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Stars & Stripes

Like he's avoiding the subject but knows he needs to tell me.

“Louis, I appreciate it,” Olivia said, “I really do. But, I need to take a shower. And as much as I love your company, this is something I need to do alone.”

Louis frowned, knowing his ever-present presence was starting to irk the American. Everyone knew he was doing it to keep Harry well away from her, but it wasn’t with all the best intentions. He was doing it to get back at Harry. Something about Olivia had Harry falling for her, as much as Harry could fall for someone. Louis didn’t think it was truly possible, not with that horrid Caroline Flack corrupting him young, screwing all his future relationships to simple sex-capades. She had been the first woman Harry had ever been with, and that last one ever emotionally.

It was sad, Louis thought for Harry to never be able to experience something that he and Eleanor have. Or Zayn and Perrie. Or Liam and Dani had.

It was truly heartbreaking to Louis to watch Harry have meaningless sex after meaningless sex. Olivia was a sweet girl whose father and mother-figure, Julia, basically owned and ran the company that made touring in America possible. If Harry fucked with her, they could lose everything in America.

But, it wasn’t only Louis' selfish need to keep One Direction alive. Louis could tell that Olivia had been through hell. They all could see it in her sad eyes. Louis didn’t know exactly {C}what{C} it was and he was afraid to ask. If she wanted to confide in him, Louis was ready and willing to hear it. But, she wouldn’t. Because they would only know each other for a few weeks and Olivia wasn’t the type to blurt something extremely personal to someone she barely knew and would probably never see again. She just wasn’t like that to Louis.

“Right, I’ll be right outside waiting for you with a towel.” Louis grinned.

“No,” Olivia countered, “You will be out in the living room with the rest of the guys, leaving Harry alone, too.” She told him meaningfully. Tensions had been high the past two days. Harry and Louis weren’t allowed to speak to each other until one of them apologized. Both being stubborn asses, neither seemed ready to break.

“Whatever you say, Olivia.” Louis rolled his eyes, leaving her alone to shower.

He heard Olivia’s shower flip on and he made his way to the kitchen. Niall was eating as usual. He stopped mid-bite of a potato chip and offered it to Louis. He bit it out of Niall’s hand and thanked the blonde, surprised that he had even offered Louis food in the first place. Niall was ridiculously territorial when it came to food.

“Harry’s in the den.” Niall munched. Louis narrowed his eyes but it was impossible to be mad at the Irishman for any amount of time.

“Good for bloody him.” Louis growled, getting his own bag of chips instead of stealing Niall’s.

Niall stared at Louis with wide eyes and a pouty face. Louis knew what he was thinking and he didn’t want to admit he was thinking it too. Louis groaned and got up, marching into the room next door to find Harry with his note pad, completely alone.

“You’re a right twat, you know that?” Louis started.

Harry looked up at his best mate and said, “So I’ve been told increasingly, mostly by you.” He tossed the pad to the side, “Actually. Only by you.”

“Well, the others were thinking it.” Louis grumbled, plopping down at the adjacent couch. The two friends glared mournfully between each other, hating to fight. Sometimes Louis wished they could go back to their {C}X Factor{C} days. Almost three years later, they were older, closer, but at the same time, falling apart at the seams. They weren’t the sixteen year olds (or eighteen in Louis’ case) that gathered the courage to sing for a panel of judges. They were adults who did adult things. Like have casual sex. And as much as Louis disagreed with it, this was Harry’s life and Louis couldn’t force him to live it any other way. They were in it for the long haul. They were One Direction. Best mates for life.

Harry blinked as if Louis could convey this all into a single scour.

“Just not Olivia, okay, mate?” Louis sighed, running a hand through his neatly cut hair.

“I like her, Lou.” Harry tried.

“{C}Harry{C},” Louis pleaded.

“Look, Louis,” Harry muttered, “you’re my best mate. I know you’ve got my back and I’ve got yours, no matter what. But, there are some things—even after all we’ve been through together—that you’ve {C}got{C} to let go off. I don’t sit around judging you and Eleanor’s relationship, yeah? Hell, I’m the {C}reason{C} you’ve got her!” He snorted. Louis pursed his thin lips. “I know you hate Caroline. God knows if there’s a bloody bloke in the world who doesn’t know. But, Olivia’s not Caroline and I guess I just can’t understand why you’re so bloody against how I may or may not feel for her.” Harry flared his nostrils lightly. It was his tell to let everyone know he was sincerely upset. Louis had seen it countless times with hateful gossip over the internet or after spending time with Caroline. He hated that pitiful look on the curly-haired lad.

A soft finalizing sigh fell from the twenty-year-old. “And as your best mate and Olivia’s representative, it would be in everyone’s best interest if you just cut Caroline loose. If not for your sake or Olivia, for me, Haz. I don’t know how many other ways to get through to you that she’s not good for you. And maybe—” Louis groaned inwardly, hating himself, “just maybe, Olivia can make you see that.”

Harry lightly squinted his green eyes, trying to figure out what Louis was playing at. “You’ll stop objectifying me if I cut Caroline loose? You’ll cut it with the bullocks comments and leave me alone about bloody sex if I break it off with Caroline?”

“Is there an echo in here?” Louis looked around.

“Toss me my phone.” Harry said abruptly. Louis did so hesitantly.

It couldn’t be that easy. Nothing was that easy with Harry Styles.

Olivia’s voice echoed through the kitchen in between angry shouts. “Lou, what the hell is going on?” She hurried out with her hair still wrapped up in a towel, dressed in a fuzzy white robe.

Liam, Zayn, Niall, and Louis were eavesdropping in the kitchen with a big bowl of popcorn. Harry’s voice sounded from the other room in stressed and furious tones.

“Harry’s finally breaking it off with Caroline.” Niall informed her.

“Bloody damn time, too.” Zayn muttered, “What did you say to him, mate?”

Louis, who should have been dancing with happiness at this turn of events, was sitting quietly at the end of the island. “Just told him to stop being a massive twat.” He shrugged.

“That’s it?” Liam raised a thick brow. “We’ve all been telling him that for ages and today he just decides to listen and call her?” He didn’t believe Louis for a second. He could sense the slight guilt in his blue eyes.

“Pretty much.” Louis said.

“Maybe he’s on drugs.” Niall offered, chomping on a handful of popcorn.

Olivia eyed Louis. Even she knew he was holding something back. “Right, well, when he’s done with that, you all need to get ready. You’ve got—”

“Another show.” They all mumbled together, wanting to stay and listen to the break-up through the thin walls. “We've got it, Olivia.”

She rolled her eyes, straightening out her towel. “Harry, hurry and break up with her already or you won’t have time to shower before the show!”

Niall burst out in laughter, knowing that Caroline would hear Olivia’s voice and a whole new fight would start. Zayn and Liam grinned, shoveling popcorn into their mouths. Louis stayed silent; almost wishing Harry would give back in to Caroline, like he always did.

Walking back to her room, Olivia heard the familiar jingle of her phone. She hurried and picked it up from its charger by the bed.

“Olivia Mann.” She said in the receiver.

“Olive, darling,” Julia’s voice rang, “I have the most amazing news for you and the boys!”

Olivia’s faced curled into its usual furrow, “What?”

“One Direction is going to be performing at the The Royal Variety Performance next month!” Olivia almost had to hold the phone away because of Julia’s excitement.

“I’ll let them know.” Olivia offered. “I’m not sure how that’s amazing news for me.”

Julia laughed into the phone but gave her no answer.

“How’s dad?” Olivia asked instead.

No laughter came through.

“Fine, just fine. Why do you ask?”

“He called me the other day. He keeps trying to talk to me about something but stops himself.” Olivia muttered, “Like he’s avoiding the subject but knows he needs to tell me.”

“You worry too much, Olive,” Julia told her. “Your father is fine. He misses you. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone resort to looking up One Direction gossip sites in the hopes of seeing you.”

“No,” Olivia said, “I don’t suppose you have. Mostly because before two weeks ago, I didn’t know One Direction. Why doesn’t he just call me?”

“You’re too snarky for your own good, Olivia Mann. You know that?”

“Does dad…have a girlfriend?” Olivia asked, shifting uncomfortably. “Do you know if he’s—has he ever expressed interest—Does dad have a girlfriend?”

There was a stunned silence. “I think you know the answer to that even better than I do.”

“If I don’t know the answer then you do.” Olivia countered. She wanted to know why there was such tenderness in Julia’s voice over the phone the other day. She wanted to know what her father was hiding from her.

“I think you should ask your father around that.” Julia answered quietly.

“But, I’m asking you.” Olivia argued.

Olivia,” Julia sighed, a slight impatient air to it. “Let the boys know about the variety show. I’ve got to delve out paperwork for the rest of the tour. There’s such a high demand that they want to add more shows, you know.” She changed the subject quite easily.

“More shows?” Olivia’s voice held disdain.

“Oh, don’t sound so depressed. More time with five British heart-throbs? And that Harry Styles—”

Don’t.” Olivia growled. Her lips tingled at the mention of his name. “I’ve got to dry my hair. I’ll let them know about The Royal Variety Performance, but if you want to add more shows find someone else to manage them because in a few days, I’m out. My contracts up and there won’t be any more favors to ask for.”

“I’ll never understand you, Olive.” Julia sighed, “I’ll never understand why you fight so hard to keep people away.”

Olivia snapped, “Tell dad that in seven days we’re going to talk about whatever he’s hiding. No more British heart-throbs and secrets to interrupt.”


Gahh. You guys are sweet (:



I can't find it on mibba did you change the name?
Lovingly lonely Lovingly lonely

Could you post it on here?
HopelessDream HopelessDream
I apologize! I thought I had put up the first chapter! RuthlessAdandon is correct. It is up on my Mibba page.
oh ok thanks :)

It's on her Mibba page under the same username.
RuthlessAbandon RuthlessAbandon