This chapter is dedicated to my friend Beth. She probably doesn't even know that this story exists but she's going through a difficult time right now so I want to take every opportunity to let her know that she's not alone, that she's loved. Stay strong Bethy, I love you x
4:07 am. I take deep, even breaths, trying not to let Harry notice that I'm awake. If he finds out that I know what he's about to do this entire plan is going to be screwed. It's Saturday.
Lying as still as possible I watch his broad shoulders move as he pulls a hoodie over his head and then tugs his jeans up his legs, and my heart grows heavy. Oh, Harry. My Harry. He's been there for me like nobody else ever was in the last horrible two weeks since my mum died. He never left my side, he let me cry into his chest countless times without complaining about his tear stained shirts just once. It hurt, it hurt like hell, mainly because I was so confused. I didn't exactly have a good relationship with my Mum and I broke off all kinds of contact after all she said about Harry, so I thought it would be easy. But it wasn't. She was still my Mum after all, I still loved her in some twisted way. I still had hopes, hopes that she'd get her life together and stop drinking. So when she died, all these hopes were smashed to the ground, for good. There was no hope left, at all. And for a while I let it break me. But Harry, knowing exactly how I felt, picked up the pieces and put me back together. These weeks must have been hell for him too, to be reminded of his time of grief like that but never once did he make it about himself, he was there for me, 100%. Watching him now, getting dressed in all black at 4 in the morning, careful not to wake me, my heart sinks. He protected me from my feelings, now it's my turn to protect him. He doesn't know that I've got a stack of equally black clothes ready underneath the bed, just waiting for me to slip them on. He doesn't know that I know about his plans for this weekend and that's exactly how I want it to be. Somehow Harry managed to escape Drews paws over Christmas and New Years, but today he has to go back to Paxton. And I'm going to follow him.
I can't let him get hurt anymore. I won't just sit by and see him get his arse beaten, I can't take it. I have to get him out of this mess, no matter what it takes. I know he's frantically trying to keep me out of this, to keep me away from Drew but fuck it, what's the worst that guy can do? I'm not letting him use Harry any longer. So when Harry gets up from the bed, duffle back slung over his shoulder, my heartbeat picks up speed. He hovers over the bed for a moment and though my eyes are now closed I can feel his gaze on me. He softly brushes his knuckles over my cheek, the touch light as a feather, and it takes every ounce of self control that I have not to suck in a harsh breath. For some reason, I feel like crying. He's so gentle, so loving. He's come so far ever since I first met him, and the thought of someone harming him is like a knife cutting into my heart. A breeze ruffles through my hair and then the door is closed, making almost no sound.
I hastily get up and throw on my clothes, jeans, a t-shirt, a long sleeved shirt and a thick hoodie to fight the cold. My black doc martins are ready and waiting downstairs, but I know that I have to wait for a bit because I can still hear Harry shuffling around in the kitchen, probably fixing something to eat for the drive. Then, finally, I hear the front door close and I know that it's my cue to leave.
The drive to Paxton is shorter than I would me liked thanks to the lack of traffic so early in the morning, and before I know it the first houses of the city come into view. I've been to Paxton a total of two times in my life before so I literally have no idea where to go, but I googled a bit and found out that the dirty part of the town is in the east, so that's where I'm heading. Drugs belong to the dirty, rundown part don't they? So my plan is to simply drive around the city, all day and all night if I must, until I find Harry's Range Rover, no matter how long it takes.
So I maneuver my car through unfamiliar, barely lit streets, passing rundown warehouses surrounded by high fences or brick walls, sweaty hands gripping the steering wheel incredibly tight. I have to find him, somehow. I have to make this stop, for him and for me, for us. I know that he doesn't want to do this, he's only doing this because he's forced I to it. But how? What does this Drew guy have that makes Harry obey his every command? There has to be more to it than Harry lets on, otherwise it just doesn't make any sense.
So I keep driving, ignoring my grumbling stomach and focusing on my surroundings, scanning every street, every car park and every backyard for the now familiar black Range Rover.