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THE CITY CHAPTER 2

THE CITY CHAPTER 2
Riley's POV1 I wake to the sound of someone else breathing next to me. My eyes flutter open to find Joe's face just centimetres from my own. I jump, causing the whole bed to shake and Joe wakes with a start. "Fuck, I'm sorry Riley.." he begins. I was over the initial shock of finding him next to me in my bed. "You fell asleep on me and I didn't want to wake you.." "It's fine Joe," I say, glancing at the clock.12 It reads 7:34am. "I have to get ready for school." I say, hoping that he gets the message. Sure enough seconds later he is on his feet at the door. "Sorry again Riley," he mumbles. "Stop apologizing, it's my fault for falling asleep. You were just being polite." I state, hoping to help him not feel so bad. He smiles sheepishly, not seeming fully convinced. "I'll leave you to get ready."6 "Thanks," I say, giving him what I hope is a reassuring smile. "Thanks," he mocks my accent again with a chuckle as he leaves the room. Closing the door behind him.16 I flop back down onto the bed. He is so freaking adorable. I mean, he spent the night in my bed because he didn't want to wake me. Very chivalrous if you ask me.41 I sigh and get up. Trudging over to my closet where I had hung my clothing. What does one wear to school in the UK?29 I'm not even sure if my new school has a uniform.. If they do I don't have it anyway so I pick out a plain white skater skirt, black lacy top and a pair of black ballet flats.30 I really do need a shower so I drop the clothing onto my bed and search the apartment for Alfie. I find him and Zoe in the kitchen.4 He grins at me when I enter, "Morning!" he beams, "Sleep well?"1 I smile, "Yeah, can I have a shower?"7 "Sure, we have to leave in half an hour though so you might want to make it quick." "Thanks," I reply. "Towels are in the hall cupboard," he says and I quickly head toward my room. I grab my clothes and, as I head to the bathroom, a towel. I am in and out of the shower in a record breaking 5 minutes.60 I towel off and pull on my clothes. I wrap my towel around my head and quickly rush out of the bathroom. Almost too quickly it seems as I almost bowl over poor Joe.10 He catches my arm as I stumble to a halt.5 "Careful," he scolds playfully as I balance myself. "Sorry," I mumble, squeezing past him to get to my room. I pull out my hairdryer and dry my hair as best I can before pulling the long strands into a half-hearted ponytail. I apply a little makeup to cover my blemishes and smile at the girl in the mirror. It will have to do. I saunter out to the kitchen where Alfie and Zoe have been joined by Joe.1 "Help yourself to some breakfast," Alfie says through a mouthful of toast. STORY CONTINUES BELOW I grab an apple and sit down at the table with them. "Do you guys know anything about my new school?" I ask, taking a bite of my apple. Alfie shrugs, "Not really. Your mum just told me that they apparently have the best international student program in the whole of London so that's good, eh?"29 I nod as he glances at his watch.1 "We better get going." He says, getting up and putting his plate in the sink. I hop up, "I just have to get my bag," I announce as I leave the room. I grab my schoolbag from my bedroom along with a few empy exercise books and some pens before returning to the others.9 When I walk back in they immediately stop their conversation and Joe is bright red in the face.4 What the hell?5 I choose to ignore it. "Are we going?" I ask. Alfie nods and grabs the keys from the table. I follow him and Zoe out of the apartment with Joe trailing further behind.2 Tension hangs in the air as we take the elevator down to the lobby. The car ride is actual, literal hell. Joe is forced to sit beside me in the back again which I dont mind but the entire ride is spent in silence. No one muttering a single word. I have no idea what the hell is going on. Eventually the school comes into view. 'John C. Grove High School' Reads the sign out front.37 Alfie pulls into a park right outside the gate and gets out of the car.4 "I'll be back in a minute." He says to Zoe as I get out. We are greeted at the front gate by a boy who looks about my age.1 His light brown hair flops over his forehead, hanging down slightly over his deep brown eyes. A shiny gold badge on his school blazer reads 'Head Boy'.38 He smiles at Alfie, "You must be Riley! I'm Liam Payne, Head Boy."575 Alfie cracks up before I interrupt.3 "I'm Riley," I say awkwardly. Damn my mum and her love of stupid unisex names.40 The boys cheeks flush a deep shade of pink. "I am so sorry, I-I uh, just presumed.." "It's okay," I interject, "Not the first time that's happened." I assure him. The embarrassment is clear on his face as Alfie moves from foot to foot. "Is it alright if I leave?" he asks, "It's just we're supposed to go down to Google to film a video.."3 "It's fine Alfie," I say. He grins, "Have a good day. I'll see you at three." he says, patting me on the shoulder before heading to the car.44 I turn back to Liam who still looked embarrassed from his mixup. "So.." I prompt him. "Oh, uh, I'm supposed to show you around school. Get you settled in and stuff." "Great," I say. He holds out a folder I hadn't even noticed he was holding. "It's got your year plan, class schedule and a map of the school inside," he says.14 STORY CONTINUES BELOW "Thanks," I reply, taking the folder from him.2 The folder itself was navy blue and the school crest was embellished in gold on the top, right-hand corner.4 "If you want to follow me, I'll give you a tour of the school," he says, his confidence building a little. I do as he says and he leads me through the large building. Occasionally stopping to point something out or introduce me to someone. He was actually pretty good company. We eventually reach the top floor and he stops outside one of the doors. "This is probably where you will spend most of your time," he explains. "As you may be aware, our school has the best international student exchange program in the whole of London and we accept students from all over the world and this is our International Room." He says, opening the door and gesturing for me to enter before him. The room was quite large. Against one wall was rows of lockers and tables were scattered throughout where some students sat studying. "We host students from all over the world. The US, Brazil, Japan, South Africa, France. Just to name a few. And in exchange some of our students get the opportunity to go to some of their countries."53 "Awesome," I mumble. I swear this was the most amount of people from different nationalities in one room that I have ever seen. "I, uh, I have to head of to class if that's okay.." Liam says, unsure. I nod, "Okay." He smiles, "Our international prefect will come by soon to introduce himself. If you want I can come and get you at lunchtime to eat in the cafeteria." He suggest.54 "Sounds good." I reply.9 Liam bids farewell before departing through the door we came in. 2 I sit down at one of the empty tables and begin looking through the folder Liam had given me. Map of the school, class timetable, year plan. Everything he had said would be there. A small key drops out of the folder. The small tag attached to it says 'Locker 26'. I turn it over in my hands a couple of times before shoving it into my cardigan pocket. "Riley?" someone asks and I look up, meeting the eyes of a boy. His hair was arranged in a messy halo atop his head. He smiles warmly at me before extending his hand out. "I'm Harry, I'm the international prefect." he explains. pointing to a badge on his blazer which, sure enough read 'International Prefect'.393 I shake his hand. "Riley Templeton, international student." I say, immediately regretting adding 'international student' on the end. He chuckles, it was a sweet sound. "I know," he says, running his hand through his messy curls. "Mind if I sit?" he asks, gesturing to the chair across from me.19 "Go ahead," I reply, neatly stacking my papers and returning them to the folder. He sits on the plastic chair. His lanky, athletic frame dwarfing it. He smiles at me, "So, how are you enjoying the school so far?" he asks.2 I smile back politely, "Good. It seems nice enough.. The head boy is lovely." I comment and I swear his face drops slightly.26 "Liam's nice. One of my best friends actually.." he continues.7 "Awesome!" I exclaim. I have always gotten on better with guys.. A lot less drama. So maybe I can befriend their group.20 "Yeah.." he trails off, "I suppose this is where I am supposed to impart some wisdom." Harry's says with a hint of sarcasm. A giggle escapes my lips before I can stop it. He chuckles slightly at the surprised look on my face before continuing. "So, I will tell you. Do not take your life abroad for granted. I can tell you. The six months I spent in New Zealand actually. Were some of the best of my life. Make the most of it. There are so many things I wish I would've done while I had the chance and didn't so, live in the moment. If you ever have any issues feel free to come see me." He finishes. "Thanks," I say and give him a smile. I have a feeling I am going to be very good friends with this guy. He reminds so much of how one of my best guy friends back home was.1 Was.47 A/N What were Zoe, Alfie and Joe talking about? Hmm.. I wonder :P27 Harry seems like a nice guy, right?43 Don't forget to vote and comment if you want to Lunchtime rolls around pretty quick. Harry had stayed to chat about his experience being in my position. He had spent six months in Christchurch last year and said he wouldn't trade that experience for anything else. When Liam arrives I am having a laughing fit over Harry's story about his first night in New Zealand. "Hey Hazza!" Liam exclaims as he walks in. "Liam, what are you doing here?" Harry asks him, an irritated edge to his voice. Liam gives Harry a confused look before replying, "Uh.. I told Riley I would take her to the cafeteria at lunch. Introduce her to the other guys." "In case you haven't noticed Riley is a girl. I'm sure she would prefer some female company opposed to a bunch of teenage boys." Harry snaps and Liam raises his hands defensively. "Woah, mate. Calm down." he says, "I will introduce her to Danielle or something then. Harry's cheeks flush slightly before he quickly excuses himself and disappears out the door. We both watch as he closes the door a little too agressively and it rattles in the frame. Well that escalated quickly.. "Lunch?" Liam asks, drawing my attention away from the spot Harry was just moments ago. ~~ Danielle was Liam's girlfriend as it turns out and I was quickly left to fend for myself at a table full of teenage girls. I sit there in silence until one of the girls taps my hand. "Don't look but Harry Styles is totally checking you out." she says. Against my better judgement I look over to the next table and find Harry staring at me. He gives me a small wave before averting his gaze back to his food. "He was just making sure I am settling in," I defend. Not sure whether I am trying to convince myself or my informant. "He's international prefect. It's his job to make sure I 'enjoy my time abroad' or something.." The girl shrugs, "Don't see him looking at anyone else like that.." she comments, returning to her conversation with the others. Eventually the bell rings signalling the end of lunch and everyone wanders off leaving me to try and find the international room by myself. After 20 minutes of wandering up and down staircases I eventually give up and go outside. Settling down onto a bench. I pull out my phone and begin scrolling through all of the texts from my 'friends' back in New Zealand. After deleting all of the new ones bidding me farewell I open the text from him. This text had changed my life. Three simple words that make all the dread in the pit of my stomach fire up. I'm Sorry Riles Tears streak down my cheeks and drop onto the screen of my phone. Fuck. Why him? Why did he have to go? It's not fair. "It's not fair." I whisper to myself. "What's not fair?" I jump, my phone clambers to the concrete path. I hastily wipe the tears from my cheeks as I look up, meeting the dazzling green eyes of Harry Styles. He bends down and picks up my phone. Three sharp cracks streak across the screen. "Fuck," I curse under my breath as I take the phone from him, running my finger along the small fractures. "I'm so sorry. That was totally my fault." he apologises, sitting on the bench beside me. "I'll get it fixed for you. Promise." "Don't worry about it.." "Would you care to tell me why you are sitting on a bench outside during class and crying on your first day?" I just shake my head. No way I was going to tell Harry about him. About what happened. "Those girls weren't picking on you at lunch were they?" he asks and I shake my head profusely. "Of course not! It's just.. it's personal and I'd rather not talk about it." Harry nods, sitting back and staring at the sky. We stay like that. Silent and slightly awkward until the bell rings signalling the end of the school day. "Do you mind taking me to the international room?" I ask Harry. "I kinda got lost earlier.." I admit, blushing slightly. He smiles and taps his badge again, "That's my job, remember?" he says with a cheeky grin and I playfully punch his arm. "It is but my pleasure madam," he says in a posh tone. I laugh and he grins as we head back into the school building. As it turns out I had walked past the room multiple times on my quest to find it earlier. I grab my bag as Harry chats to one of the German boys. "See you tomorrow Harry," I call as I turn to leave. "Wait!" he yells across the room. turning to say something to the other boy before making his way across the room. "I'll walk you out." he says, "I mean, we can't have you getting lost again can we?" he jokes and I shove him slightly. "I can find the front gate!" I argue and he chuckles. "I'm not sure.." he teases and I head for the door. I turn to him. "Are you coming or not?" I ask and he laughs before joining me. "Bye Lukas!" he calls over his shoulder and the German boy says something in German as we head out the door. "You speak German?" I ask Harry as we head down the hallway. He nods, "English, German and French." he boasts. "English, Japanese, Spanish and Russian. I win." I state, poking my tongue out at him. "Impressive," he says as we descend the first of many flights of stairs. "My mum loves to travel." I say and wonder why I am telling this to a boy I just met today. As we emerge from the building I spot Alfie's car not too far away. I turn to Harry, "Thanks for making me feel welcome." I say to him. Awkwardly kicking a stone across the footpath. "No problem," he replies and without thinking I lean up and give him a small hug. "See you tomorrow," I say and walk away without another word. As I get into the car Zoe begins to fire questions. "Who was that?" she asks as I buckle my seatbelt. Joe is staring out the window and Alfie is focusing on driving. "Harry." I state. "Harry.." she prompts. "Harry Styles.. He is the international prefect. His job is to make friends with exchange students like myself." "Just friends, huh?" she grills. I glance over at Joe who appears to not be paying any attention. "Just friends."I confirm with an expression which I hope says 'shut up'. Zoe gets the message and stays quiet for a while. "Ready for some innuendo bingo?" she finally pipes up. Shit. I had forgotton about that. "Sure am." I reply. Joe still hasn't spoken since I got into the car and I pray that he isn't still in a bad mood from whatever happened this morning. What did happen this morning? A/N Awh, Harry is such a gentleman :3 Maybe someone has a little crush on a certain Kiwi girl :P Gawsh, a love triangle? Could I get any more cliche? : When we arrive back at the apartment the lounge is set up for the video. In the middle of the room there are two chairs facing eachother on top of a bright blue tarpauline. A few cameras are set up on top of tripods and there are also lights. They really go all out on the set up. I am seated opposite Joe and before I know it cameras are rolling. "Look at the camera Riley." instructs Zoe. "Which one?" I ask which earns a round of laughter. "The middle one." she replies. I do as they say as Joe introduces the video. "Today I am joined by Alfie's cousin, Riley." he gestures to me. I give a little wave and he continues.+ "Not only is Riley the first non-YouTuber to appear on our Innuendo Bingo but she is also the first female so she should feel very honoured," Joe says, giving me a- a.. I don't even know what that look is..38 Eventually the video begins and Joe tells me to take a mouthful of water. I look away as I do and look back to find Joe with his mouth full. Without hesitation I spit the water all over him. "Fuck!" he yells as he spits his water down his front. I clasp my hand over my mouth. "I sorry Joe! It's just.. Your face." Zoe cracks up. "No, I mean. You pull this face. You looked like an ape or something."2 This earns even more laughter from Zoe and Alfie joins in too. Joe chuckles, "It's okay, that's the object of the game. Just generally we play a clip first." he says and I laugh. We both take another lot of water and Zoe plays the first clip. After 5 clips we are both soaked. Joe's bad mood from earlier is completely forgotten. "I am regretting wearing a white t-shirt," Joe says as it sticks to him. Outlining his perfect physique. 66 Holy shit, he is hot. Water drips down from his hair as he speaks, trailing down the side of his face to his plump lips. I wonder what they taste like..57 What the hell am I thinking?!2 Joe turns to the camera and says a quick outro.4 Just before Zoe turns off the camera he shakes his head, showering me with water. "Joe!" I exclaim, "Stop it!" "Stop what?" he asks cheekily, leaning closer and shaking some more. "That!"3 He laughs and Zoe turns off the camera.2 "I think that was the best one yet," Zoe says, watching back some of the footage.4 I remove the ridiculous water wings and start to ring out my skirt. "Might be best to do that in the bathroom," Alfie suggests. I nod and head to the bathroom. Joe was already in there. Towel drying his hair. "I have been banished," I say as I enter and start to ring out the water from my skirt over the bath. "You're a natural in front of the camera." Joe comments as he removes his shirt.3 Fuck. I gulp. Resisting the urge to run my hands over his abs.52 STORY CONTINUES BELOW "Thanks," I mutter. Knowing that he was going to mock me. As expected he repeats, "Thanks," in his attempt at a New Zealand accent.8 "Stop it." I say, playfully shoving his upper arm. The muscle under it was all tense and before I can think I am flinging myself at him.40 I press my lips to his urgently.329 He seems taken aback for a moment before kissing me back. I don't know how I would describe the taste of Joe Sugg's lips other than perfection.5 He grips onto my hips as his tongue slips into my mouth, running along my jaw.45 He slowly lifts and presses me against the wall of the bathroom.26 He pulls back slightly, "Riley?" he breathes. A question. I stop him from saying anything further by bringing my mouth to his again. Our lips mould together for a few more brief seconds before we are interrupted. "What the fuck?!" Alfie yells as he stumbles across the scene. 156 I quickly push myself away from Joe. Putting as my distant as possible between us in the tiny bathroom. "I thought we talked about this," he says to Joe. A threatening tone to his voice.7 "I-I, uh." Joe stutters. "It was my fault." I interrupt. "I threw myself at him.." I say, hanging my head low.2 "I refuse to believe that," Alfie says, "He's taking advantage of you.." he continues.8 I shake my head, "No, really. I kissed him first Alfie. I'm really sorry." I say. Unsure of whether I am sorry for kissing Joe or sorry for getting caught. Joe doesn't say a word. Alfie must have warned him to stay away from me. But why would he do that? I'm perfectly capable of looking after myself. I think. "Go get changed Riley." Alfie commands. "Bu-" I begin to argue. "Go!" he says louder.48 "Fucking hell Alfie stop being a dick." I mutter as I stalk past him. Shooting Joe an apologetic look. I hope Alfie isn't too harsh on him. It was my fault.13 I am an idiot. Why did I just do that? I have no idea what came over me but I just knew I had to kiss him.33 My hand raises to stroke my lips. To where Joe's were just moments ago. I know it sounds stupid but I swear they were tingling. I shut the door to my room and lean against it. Sliding down to the floor. It feels like I have been in the UK for far more than just one day but that is all I have been here for. One day and Alfie is already furious at me. I don't even get why he is so pissed really. I mean, his cousin kissed his girlfriend's brother.. Big deal.22 I laugh quietly at the ridiculousness of the situation. My laughter is interrupted by the door handle turning. I quickly jump up and the door opens revealing Alfie. "What do you want?" I demand angrily crossing my arms across my chest. "Joe admitted that he started it and promised to stay away from you.." he says and my mouth drops open.26 Why would he say that and promise to stay away from me? "It's not true though Alfie!" I exclaim. "It was my fault. I'm the stupid little horny teenager." I say unable to stop the words spilling from my mouth. "It was me! I threw myself at him.." I explain desperately. Joe can't take the blame for my stupid actions especially since he mustn't like me. He promised to stay away from me. He wouldn't do that if he liked me..24 "You don't need to defend him Riley. He should know better. He's 22 years old for god sake!" Alfie says. "Get out of those clothes, you're dripping all over the floor." with that he leaves.16 Fuck. I am a moron. "Moron, moron, moron." I keep repeating it as I change into some sweats. No point in dressing nicely if I'm just gonna hang around the house. I keep saying it as I settle onto my bed with my laptop to begin a ThatcherJoe marathon. Time to find out what makes Joe tick.67 A/N I actually love Jiley. I suppose they are my creation so I have to but yeah..7 I wonder why Alfie told Joe to stay away from Riley? He was encouraging Joe just yesterday. Hmm... :P I dunno if I should keep writing this.. Let me know if you think I should I guess... Trigger Warning: There is mention of self harm in this chapter.37 Joe's POV "I told you this morning. Stay away from her. The things her mother told me about her last night.. She is damaged Joe. Give her some time to heal." Alfie begs.+ "Maybe I can help her Alfie.. I really like Riley. You don't understand. I have this feeling in my gut. Like I have known her forever. I feel like I can heal her. I care, Alfie. I do."18 "I just need you to stay away Joe.." "Bu-" "She used to harm herself Joe." he states.10 My mouth drops open. "I-I didn't know.." I say. "Exactly. So just leave her be Joe. She needs space. Time." I nod. Riley's POV Two weeks. Two whole weeks have passed and Joe hasn't uttered a single word to me. He avoids me at all costs. Not even able to be in the same room as me. Am I really that repulsive?17 I know I shouldn't be so invested in the guy. We kissed once. That was it. But I really did like him.5 Things have started to get bad again.. It didn't help that the anniversary was looming.13 One year.7 Almost 365 fucking days have passed since my whole world crashed down around me. School is alright. I have finally learnt my way around. I tend to hang around with Harry and his friends. He was my new London best friend. He was my new Jack.68 His name sends chills up my spine. The memories flood in before I can stop them. I'm sorry Riles I begin to shake. The tears spilling from my eyes. I sob uncontrollably. Loudly. No doubt they can hear me. "I can't take it anymore!" I hear Joe yell from the other room. Seconds later my door flies open and he is cradling me in his arms.57 I can't tell if I am dreaming or not as the tears continue to streak down my cheeks. "H-he's gone." I sob into Joe's shirt. We sit like that for what seems like forever. Him comforting me as I cry. I don't pay any notice to the fact that the boy who ignored me for fourteen straight days is here cradling me in his arms as I weep. "J-Joe," I eventually manage to stammer. "You don't have to talk," he assures me but I continue. "Why have you been ignoring me?" I ask. I expect him to tell me it's because he hates me. Because I threw myself at him. Because I am too young. Instead he says something I certainly didn't expect to hear. "It was better for you if I did." "It wasn't!" I say, looking him straight in the eyes. He nods, "I know that now." he assures me. Pulling me into his chest.25 A/N Short chapter.. So a part of Riley's past is revealed.. Where do you think it's gonna go from here? I can't stop writing this. I'm enjoying writing fanfic that isn't 1D if you couldn't tell.. Might have some more Harry scenes soon. How 'bout it?
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