VII: The Mark

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Franki slipped out of her dress the second she stepped into the comfort of her suite at The Mark

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Franki slipped out of her dress the second she stepped into the comfort of her suite at The Mark. Her heels came off next, immediately feeling a sweet relief as soon as her bare feet hit the floor. And once every pin in her hair and piece of jewelry on her skin was dropped in a pile on the bathroom counter, she climbed into the shower and let the water wash the night away.

As much as Franki loved the glitz and glam of the fashion world, she much preferred the inconspicuous life behind the scenes.

The warm water cascaded over her body, causing all the makeup and hairspray to disappear with the soap suds. The details of her to-do list for the next week ran through her mind as she scrubbed, doing her best to keep her mind distracted.

But the truth was, no matter how hard she tried, she couldn't stop thinking about the constant ache in her heart, knowing how far removed from reality any sort of a relationship with Harry seemed. She was beyond frustrated at how their cards had fallen, cursing the universe for all the things that had been a roadblock in their way. Coffee spills. Lost notes. Relationships. Fiancés. If she could go back to that morning after the wedding, she was certain she would've never gotten out of that bed.

After throwing on her father's old worn-in Manchester United hoodie that she always traveled with and successfully ordering a delivery from Joe's Pizza, she was pulling a brush through her wet hair when she heard a faint knock.

On the other side of the door, Harry was anxiously adjusting the rings on his fingers as he waited. Glancing to his left, his lips twitched into a smirk seeing that Franki's room was right next to the one he got ready in earlier that day. The way their worlds kept being thrown together didn't come as a surprise to him anymore. He was confident that there was a force pulling them together that couldn't be denied any longer.

A muffled 'just a minute' came from the other side of the door, sending Harry's already racing heart into a sprint. He pulled at the neck of his shirt where his dramatically large red bow tie met in a knot, in hopes to lessen the tension. However, any hope of relief was lost when the door clunked loudly before swinging open.

Harry was certain he'd never be able to forget how stunning Franki looked at the Met Gala, with her gorgeous yellow dress and accessories styled to perfection. But the moment he saw her standing on the other side of her hotel room door, dressed cozily in a red hoodie donning his favorite footie team's logo, with damp hair and not a spot of makeup on her face, his feelings suddenly reached an entirely different level.

She was everything he wanted and more.

Her mouth parted in shock when she saw Harry standing in front of her. "You are... not my pizza," she huffed a nervous laugh, tugging at the hem of her hoodie to cover more of her bare thighs.

Harry mimicked her shaky laugh as he brought his hand over the back of his neck, running his nails over the skin just below his small wispy curls. He was so blown away by her simple beauty that his words lodged in his throat.

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