he laughs.

"You're asking that now?"

"Yea, I want to know." I smile.

"You always have so many questions, can't I answer them later?" he pouts.

"No, tell me."

"Only if you'll stay." He holds me against him tighter. "Please?" He begs.

"Okay." I breath and kiss him again, forgetting about my question.

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