Forty.

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Hey guys! 

So this is and AU, alternate universe, so obviously I've been changing some things such as ages and namesNo, they are not mistakes!!!  I've decided to keep some people the same though, like Gemma and Anne, just because I adore them! Haha!  I've changed some people who won't be in the story as much, like Niall's parents. Just a heads up!!

Hope you guys are enjoying it xx

...

"Try and have fun," Harry says, glancing over at me with a grin before focusing on the road again.

I reach out and take his hand, resting our interlocked fingers in his lap.  "I will have fun, I'm not about to ruin Niall's party.  I missed his birthday, I'm already in too deep," I joke and manage a laugh, an actual laugh.

I'm glad for a distraction.  The last week has been a lot to deal with and I'm thankful that I can have fun and relax tonight.  I'm excited to see Niall and be able to spend time with him, I haven't seen him in so long.  The night at he bar doesn't count much because there were too many people around and we left early, which I have yet to apologize for.

My stomach sinks when I realize that Zayn might be there tonight and I'm suddenly afraid that this might not be a chance for me to relax after all.  I hope Harry keeps himself in line, because of he doesn't I'll surely have something to say to him.  That is the least of my worries though, I'm more worried that Zayn thinks I keep standing him up on purpose.  I've left early on him three times, and although I'm with Harry now it's still completely terrible as a friend.  He goes out of his way to invite me places and I always end up getting myself into a mess.

I turn my head to look out the window at the fresh snow falling in light flurries, shaking my head and willing myself to forget every stress I have and every worry I lug around with me day after day.  I'm allowed to have fun, I'm allowed to feel happy and excited to be somewhere and be with people.  I used to do it all the time before everything fell apart.

"Don't worry, he'll probably too drunk to notice," Harry chuckles, although we both know there is some truth to it.

We end up having to park half a block away from the building since the streets are crowded and I lost my underground parking privileges.  My stomach churns and I feel unsettled which I doubt will go away until I am safely inside Niall's condo. 

"If we see them, we'll turn right around," Harry mumbles in my ear and presses a kiss to my temple.  I never knew how he could almost always read my mind, but then again I can do the same with him.  I tighten my grip on his hand, allowing myself to be comforted by his presence. 

"It's fine, I'm just being a stress case," I shrug and attempt to act casual, a nervous laugh slipping from me.

"When are you not a stress case?" Harry chuckles as he holds the door to the building open for me.  I swat his arm but he only laughs more before catching up to me and wrapping his arms around my waist from behind me.  "I'm just teasing you baby, I know you hate to be teased," he whispers in my ear, his warm breath fanning over my skin and causing me to swallow hard, my heart pounding against my chest.  He nips at my earlobe and I gasp and yelp in surprise, heat rushing to my face as I look around the lobby to make sure no one else is there.

Harry chuckles low in my ear before releasing me as the elevator doors slide open.  The entire ride up to my old floor he has a cheeky grin painted on his pink lips.  I want to badly to roll my eyes and show him that I'm not phased by his behavior, but it would be a complete lie.  The blush in my cheeks hasn't died down and only now is my heart beat returning to normal.

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