Thirty Three.

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Harry's POV.

"What the hell?" I mumble as soon as I walk into the apartment.

Skylar and Niall are sat on the sofa, him holding her close and from what I can see of her face, it's smudged with tears. I kick off my soaking shoes and toss my coat aside, striding over to the sofa to see what happened.

"Niall, man, what's happened?" I ask him quietly while Skylar sobs softly into his shoulder.

My heart breaks from seeing her this way. I should be the one holding her right now while she cries. If Parker hadn't kept me so long I would have been here through it all and not have to wait to hear the full story. If I had been here I would know what to do about this mess and I could fix it all.

Niall looks up at me looking completely disheveled and I wonder how long she has been crying. I know her well enough that if she's been crying hard enough there is nothing that can stop her except falling asleep.

"I told her she wasn't ready to know," he mumbles, his blue eyes filled with guilt. I know the look in his eyes all too well; he's blaming himself, passing harsh judgment on himself like I've done for so long. I don't wish it upon anyone.

"I think you should go, mate, it's getting late. We can talk tomorrow or something, I'll call you," I tell him, pulling him up from the sofa. He reluctantly let's go of Skylar who immediately covers her face with her hands and continues to sob.

"Tell her I'm sorry, I never meant for this to happen," he pleads quietly once we've reached the door.

"I will, get some sleep Niall," I tell him, giving him a slight clap on the back before shutting the door behind him.

Even though Skylar is crying and it looks like it's Niall's doing, I can't be mad at him. He would never do anything to hurt her intentionally, he was there for her so many times when I wasn't. The words he just spoke to me sound exactly like something I would say to him over the phone or through a closed door when Skylar wouldn't want to see me and took comfort in him. I've never thanked him for taking care of her when I couldn't, but I owe him everything for it.

I loosen my tie, tossing it onto the coffee table before I bend down to pick her up in my arms. She keeps her face buried in her hands as I carry her into the bedroom and sit her on the bed. She pulls her knees to her chest and sobs into them quietly, not allowing me to see her face and not sparing me a glace. I know she knows I'm here, and the fact that she's letting me touch her and help her is all the confirmation I need.

I turn on my heel to begin to leave the room when I realize that I don't have to. My eye catches her suitcase tucked away in the corner of the room and I can't fight the grin that I feel on my lips. I wish she would just unpack already and say she was staying, but this is one step closer. I dig through the clothes until I find a pair of grey sweats.

"We're going to sleep," I tell her softly, stroking her hair. "You've had a long day. You won't be comfortable in jeans, I have something else for you."

She doesn't say anything, but she extends her legs and brings her hands back to her face. We've done this all before, many times, and I know that she won't do it herself. It makes me smile to know that she trusts me enough to help her. She acts so helpless and my heart swells as I do all can to make her feel better and make her smile, it's all I can think about. I slide her jeans down her legs and put on her track pants for her. As soon as they're on, she lays down in the bed and buries her face in the pillow. I pull the covers over her which she pulls to her chest.

I change out of my work clothes, watching her before I climb into bed with her. She looks so small and helpless in the queen sized bed. My chest aches, hating to see her this way or with tears in her eyes at all. She doesn't deserve everything she's been put through in life, she doesn't deserve any of it. I would kill to take it all away if I could, to make her happy enough to last a lifetime.

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