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I was nervous. I hated the feeling. Even performing in front of thousands on fans didn't make me feel as nervous as I felt right at that moment. Patience wasn't my strongest trait either. I rolled my shoulders back trying to ease try tension in my shoulders.
The sound of the door opening echoed through the empty restaurant. The sight of Harp slammed into my chest like a sledgehammer leaving me short of breath. She was beautiful. Even dressed casually in a jeans and a shirt she was the most beautiful girl to me.
She frowned as her eyes scanned the empty restaurant. I was able to watch her but she didn't see me. Aiden followed in behind her.
I'd had my doubts but he'd done it. He'd got her here for me. Now was my chance to fix the misunderstanding. I stepped into her view and her confused look turned icy.
"You set me up," she said as she turned to face Aiden.
"I didn't want to deceive you but this is the only way to sort this out," he tried to reason with her.
"I thought you were my friend," her voice was shaky.
"I am," he assured her but she was shook her head. She turned to throw me a glare before setting her gaze back on Aiden.
"You're supposed to be on my side," she said sounding hurt and I felt a tinge of guilt at the betrayal I'd instigated.
"I am. I don't want you to let go of the best thing that has ever happened to you," he told her. "I saw how it crushed him when you didn't remember what you had with him."
She dropped her gaze to the floor.
"He was with you every step of the way. He put your well being above everything else," he added further. "Those aren't the actions of someone ready to move onto someone else."
She stubbornly refused to lift her gaze to acknowledge his words.
"Just give him a little time to explain and if you still don't believe him I'll take you home. You owe him that."
After a minutes of silence Harp shrugged her shoulders before glaring at Aiden and Sam one last time before she turned to face me. They quietly left us alone, closing the door quietly behind them.
It was just us. Nothing Aiden had said had eased the intensity of her anger that was fully directed at me.
"I'm here," she said without making eye contact. "So talk."
No pressure. If this didn't work I was screwed.
"Are you hungry?" I asked stepping forward to the only table that had a lit candle.
The restaurant staff were in the kitchen waiting for any instructions.
I had rented the entire restaurant out so we could be alone without other people eavesdropping on our sensitive conversation. I couldn't guarantee that there wouldn't be yelling on her part.
She shook her head.
"At least sit down," I said pulling out the chair for her. I shrugged out of my jacket and hung it on the back of the chair before I sat down.
She gave me another pointed glare before she sat down. I wanted to brush my fingers over her frown and soothe over her hurt feelings.
"So explain," she said in a clipped tone.
The neves knotted in my stomach. I let out an emotional sigh.
"I should never have hidden you from the world. The moment we became a couple I should have shouted it to the world." I didn't have a lot of regrets but that was one of them.
"The only reason I never made it public knowledge was because I didn't want to put you in the spotlight until you were ready. I wanted to protect you. It was never done to be deceitful."
She shook her head at me.
"None of that matters," she said. She was being so stubborn and it was driving me nuts.
"I have someone I want you to listen to," I said.
I reached for my phone and dialled the driver who was parked outside the restaurant. I was covering all bases. I wouldn't allow this to spiral out of control.
"Please send her in," I instructed.
At my instruction Harp stood up and backed away from me. The hurt and betrayal in her eyes was evident for my guilt to simmer and grow.
Her eyes shot to the door as Katie stepped inside. Katie looked nervous. I couldn't blame her so I have her an encouraging look.
"Hi," she greeted Harp.
Harp remained quiet as she eyed Katie out.
"Sit," I instructed Katie before I looked to Harp and nodded in the direction of the chair she'd just vacated.
Katie gave me a panicked look while Harp continued to give her a cold welcome. She sat down and so did Harp reluctantly.
"I'm sorry about the misunderstanding," she began. "I was so excited to go to the awards evening. Trisha, my sister, had been too ill to attend so she'd asked the guys to keep an eye on me."
She clasped her hands together anxiously.
"I got drunk," she added dropping her eyes briefly, looking ashamed. We'd all been there. "I don't drink a lot and the excitement and nerves made me drink more than I usually would. It was one glass and then another." She frowned. "I can't even remember how much I drank."
I watched Harp's expression.
"I was so drunk I couldn't walk straight. Grey took me back to my hotel room to put me to bed before going out clubbing with the rest of the band but I threw up and he was too scared to leave me on my own."
Harp's eyes flickered to mine. I held her gaze before she looked away. I had nothing to hide.
"He slept on the couch while I passed out in my bed," she assured Harp. "The next morning I felt so bad so when his phone rang I answered it before it woke him up."
Katie held Harp's gaze. She was difficult to read.
"Nothing happened and I'm really sorry for any trouble I've caused," she said, shooting a look between Harp and I.
"Thank you for coming Katie," I said standing up. Katie stood up throwing one last look in Harp's direction but her expression was unreadable. I had not idea if she believed Katie's story.
"Thank you," I said before I opened the door and stepped out of the restaurant.
"I hope it helped," she said.
"Me too." I instructed the driver to take her back to hotel.
There was an uncomfortable silence when I returned to the table to sit across from Harp. Her expression had softened as she fidgeted with the edge of the tablecloth.
"I don't know what to say," she said softly.
"How about in sorry for blowing the whole thing out of proportion?" I suggested.
She swallowed hard.
"I should have called you to let you know but I didn't want to wake you," I admitted.
"If you had told me I would have known who she was."
"This shouldn't have snowballed into this," I told her feeling a little deflated that she'd jumped to conclusions so quickly. I ran a hand through my hair.
Her eyes glistened before she swept a stray tear away. The simple action of her brushing the year from her face tore into my heart.
I didn't intend to hurt her but after going the events time and time again trying to figure exactly what had pushed her to believe I would betray her had led me to the realisation that there was something more to this then met the eye.
"You know how much you mean to me and you decided that with the slight misunderstanding to give up on all of it," I said. The more I thought about it the angrier I got.
Her lip trembled and she bit it.
"Why?" I asked her softly. My eyes searched hers.