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"Will you keep the t shirt on?"

The majority of Harry's attention was devoted to the road, surveying the other vehicles rushing by, but I knew his query raised something that was troubling him, no matter how casual he appeared. And even more so when I countered his question with one of my own, his nonchalant demeanour cracking.

"Are you going to wear yours in the pool?"

"No." He scoffed.

His abrupt objection implied that my suggestion was absurd.

"Well, don't expect me to either." I popped another M&M in my mouth. "I'm sure you'll have lots of girls staring at you, but I'm not going to complain."

Not aloud anyway, I would just mentally curse them in a warning to stay away. My desire to allow anyone the privilege of witnessing Harry remove his clothes was none existent. I'd seen the way he'd drawn female attention before, there was no effort involved on his part. He could have been wearing a plastic bin-bag and had the same reaction. However, there were times when no-one would dare approach him, times when the harsh edge to his eyes couldn't lure in the keenest of females.

But I'd be there. Even when they were consumed with his past. I'd still be by his side.

"Fine." He grumbled, flicking to another song on the connected ipod.

"Good boy." I teasingly patted his head before offering him a plain M&M as a reward.

"I'm not a dog, Bo."

The acceptance of chocolate seemed to negate the challenge in his tone.

"No," I began "not a dog, your resemblance is swayed much more to puppy."

The cooing voice I used seemed to agitate him, withdrawing a hand from the wheel to swat me away as I tried to pinch his cheek that was becoming increasingly pink.

"Be nice!" I called, dropping a few coloured sweets to the seat. "I meant it in an affectionate way."

"Bo, not in the car." Harry scolded.

My venture to collect the escaping chocolate was accompanied by an eye roll. It was only the one time. One time I had spilt a bottle of coke in the passenger seat and now Harry was paranoid about allowing anything that could possibly be knocked over in the car. I was pretty sure that if we hadn't of needed to keep to a time schedule, Harry would have made me eat my chocolate outside before letting me settle next to him in his treasured vehicle.


"Bloody hell." I exclaimed.

My palms pressed to the window as Harry pulled into a gravel drive. It was safe to say I'd never seen a house like it, perhaps with the exception of something on TV. Harry had completely downplayed the size of the place, and the beauty.

"I know, right." Harry lightly laughed.

We pulled up onto the grass verge, a number of other cars, not all of them parked as neatly as Harry's, were lined up in all different colours. Although Harry's car was the only black one present.

Small stones crunched under my Vans as I walked around to the bonnet to meet Harry. My body fit closely to his, an arm securing me in place. His fingers splayed over my left shoulder, the action reaffirming his promise to keep me safe, always under his protection.

Our footsteps disturbed the gravel, the movement almost in time to the beat of heavy bass thumping through the otherwise silent countryside. My legs worked double speed, two steps to every long stride of Harry's as we neared the modern looking residence. It was a huge red brick building, music thundering against the window panes, pretty flower vines crawling up each side of the front door. Such a contrast. Thick hedges marked the boundaries running alongside the house and I wished I could revisit Hayley's home in the sun and without the disruptive music.

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