A/N Decided to go a little multi-cultural in this chapter 😛 I speak Japanese so I thought I would put it to use for a bit..41 School the next day was slightly more bearable. To be honest. If I hadn’t of had the promise of somewhere to escape the past couple of weeks I don’t know what I might have done. Harry meets me at the gate a grin plastered across his angelic face. “Good morning!” he says cheerily, ruffling his hand in my loose wavy hair. “‘Tis good isn’t it?” I say returning his smile. He chuckles, “You seem in a much better mood today. Didn’t want to say anything but you have seemed a bit down..” I nod, “I, uh, had a bit of a falling out with someone but it’s resolved now.” We head towards the school building.+ Harry turns to face me, walking along backwards. “So, uh.. I was wondering. Since you’re new to town and all. Would you like me to take you to do some sight-seeing over the weekend. I can show you some of the wonders of London!” he says, an edge of nervousness to his voice.14 I smile and nod, “That would be great.”22 He grins again and turns back around, walking along beside me. I really like Harry. He is like the older brother I never had. I feel so comfortable around him.84 Of course, his uncanny resemblance to Jack helps him out.4 A part of me is ashamed to have befriended the boy. I was supposed to be over what happened not clinging onto another guy who reminds me of him but I couldn’t help it. “Morning!” calls Harry’s friend Niall from across the courtyard.69 “Nialler!” Harry says as he approaches us. Harry slaps him lightly on the back and they begin a conversation.25 Niall had moved a few months ago from Ireland and Harry had, similar to my case, been his first friend here. 9 “Hey, Riley.” Niall says, catching my attention. “I saw you in one of ThatcherJoe’s videos the other day!” he says excitedly.2 I chuckle, “Oh, yeah. His sister is dating my cousin so he is staying at our place for a while. They wanted me in a video.” Niall smiles, “You seemed pretty chummy..” he says trailing off. “Are you.. you know?” he wiggles his eyebrows.36 As soon as I realise what he is asking I feel my cheeks flush. “Niall. You can’t just ask shit like that!” Harry scolds, “You’ve embarrassed her.”14 “Sorry.. Was just curious is all.” he says. I nod, my cheeks still scarlet no doubt. “It’s okay.” I say. “So..” he prompts and Harry slaps the back of his head. “Stop being a nosy twat.”16 Niall laughs and holds his hands up defensively. “Just kidding mate.” Niall says, unable to control his laughter. We arrive at the international room and go in. It was almost empty aside from a couple of Japanese girls and Lukas, the German guy Harry was talking with my first day here. I join the girls and Harry and Niall go off to talk to Lukas. “おはよう! (Good Morning),” I say to the girls, sitting opposite them.44 They smile up at me, “おはようライリーちゃん! (Good Morning Riley)” replies Kana, the more outgoing of the two.9 Ayaka nudges Kana before whispering something in her ear. They giggle before Kana turns back to me. “ラブラブ?(‘literally’ Love-Love)” she asks.4 I look at her confused, “え?誰? (What? Who?)” I ask, glancing around the room. Both girls giggle again before pointing to Harry, “ライリーとハリーは(Riley and Harry)” I gasp, “違うよ! (No!)” I exclaim which causes them to burst into fits of laughter. “ハリーは友達だけですよ!(Harry is only my friend)” I defend.7 “ボーイフレンドがある?(Do you have a boyfriend?)” Ayaka asks leaning forward slightly.1 I chuckle, Japanese girls are definitely as nosy as I remember.. “ないけど、好きな人があるよ..(I don’t but I do like someone..)” I reply quietly.1 “そっか!誰?(I see! Who?)” Kana continues to grill me. My goodness these girls are nosy. I debate whether to tell them about how I fancy Joe. I decide there is no harm in it so I do. “ええと、年上の男..(Well, an older guy..)” I reply. 19 The girls both giggle for the millionth time. “何歳?何歳?何歳?(How old? How old? How old?)” Ayaka asks excitedly.2 I blush slightly, “二十二才(22 years old)” I reply, looking down.6 Both girls eye’s widen, “へー、名前は?(Wow, what’s his name?)” Kana asks. No point in keeping the name to myself.. To be honest it’s nice to be able to tell someone. “ジョー(Joe)”12 “かっこいい?(Cool?)” 1 “たくさん質問があるね(You have lots of questions)” I say with a laugh before responding. “めっちゃかっこいい(Very Cool)” I pull out my phone and open a screenshot I took from one of his videos. I show it to the girls and they grin at me.6 “He’s gorgeous!” Kana says in accented English. “Oh I know I am,” Harry interrupts. This sends the girls back into fits of laughter. I quickly press the key on top of my phone. Locking it and hiding the picture. “Do wanna walk to class together Riley? We have Drama first.”13 I nod, “Sure.” I say getting up and grabbing my bag. “じゃね(See you)” I say to Kana and Ayaka and we head off. “ラブラブ!!” I hear Kana call as we leave the room and I chuckle.The rest of the day goes rather quickly. Four of my six classes were with Harry which was nice. I really do enjoy his company. I couldn’t get my conversation with Kana and Ayaka out of my head. Why would they think Harry and I were together? I mean, we do hang out a lot but never as more than friends and never outside of school. Oh well, at least I cleared it up with them that he was not who I was interested in. He is no- “Joe!” I exclaim as I walk out the school gate and find him leaning against Alfie’s car. “Where are Alfie and Zoe?”+ “Nice to see you too.” He says with a chuckle and opens the passenger side door for me. I smile, “I didn’t mean it that way. I was just curious.” I state as I get into the car. He shuts the door and gets in the other side. “They were filming so I offered to come get you.” “Well, uh, thanks.” “No problem,” he says, fidgeting a little in his seat. “Are you alright?” I ask, slightly concerned. He nods, “Uh yeah.. I just- um..” Why does he sound so nervous? “I was wondering if, erm, while we are out maybe you would like to go to the movies or something?” he says, rubbing the back of his neck as his cheeks flush.39 A smile spreads across my face, “Sure!” I reply. His nervousness immediately dissolves at my reaction. He grins, “Great. Is there anything you wanna see?”4 I shrug, “Not really. How about we just go to whatever is starting next.” I suggest.12 I regret this decision when we find out that the next movie starting is Carrie. I have always and will always be completely and utterly terrified of scary movies. Last time one of my friends forced me to watch one I broke her finger from clutching onto her hand too hard.70 Joe offers to wait a half hour for Catching Fire but I insist that I am fine with it but as soon as the first scary part comes up I find myself clutching onto Joe’s arm. My head buried in his shoulder.28 “Riley?” he murmurs. I look up to find him staring down at me. “You alright?” he asks and I nod slightly, not meaning it. “Do you want to leave?” I nod again and he chuckles, standing up and dragging me out of the theatre. “You should’ve told me you were terrified of horrors.” he says as we leave, “Wouldn’t of wasted £20 if I’d known,” he continues sarcastically. I shush him as we emerge into the cool London air. “You hungry?” he asks as we walk along. It’s just gone half five and I am actually pretty hungry. “Uhh, yeah, I am.” I reply. “Ever been to Nandos?”119 I shake my head. We did have one back home but my parents refused to ever go to a chain restaurant and I never really went to dinner with anyone else. “There’s one around the corner if you wanna grab a bite.” Before long we are seated at a table in the cosy restaurant waiting for our food. We had returned to awkward silence until I eventually broke it with a question that had been on my mind for the past two weeks. “Joe. What did Alfie tell you about me?” I ask, avoiding eye contact. Joe hesitates for a moment for replying, “He uh.. he told me that you used to- erm.. that you used to self-harm..” he says quietly. He was clearly uncomfortable. “Did he tell you why?” Joe shakes his head. “Do you want to know why?” “You don’t have to talk about it Riley.” he assures me. “I know. But I want to. You deserve to know.” I retort. Joe sighs before nodding, “Okay.” “I had this friend back home.. He was my best friend actually. Anyway, his name was Jack. He was an only child like myself. But, his family was a little different..” I trail off as the memories flicker through my brain. My face contorts at the agonizing images flashing through my mind. “Riley..” Joe says warily. “H-his father was abusive. Jack used to turn up at my house late at night with bruises littering his body. I always felt terrible. I would nurse him until he felt better and then, without even thinking, send him back to that house. I was stupid.” I continue. I feel the tears beginning to spring from my eyes. My vision blurring. I hear Joe get up and move beside me. “Come on, lets go love.” I don’t argue even though I’m not finished my story. Joe leaves some money on the table and we depart.21 “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry.” I repeat as he helps me into the car. “Stop apologizing.” he says, closing the door and getting into the drivers side. “Sorry.” Did Jiley just have their first date? It was rather disastrous if it was During the drive back to the apartment the embarrassment seeps through my mind as I sink further down in my seat. “I am truly mortified,” I announce as Joe stares out the windscreen. “I am sorry for breaking down like that.” He pulls his eyes from the road for a second, “I swear, if you apologise one more time I will pull over and kick you out.”2 We both chuckle as he turns back to the road. “But seriously, I am so embarrassed. I didn’t mean to break down and I ruined dinner.” “It’s fine Riley.. Really. Anyway, if you’re still hungry we can go to the drive through at McDonalds or something if you want.” I smile, “That’d be good.”15 It turns out there was a Maccas just a couple of minutes down the road so we order some food and Joe drives up to the window.43 I fumble around in my bag for my wallet and Joe’s hand grabs my arm. “Don’t worry about it. I’ve got it.” he assures me, waving his wallet in front of him. “No, you’ve already wasted enough money on me tonight.” I argue but he has already handed over the cash.4 “That’s how a date works,” he teases and my heart leaps.5 “So, this is a date?” I ask and his face drops slightly.1 “I mean, only if you want it to be.” he says, his cheeks flushing slightly.4 I nod, “I do. It’s just, I kinda ruined it, didn’t I?”2 He shakes his head, “No, you didn’t! It just makes it a bit more memorable.” he assures me.9 We get the food and Joe drives to a park. He retrieves a blanket from the boot and we sit on it on the grass as we eat.8 The sky was beginning to dim. The sun setting, casting streaks of light across the clear sky. It was breathtaking.2 “It’s so pretty, don’t you think?” I ask as we lay back on the blanket side by side staring up. “I can think of prettier things..” Joe replies and I look over to find him staring at me.37 “Joseph Sugg, are you trying to flirt?” I ask with a giggle.9 He chuckles in response, “Is it working?” he asks. I smile at him, “Maybe..” “Is it bad that I want to kiss you right now?” he bluntly asks. I chuckle slightly, “The feeling mutual.” I assure him. “You want to kiss yourself?” he asks sarcastically sending me into fits of laughter.41 It’s hard to believe that just a couple of hours ago he was dragging me out of a restaurant in tears. Joe’s phone begins to ring and he apologises as he sits up and looks at it. “It’s Zoe, do you mind if I answer it?” he asks. I nod, “Go ahead.” I say, sitting up and fixing my hair as he answers the phone. “Sorry Zoe, I didn’t realise the time..” he says in a hushed tone. “Yeah, yeah. We will head back soon. Promise.” The conversation continues for a moment before he hangs up. “Zoe was just worried since we weren’t back yet. I told her earlier that we would be back by 7.” he explains to me. “What time is it now?” I ask, gathering up our rubbish.1 “Half eight.”5 “Shit, she will be worried.” I say with a chuckle, getting up and dropping the rubbish in a bin close to where we were. Joe folds up the blanket and we walk back to the car. “Aside from my melt down I had fun tonight.” I say as we walk along. Staring down at my ridiculous school shoes.1 “I did too.” Joe says, fishing the car keys from his pocket. He opens my door for me and I get in.3 The trip back home is filled with stories about my life back in New Zealand and Joe’s childhood.1 When we get back to the apartment Zoe and Alfie are curled up on one of the couches watching TV.7 “Did you two kids have fun?” Zoe asks playfully. “Could ask the same of you.” Joe replies, avoiding her question. “We did actually. Marcus was out too so we had the place to ourselves.” she says, ignoring the fact that he didn’t actually answer her.7 Joe screws up his nose, “Spare us the details.”8 “Joe!” Zoe exclaims, throwing a cushion at his head. They have such a lovely sibling relationship. It makes me envious because I never had a brother to joke around with. As they launch into an argument I slip out of the lounge and head towards my room. “Riley!” I look back to see Joe following after me. “Where are you going?” he asks as he catches up. “Oh, uh, I have homework to get done..” I half lie but really I am just exhausted and want to head to bed. “Actually I’m gonna go to sleep.” I confess and he chuckles.1 “Okay then. Good night.” he says, leaning down and planting a kiss on my cheek. A small but sweet gesture.39 “Night.” I say, retiring to my bedroom for a night of relentless tossing and turning. I couldn’t stand their first date being a total disaster so I fixed it. Kinda :I knock on the door. No answer. Usually he would come right away. Grin stretching from ear to ear despite the sad look to his eyes. Always happy to see me. I knock again and the door creaks open slightly. Light spilling across the opening of the tiled floor. “Jack?” I call out but there was no response. Maybe he’s not home.+ The text I received earlier was vague and I wanted to find out what the hell he was on about. I’m Sorry Riles was all it said and I was confused. What on earth was he sorry for?25 “Are you home?” I yell down the hallway. Removing my shoes and stepping onto the cream carpet. Why anyone would have light-coloured carpet is beyond me. “Bloody useless.” I mumble as I tread through the house. Everything was spotless as per usual. Claire is a literal clean-freak. Always polishing the balustrade or scrubbing the bathtub. I bang on Jack’s bedroom door. “I swear to god if you are in there ignoring me I will flip shit.” I say through the door and grab the handle. Not aware of what waited for me on the other side.29 ~~ I wake up screaming. Seconds later Joe bursts through the door wrapping me tightly in his strong arms.3 “Shh, shh. It’s okay. It was just a nightmare.” he coos. Not even vaguely aware of what I had been dreaming about.7 I try and settle down, assuring myself that it was only a dream but it wasn’t. He’s dead. “He’s dead.” I splutter, rocking back and forward in Joe’s arms. “I-it’s all my fault.”6 “It’s not your fault love.” he murmurs, running his hands through my hair and he holds me. His other hand rubs gentle circles on my back.4 We stay like that for a while. Me, in his arms, tears streaking down my cheeks as he whispers reassurances in my ear until he finally calms me down and I stop crying. Taking a moment to assess him.2 His hair is messy. His eyelids are heavy. He’s obviously exhausted. I also can’t help but notice that the only thing he is wearing is a pair of boxers. He blushes when he realises that I have noticed. He starts to get up but I scramble for his arm. Gripping it tightly.7 “Stay with me. Please.” I beg and he hesitates for a moment before obliging. Climbing into my bed beside me and pulling me in close. His hand strokes my arm gently until he drifts off to sleep with me soon following suit. This time into a deep, dream-free slumber. Safe in Joe’s steady grip.54 Very short chapter.. It’s a double update though!! I will try and make my chapters a bit longer.. Prince Joseph to the rescue 😛 Poor Riley.. Good thing Joe was there to comfort her

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