HARLOW

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Summary

Harlow and Julien are a seemingly normal couple, supportive and protective of their friend group, admired and loved by their peers, but a single incident of domestic abuse threatens to uncover their dark operations, not knowing one of their closest aims to use this to their advantage.

Genre:
Action / Romance
Author:
birch04z06
Status:
Ongoing
Chapters:
17
Rating:
n/a
Age Rating:
18+

ONE

I don’t usually like to talk about my day or my life. Or my month. Let alone my year. Only if my girlfriends asked me, but only because I love them. They get me through everything. They are my sunlight on the darkest of days, but perhaps they ask too many questions.

I was busily stirring my drink with a finger; a glass of Vodka with ice and a leaf tossed in the middle. I drown people out when they don’t speak to me and this seemed like a good time.

One of them shook me aggressively, and for a split second I forgot I was pretending I wasn’t bothered. “Hey!” She laughed and giggled, her blonde hair curled in all the right places.

I flashed a smile, “What?” And sucked my Vodka covered finger.

“Soooo . . .” She pried, all my other girlfriends waited hungrily. “Tell us. How is he in bed? You’ve been together a year now, right?”

I chuckled genuinely. Discussions like this were right up my alley. We were gathered around the round end of the bar. This was girl’s night with none of our boyfriends in sight. I couldn’t contain my grinning as I began to speak. I should be used to talking about it by now. “He’s uh, he’s great.” I said, nodding. “Just when you think it’ll be over and he’s tired, he flips me over and he just-“ I paused, feeling the bartender’s eyes on me. “He just starts all over and it’s harder, faster, better.” I paused, raising my eyes to the girls. “Hungrier.”

Ally who sat at the end of the bar began to chuckle behind her drink while Blondie took my hand. “God, I’m so jealous. And he’s a proper gent right? I mean that’s all I’ve been hearing from you. He seems like such a great guy.”

I smiled, “The gentlest.”

“Rough and gentle.” Gina winked, sitting in the center of our circle. “Does he have a brother? Because I need me a piece of that.”

I smiled down at my drink returning to my regularly scheduled twirling of my drink. “No, he’s an only child. A real mama’s boy.”

Blondie placed her knuckles to her hips. “You’ve always said they were the ones to look for. Now I believe you.”

“Hey, isn’t that him?” Ally pointed all our eyes to the bar entrance where our boyfriends broke through together, mine of course led the pack with his helmet wrapped in a black tie duffel he held at the hip against the crook of his elbow. “I wasn’t aware it was also boy’s night!”

Julien, though confident, wasn’t of the loud breed. In a lot of ways we were very similar. In new surroundings and with new people we spoke quietly. Often people didn’t bother with what we thought or our opinions and we end up being talked over. He wasn’t the tallest of our boys as he stood just a couple inches over me.

His face was a thin oval that only grew pudgy around the cheeks, bushy brows sat over dark and downturned almond eyes. His awkwardly shaped lips skirted with a hairy goatee that fell in line with the trimmed stubble on his chin, something I loved to stroke in private when we looked each other in the eye in moments of silence.

Julien walked over to me and held an arm out to touch my back, planting a soft kiss on my temple. “Fun night?” He whispered in my ear.

“Now it is.” I whisper back as I smile up at him as he kisses me softly in front of everyone.

“Y’all need to get a room.” Ally’s lumberjack of a man joked as he hugged her tight from behind, prompting harmless laughter from everyone but earned him a slap on the arm.

“Shut up, it’s sweet!” Gina said as she looked admiringly at the both of us, her hands cradled by her face.

Julien slid a chair by me, wrapping an arm around me and proceeding to softly sway us from left to right. I could do nothing but smile happily at all of this. But it didn’t last. Not for me and not for all of us. Blondie, as we liked to call her, was the most outspoken one out of all of us, but that all dies when her boyfriend sits with us.

We never understood if it was jealousy or possessiveness that made him this way, but all we knew is that Blondie was never the same. “Everything okay, baby?” I asked Blondie as the corners of her lips shook as if she were unable to speak or heard something that shook her soul.

“Mm-hmm.” She’d muttered, sipping her drink as if to keep the words down. She swallowed hard, knowing her boyfriend was watching. “Harlow, I’m okay.”

But she wasn’t. There was something we missed among the laughter. Ethan didn’t seem as aggressive tonight, but all it took were his words to scare her. We all felt it. We just didn’t know how to end it. Ethan’s eyes bore into mine as he sensed my concern wasn’t just going to leave like it used to.

Julien noticed him staring and realized it was probably time to cut things short. He checked his watch just for the theatrics of it and he stood off of his stool, his neck and his frame concealed and tightly accented by his black turtleneck shirt. “I think it’s time for us to leave.” He said to everyone as he brought me up, clutching my hand with his rougher one.

I said goodbye to the girls and he said goodbye to the boys, all except for Ethan. I wave back to them as we walked out to the bar’s parking area. I wrap my leather jacket around my stomach as he lets go of me, setting up his white bike.

“It’s a shame.” I say as his back turned to me.

“What is?” He asked, unravelling his helmet before handing it to me. Ever the sensitive boyfriend, he knew just what I meant. “Oh, Blondie.”

I nodded, gathering my hair to one side just before the wind decided it would have control of it. “She doesn’t want to do anything about it.”

Julien wore his own helmet and mounted the bike, leaving me unmoving in my spot. “Maybe it just isn’t the right time.”

Lost in thought and incredibly bothered, Julien held his hand out to me. “Forget about it, come on.” He said, “We’ll talk about it when we get home.”

I took his hand and I hopped onto the back of the bike, the engine revved before I even sat down. “You alright?” He asked me over his shoulder as he inched forward out of our parking spot.

I brought my arms around his chest, holding him close. “Yeah, I guess I am.”

When we’d gotten home, we did anything but talk. There had been no time for that. The first thing I’d felt when I walked into the door were his arms around me as he began to nibble at my neck, his warmth encapsulating me. I could not do anything but concede to it. It was too good to miss.

I dropped my bag on the first chair by the door and turned to have my lips meet his. He started off slow, guiding me into the bedroom as we walked backwards, his feet accidentally walking on mine, though even in the littlest details, he remembers to be gentle, keeping his weight light to keep from hurting me.

I held the back of his neck, rubbing the stubble on his nape with my fingers. I felt the bed collide with my calves as Julien began to peel off my shirt, removing his lips from mine only to let my clothes pass through, then just as quickly reconnecting his mouth with mine.

Though he was of a leaner build, there was a strength to Julien, something that made me feel protected. We’d paused to breathe and I kept my eyes closed. Nothing felt as good as hearing his voice close to my ears. There was a way he talked that only I hear and knew, like a secret only I had access to.

Julien peeled his shirt off, throwing the turtleneck over his head, his hands to my hips, he administered a kiss to my cheek. And he whispered, “I love you.”

I kissed him, long and soft, the kind of kiss you simply couldn’t walk away from. And if you did, it would already have wormed its way into your heart. I breathed in his heady perfume and smiled to myself.

He’d stepped back an inch to bend over and remove his jeans, sliding his boots off of his feet, leaving him in black briefs just as I had gotten rid of my clothes.

He’d stood back up to meet with my eyes, and he said, “You ready?”

I ran my fingers through my hair off to one side like he’d always liked. “’Course.”

This time there was not a slow build. I had been turned around and pushed down on the bed, my stomach on the edge. After that all I could hear were our breaths, my moans, his groans. I clutch the duvet in tight fists as he brought stars to my vision. His teeth biting into my shoulder, the pain making it so much easier to feel everything he did to me. It was all so much that my ears started to ring.

He flipped me around and I crawled on my back to lie on the bed, watching him chasing me on his hands and knees, sweat like bullets on his forehead. I welcomed him with open arms as he planted his weight square on my body, everything that could interlock twisted together like lengths of thick rope.

He entered me abruptly, catching me by complete surprise. He took to my lips like he had been attempting to absorb me, everything I was. This kiss was a mess, something that was very much unlike him.

Riled up, I’d bitten his lower lip, hard enough to draw blood. Somehow it made him push harder into me. He’d detached from me, his knuckles at my head as he closed his eyes, blood gushing from his mouth and falling onto my lips.

His forehead creased and his brows furrowed as he was getting ready to finish. It was all too surreal. Suddenly my breath left my body and a glow rose up from my abdomen like a tidal wave that took over my senses. For a minute it was all heaven. The world disappeared. There was only him and I.

Every wave must come to shore and it did. On his hands and elbows, he’d rested over my stomach, his hair dripping sweat. I caressed his neck and his back comfortingly, the muscles in his arms rounded as he ducked his head, planting it on my abdomen.

Eventually he’d crawled back up onto me, climbing on his elbows. Seeing the droplets of blood from his lip on my mouth, he’d spread it around with his thumb, lovingly looking down at me, sweat pockmarking my chest. I bit his thumb and smiled as he lowered his face to kiss me, the blood mixed with his salty lips was a kind of drink only I would be able to taste.

I reached over at the nightstand for the pocket knife I’d always kept there and swung the knife open. The black blade hovered at his breast and I made a slow slice downward, causing a thin red track to burst with small red round droplets centimetres from each other.

He smiled as he grit his teeth, the knife an inch away from his nipple. When I was done, he’d grinned wide like an animal brandishing his teeth. He took the knife from me and began to straight line down between my breasts, my sweat falling into the red track sweltering and burning my wound.

He tossed the knife aside and kissed me as softly as he ever could, red spreading across our chests, enough to leave a pink tint afterwards.

He’d fallen by my side in exhaustion, he held the top of his head as he closed his eyes, his right arm underneath me. I pulled at his hand and had his arm wrap over my neck. It had been my turn to say it.

I turned my head to him and whispered, “I love you.”

Even tired, he’d kissed my temple and breathed in the smell of my sweat.

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