Chapter 55 - Snowman sweater & birthday boy

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"No," Harry said. "Absolutely not, Norah."

I held up the red sweater again to examine it. As unflattering as the light up reindeer sweater was, I was about 90% sure Harry would still resemble some sort of high-class fashion model in it. "You have to," I pouted, holding it up against his chest. "It's the theme."

Harry scowled and swatted the offending knit clothing away. "I'm not wearing it."

"You have to."

"Or what?" He quipped, raising an eyebrow in challenge. "Louis won't let me into his birthday party?"

I shrugged one shoulder. "Maybe. You know how serious he is about this. I mean, we've only gotten nineteen thousand reminders that the theme is tacky Christmas sweaters. He'll probably have a security guard there to enforce the dress code."

"I've already gotten him a present —"

"Sending Lou out with your credit card is a total abuse of your position and wealth—"

"— I've gotten him a present, I'm going to the party, and I am not wearing that sweater."

I pointed at my own jumper, a knit green masterpiece with a gaudy cartoon snowman plastered across the front. It was offending to fashion everywhere and it's actually a sin that something that ugly was meant to be worn, let alone even existed. "Look at me. Fucking look at me, Styles."

His lips twitched in very poorly hidden amusement. "I think it's sort of cute."

"I work at Vogue. I spent an entire months salary on one pair of shoes. At Fashion Week, I saw Karl Lagerfield and Jace actually had to make me leave the room in order to maintain self control. If I'm wearing one of these sweaters, then so are you."

"Fine," Harry said slowly, narrowing his eyes in defiance. "But I get to wear the snowman one."

"Are you fucking with me right now? I honestly can't tell."

He fixed his steely glare on me. "If I'm wearing a sweater, then I'm wearing the snowman one. Final offer. Take it or leave it, Norah."

I wasn't sure if it was the cold gaze or the fact that I knew it was going to be the best I was going to get out of him, but either way I ended up tugging my oversize green snowman sweater off over my head and exchanging it for the impossibly uglier red reindeer one.

The red that was originally Harry's was just a bit too loose on me, slipping down over my collarbones and bunching up at my wrists. I ended up cuffing up the sleeves in an attempt to make it fit a little bit better before slipping into skinny jeans and boots. I looked like some sort of elf.

On the other hand, exactly as suspected, Harry looked like something straight out of a Christmas catalogue. The dark green sweater made his eyes seem even brighter, made his cheeks look a little bit rosier. It didn't help that it was just a little bit too small and hugging in all the right places.

"I love you," I said, eyes wide with awe.

"I obviously love you because I'm in this fucking sweater," Harry said, tugging at the neckline. "Let's go."

After grabbing the presents that Miss Jennifer had so carefully wrapped for us (and the bottles of alcohol), I linked my free hand in Harry's and trailed along with him towards the elevator. "I'm going to take so many pictures of you in that sweater, just so you know."

"Why? For blackmail?"

"Got it in one," I said, pushing the call button. Harry rolled his eyes and began fumbling with one of the three bottles of gin that he was somehow managing to carry in one of his massive hands. He was unscrewing the cap as we stepped into the elevator.

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