Neon Red – Chapter 21

(DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. It’s important to remember this is all totally fabricated, embellished, and exaggerated for entertainment purposes.)


I let go of my claim on you, it’s a free world

You look down on where you came from sometimes

But you’ll have this place to call home, always

This love will keep us through blinding of the eyes

Silence in the ears, darkness of the mind

Frank Ocean – Godspeed

“Here goes…” I said, so quietly that only I could hear. I drizzled the oil all over both thighs and his ass. I saw him nervously bring his other hand up to rest beside his head, as if he bore the inclination to hide his face.

“Youh okay, baby?”


“Youh promise?”

“I promise…” Everything about him was so adorable at the moment my chest clenched and left behind an ache. I needed to show him how much he meant to me. How much I missed his body. His mind. His attention. Missed coming together as one. A savagely beautiful being of convergence. Two heads, two sweaty backs, eight limbs, one soul. Twenty inquisitive fingers crawling everywhere, grasping everything there was to be grasped.

My hands slid tantalizingly up and down the back of his thighs, landing dangerously close to the edge of ass every time. My thumbs brushed the rising flesh occasionally, teasing it until he sighed my name with impatience. I couldn’t neglect it any longer. I scooted up the bed and directly caressed it; greasy palms coasting over its pillowy surfaces. No pressure applied yet, just enjoying the shape of him.

Every undulation and chamber, mine. Ambling up towards the small of his gorgeous back. Down again to his ass; gradually squeezing my way around. Allowing my thumbs to stroke unhurriedly, which proved unearthly satisfying for us both. The pleasure I derived was simply from knowing he felt sated; that I would be the architect of his orgasms.

My mouth watered. Spit glands getting worked up with anticipation for the flavors to come. I slapped his cheeks a few times and listened to him hiss. Watched my handprint emerge and vanish as the blood flushed beneath the surface. He jutted his ass out for more, so I spanked it until my hand hurt.

Before I knew it, I was pouring more oil into his crack and took the massage a little deeper. The sides of my hands slipped in and out of his cheeks, brushing his hole until he quaked. Edging him. Toying with his entry, pressing through but never going all the way. Now he was writhing; no longer ashamed to cry out.

“Feelin’ okay?” I murmured, not expecting an answer, letting my fingers dip between those cushiony cheeks to reclaim his warmth. “All mine…” I marveled aloud, caressing his taint and dipping down to his balls. He bent one leg at the knee, dragging it towards his chest to expose himself for me.

“Deeper…” he breathed, but I lay down beside of him, kissing his mouth at last. Tonguing him until we were sputtering for air. As we lay, I reached around and slipped my fingers inside of him, breaking past his hole into his blazing insides. Those depths that only I knew. He gasped against my mouth, begging me to get inside of him. To wreck him. But I drug his torment out a while longer, sitting up at the head of the bed, winded. He knew there was a problem, so he sat up in front of me.


“Fuck, babe. Call me crazy, but it seems like your back doesn’t really hurt…like at all…”

“Took you long enough, dummy,” he grinned, straddling my lap; kneeling up over me. I punched his belly, but he tilted by head up and kissed me with a triumphant flare, flicking his tongue against mine until I thought I’d shit myself.

When we broke, I rested against his belly, stroking my hands up the back of his thighs, kissing his butterfly and navel. He reached over and grabbed the oil, making a show of pouring some into his hands, then a little onto my head. I laughed as it dripped down my face. Now he rubbed it all over his chest and stomach, pulling at his nipples. Taunting me. I watched as he drizzled it on his cock and jerked it until I nearly exploded in my own shorts from the voyeurism alone.

Then and there, I gathered his rock-hard length into my hand, taking over, running my palm up and down the oily residue. Crushing it. I gazed up at him while I worked, pleading for things I couldn’t articulate. Nothing I even knew I wanted. He made me want everything at once with an endless urgency.

Now I slumped lower on the bed, opening my mouth, scarfing his meat down in a single swallow. My jaws were expanded to their fullest capacity. The corners of my lips threatened to split. I let him rest inside the fiery confines of my mouth before moving again. He planted his hands to the wall above my head, carefully undulating his hips. When his dick flopped out of my mouth, drool slung onto my chest and I absently smeared it around with my hand.

“Baby…” I whimpered, and he fell over onto his back, inviting me to finish the job. I lay down between his legs and finished what I started, letting him come in my mouth. Later he lay there, completely spent, before gaining a second wind and flipping onto his belly. Now he placed a pillow beneath so I could get as deep as possible. 

“Hurry up…” he demanded. I lay down on top of him with a weary shudder, biting his shoulder.

“Youh want more?”

“Don’t ask stupid questions…” With that I lubed myself up, sliding a hand between us to guide myself. After breaking into him for the first time in forever, a supernova tore through my brain, leaving shredded matter and a bloody path in its wake.

Fuckkkk, babe…” I groaned, feeling him throb around me. I was ready to sob. He backed up into me as I plowed forward, grinding without reserve. I couldn’t inhale. I was losing oxygen. Veins shirking. 

My body went inert, as if I’d run a marathon. Being with him took everything out of me. I could barely lift myself off him to thrust anymore. Instead, I pulled him over onto his side, spooning while still tucked inside. There, I fucked him slowly and deliberately, images of our recent fights and his sobbing face clouding my head. It made the intimacy alarmingly more real. Making up after a streak of abstinence was spec-fuckin’-tacular. Cancer-curing. It provided a more severe high than any other substance I could possibly acquire, and I smiled as one-by-one my organs shut down.

“Where were you?” he moaned, making reference to how long we’d gone without touching in the past month. 

“Right here, baby…right here. Always waitin’ on youh…” I slowed my thrusts and reached around to squeeze his cock, bringing it back to life. Stroking his balls until they tucked up close to his body. He wrapped his hand around mine as I jerked his length with long, languid motions. I buried my face into his hair, wheezing each time my hips jutted forward. Positively nothing escaped my senses. I could hear him swallowing. Hear the slippery suction of his ass around my cock. Hear the wind racing past the windows. 

Now I spasmed and rammed into his guts, feeling overheated. Something about the position reminded me of our first time. How heartfelt it had been. The way I couldn’t stop. Couldn’t stay out of him. Now his moans were ear-splitting. Desperate almost. He tossed his head back a time or two and it knocked against mine. I shoved my face into him, biting his hair, breath hitching as he clenched around me. He released my hand and grabbed the sheets, convulsing as I jerked him so rapidly he lost ahold of himself. When he came, I came inside of him; feebly thrusting a long while after.


In the evening we lay on our sides atop the sheets, exposed. Facing each other. Eyes half open. Speaking softly as we began to doze. I was trying to will myself to dream of him. That’s how badly I hated being apart. There was a small gap between us on the mattress, since we were all touched-out, but in a little while I’d be crossing it to spoon.

Rounds two and three had left me paralyzed from the waist down, and I knew he’d be in pain come morning. I really came alive the second time around, railing him until I thought he’d broken a hip. Round three was a bit more tame, but still, it did it’s damage to us both. I’d bitten my tongue and he had scratched up my chest and arms. There was blood steaked all over the sheets.

“Has your dad said anything else to you…about us?” he asked; groggy-eyed.

“Noh…not since I told him about the engagement.”

“Then he must be pleased with himself.”

“Noh… actually…” I flexed my jaw. His dick had given me a toothache. “I don’t think he is. Pretty sure he wants me to marry a proper Pakistani girl.”

“Which Perrie is not.”


“Is he, like, uh, trying to force an arranged marriage on you or what?” He wasn’t wrong for drawing that conclusion, it’s just that no one else ever had the balls to ask.

“Sometimes I get that feelin’, y’know? He doesn’t say it outright, ’cause he knows it’d be a hard pass forh me. But he didn’t follow that sort of tradition himself. He’d look like a massive hypocrite if he ever forced it on his kids. My mum is lily-white, y’know.”

“He’d be a massive hypocrite.”

“I’ve been thinkin’ Haz…” I cleared my throat and squinted. “It feels like he’s punishin’ me? In a way?”

“Think so?”

“Like…it’s not only about the marriage shit. He doesn’t give a fuck about all that. Not really.”

“You sound upset. Want a smoke?”

“I’m gud, babe. But it’s just like, he’s usin’ the marriage stuff as an excuse to guilt me over sumthin’, I think. Like his problem is sumthin deeper.”

“Like what?” he muttered, caressing my cheek.

“I’ve been thinkin’ the band thing sort of put him in a difficult spot. With me…and me mum…and the girls.”

“How so?’

“Fuck, I dunno, babe. I know he’s proud of me and whateva…” I licked my lips to moisten them, shutting my eyes. I could feel myself dozing. “I know he’s proud of the band and all…but youh gotta think, Haz. Me gettin’ all this money, all the sudden, like, fame and what-not…it sort of gave me this unearned importance in the family. I hadn’t really paid my dues beforehand. I was only seventeen, yeah? I hadn’t earned anythin’ like he had. He was lookin’ out forh everyone. My dad was the one everybody came to for everythin’. Now it’s me. And soh, it’s like…blokes like youh and I got a cheat code to success and power.”

“Yeah, I guess I see what you mean. But you think we don’t deserve it? Sometimes I think we don’t.”

“Doesn’t matter really. We have it, now. People can’t blame us for that. It might’ve been luck in the beginnin’ but we work our asses off now.”


“But in my family, it’s hard for men to feel really valued over here. In the West. For them everythin’s so different. We’re a minority here…we’re marginalized, we’re dismissed…and soh inside the family is where we can feel a certain level of…like…I guess… respect. Where we can feel heard. A man is the head of his family, right? And everyone in the family looks up to him. Especially in Islam. Wait, what are youh smilin’ at?”

“You talk too much.”

“Shuddup. Soh sometimes, babe, I get the feelin he thinks I robbed him of that sort of importance in our family. And for as much as he loves and supports me, I just can’t shake the feelin’ that he resents me a little for all this.”

“So…you think he’s like, uh, jealous or something? And using the Pakistani marriage rule as a way to make you miserable? Like he doesn’t want you to have it all?” He wiped his nose.

“Sumthin’ like that. I dunno if jealous is the right word per say. More like, regretful of how things turned out in a way. That life stole me away and elevated me more than it should have, in sum people’s eyes. And also I think he’s feelin’ a bit slighted that I bought me mum her dream house. That’s forh him y’know. Maybe I overstepped with that? I didn’t really think of how it might affect him till’ after I brought it and she fell in love with it. Can’t take it back now, but I don’t want him to hate me.”

“Y’know, I get what you mean, Z…but, uh, maybe you’re projecting a little? He’s your dad. I don’t really see him thinking like that. I think he’s just being really traditional about the marriage stuff, which is, uh, still awful in it’s own right. But I don’t think he resents you, mate.”

“Think soh?”

“He loves you a lot. I’ve seen it. He adores you. Your successes are his successes. You came from his nutsack for crying out loud. I mean, you may’ve been a mistake, and all. Like a failed condom, but how could he not be proud of you now?!” We laughed. “You gotta remember…anything you do, it reflects on him. The good and the bad. And, uh, I dunno, Z…I think maybe he’s, uh, more ok with your choices than he lets on. He just doesn’t know how to express it. He is the O.G. Zain Malik after all.”

“Hah, true.” I grinned. “I really hope you’re right.”

“M’always right.” he smirked, looking drunk. “So, is he mostly ok with Perrie then?”

“I wouldn’t say soh. That’s not the vibe I get from him. Like…he doesn’t say anythin’ overtly disapprovin’, per say, but he only seems to tolerate her when we’re around. Me mum loves her, and soh do the girls. I think he just knows what must be done, and is hopin’ I go ahead and do it to clear things up. Get some gud press out there about me being on the right track, after the stuff he saw out there about youh and I. And I think he knows I don’t want to do it…but, like, will twist my arm anyweh.”

“Why not just date a Pakistani girl?”

“Who’s side are youh on, anyweh?”

“C’mon, they’re pretty hot.”

“Shut up, Haz. Youh just don’t want me to be with, Pez. But I know how youh are. The second I hook up with any other bird you’re gonna lose your shit and hate her too.” He blew a raspberry directly in my face and we cracked up.

“He’s just tryin’ to twist my arm about the engagement stuff.”

“That’s awful…”

“Shit…innit? Sumtimes he can be so belittlin’. Just his manner. And then, like, I don’t even think he’s aware of it, but he says lil’ snarky things to let me know how he’s really feelin’. He’s always done that, though, maan. He used to do that shit all the time about me weight and build. Always makin’ jokes about how I needed to hit the gym. How I couldn’t impress any girls being pudgy. How I’d be 300 pounds when I got to his age if I didn’t get my in shape while I was young. I think he meant well…he always does. He just doesn’t necessarily express himself in the most…unoffensive sort of way. A lot of that shit stuck with me, though. I know a lot of people have it way worse, and I’m not complainin’ or anythin’ because I love him.”

“I know you do.”

“It is what it is, I guess.”

“Does it even matter to him what you want?” he asked. I shrugged, opening my eyes to see he was watching me with concern; brow knitted. “Well…uh, did it ever occur to him that it’s your life and that you can do what the fuck you want with it and he just has to shut up about it?”


Seriously. Where does he get off cornering you like this, mate? Hurting you? Making you feel like shit? Making you torture yourself with her. And even the weight shit, like…I’ve, uh, seen how much that affected you. Wait, hold on, don’t get annoyed. I just noticed, you, uh, sort of hesitate to eat sometimes. And then you get really underweight, and it just seems like he might’ve permanently mind-fucked you…”

“It’s complicated…”

“Oh yeah?” he whispered. “Well, it doesn’t have to be. You’re perfect…in every way.” I shut my eyes and he squeezed the back of my neck apologetically. “I don’t mean to stress you. I’ll shut up now.”

“Noh, it’s okay.” I relented, growling internally. Wanting with every fiber of my being to end the conversation. But we needed to talk sometimes. He needed to talk things through, I noticed, and was teaching me to do the same. This was good.

“You deserve to have your say, Haz. We may not be engaged or sumthin, but a lot of what happens with me affects your life too. M’startin’ to notice that. I may not like you always havin’ a say, but I understand it…in a way. If I’m fair, youh have every right to be upset by a lot of this…”

“Your life is my life,” he whispered, leaning over to kiss my forehead. Now he rested his head against mine.

“I don’t want to hate him,” I muttered.

“I know.”

“…but if he separates us, I will.”


The next morning, I woke up and Haz was on the balcony on his phone, in nothing but his briefs. I tried to make out the nature of the conversation through his body language, because he had closed the door behind him and the terrace was soundproof. He was smiling now and biting his lip. Laughing a bit too much. Way too eagerly. Must’ve been one of his birds.

“Who was it?” was the first thing I asked when he stepped back into the room, adjusting his package through the dark cotton. There was no Hi, no Good morning. Just straight to business.

“A friend. And good morning to youh too, brohhh!”

“Sorry, babe. Good mornin’. M’ happy as fuck youh stayed over.”

“Me too…” He leaned over me where I lay and pecked my lips.

“How long youh been up, gorgeous?”

“Not long.” I made room. He sat on the edge of the bed at my hip, pulling the sheet up my chest. “You were so cold this morning. I had to pull this over us.”

“Fanks, babe…”

“Any time, beb…” he mocked my accent again.

Something was strange. There was a distance in our exchange like something had shifted. It happened every time. The awkward small talk before the walk of shame back to our separate rooms, preparing for a day where we pretended we hadn’t fucked. Especially in front of the others. A coldness always defined our actions on mornings like these, things were always different, but something seemed totally off. 

“Soh, do I know this friend?”

“Hell if I know, mate. Probably. He’s on the crew, y’know? A new hire.”

“He?” I paused, sitting up at the head of the bed. “Did youh say ‘he’?”

“Yeah, he. It’s a pronoun. Ever heard of it before? The word typically indicates a member of the male—”

“Alright dickhead.”

“M’joking, Z…chill…” he drawled, flashing a dimpled grin.

“Wus his name?”

“…Matt, if you must know.”

“He callin’ youh soh early, then?” My eyes tapered. He was having trouble looking at me. Kept rubbing his nose and fiddling with his phone case.

“You’re sneering, mate…”

“Why is he callin’ youh soh early? He wake youh up, too?”

“I told him to.”

“Soh, youh literally told him to give youh a wake-up call when youh knew youh were gonna be with me? Are youh outta your fuckin’ mind, Haz? Youh really thought I’d be okay with that?”

“Mate, he’s…just…a…friend…” he ground out, refusing to meet my eyes. Staring down at the sheet like a scolded child.

“I don’t give a fuck what youh call him. Don’t have some fuckin guy callin’ to wake youh up when you’re with me, alright?? Youh know how fucked up that is? What’s wrong with youh, broh? Do I mean anythin’ to youh??”

“Zayn, we’re not doing this.”

“Doing what?!” I shouted, annoyed with him refusing to meet my eyes.

“It’s okkkkk,” he rubbed his fingers absently up my arm where he’d scratched me badly the night before, then tried to take my hand, but I wouldn’t let him. He settled for pulling at the skin around my elbow.

“Youh wanna explain yourself, Harry?”

“We’re just gonna grab lunch at the hotel. That’s all. We won’t go far, I promise. Just trying to make him feel at home. He feels really weirded out on the road, stuck on the other side of the world without his fami—”

“And that’s your fuckin’ problem?!” I sneered. “Suddenly it’s your job to make him feel better?”

“It’s the decent thing to do.”

“Okay, Harry.” I said, deadpan, knocking his hands off me. “Fuck off.” I shifted in the bed, and he took it as his cue to move away.

He dragged his jeans on and tried to make a joke about how sore and tired he was. I grabbed my phone and flicked through the messages, ignoring him. Of all the bullshit I could’ve woken up to, he chose this? He might as well have picked up a brick and brained me. Especially after how fucking good last night was. I thought we’d gotten somewhere.

I got up eventually and tossed some water on my face and brushed my teeth. When I came back out in a pair of sweats and his old t-shirt, he was sat on the floor beside the bed, pulling his shoes on. I joined him, sitting shoulder-to-shoulder.

“That’s all youh want, right?” I tossed up my hands. “Just to fuck me? Just to get off then goh hang with someone else?”

“That’s all your good for, anyway.” We laughed. He said something else about paying me for my services. I told him he couldn’t afford me.

“Besides…we’re just friendsss anyway, mate.” He elbowed me.

“Ugh, cut that ‘just friends’ shit out, Haz. It’s startin’ to annoy me.”

“Hey youh say it first—”

“I fuckin’ know. Youh think I need to be reminded every five seconds or sumthin’? You’re childish, mate.”

“That makes two of uz.”

“Youh know it was fuckin’ stupid of me to say at the time. We can never be just friends. We’re totally fucked. Hopeless. Youh know that as well as I do, but youh just want to hold it against me.”

“Yeah, alright.” He got the boots on and slung his legs out in front of him, idly fanning his feet.

“And I don’t want to be your fuckin’ friend anyway. I don’t even like youh.” I was dead serious, but he laughed a bitter laugh, tossing his head back over the mattress. I watched the way the morning illuminated his profile and Adam’s apple. He had new freckles along his neck. It was a tender sight, so I quickly sobered.

“I’m too crazy about youh to be your friend…” I confessed. “My friends don’t make me feel the way youh do.” He turned his head to gaze over at me. “You’re either mine completely…or youh can just fuck off completely, yeah? I will love youh or I will hate youh, Harry. There’s none of this in-between shit.”

“That’s ok with me…”

“Then what are youh doing with him?” I quailed. “Youh tryin’ to hurt me, babe? Youh set it up soh I would see youh talkin to him?”

“He’s a friend, you idiot! What don’t you get?! D’you think I fuck every person I know? Fucks sake, mate…you’re no better than the fucking tabloids.”

“That’s not what I’m sayin’ at all—”

“Then what are you saying?? You don’t trust me? Have I ever given you a reason not to??”

“You’re still angry with me. I can feel it. And no, Haz, I don’t trust you when you’re mad. You’re petty as fuck. I’m still scared of what you’ll do to get back at me.” He moved to get up, but I yanked him back down.

“Listen a minute!”

“Mate what the fuc—”

“Youh have to forgive me, Harry. That’s sort of how this whole thing works, right? That’s love.”

“You’re insane.” He shoved my head angrily and I slapped his hand away. “That’s love??” He mocked me. “Then how about you don’t fuck up?? How about you don’t keep hurting me?! How about don’t give me a reason to fucking hate you?? How about stop being so fucking selfish all the time?? That’s also love!” Now he was hysterical, ready to yank his hair from his scalp.


“Stop calling me that! And stop making me feel like fucking baggage! I don’t want to be an exception! I don’t want to be a thing that drives a wedge between you and your fucking dad!”

“You’re not!” I hollered, grasping the back of his neck so he’s shut up. “I’m a burden to my fucking self! It’s not about you, Haz! It’s my shit okay?! It has nothing to do with how I feel about you!” I was at a loss for how we kept ending up back at the same place. Rehashing the same shit over and over again.

“We’re never going to move past this,” he concluded, sniveling. He was right. I loosened my hold. I couldn’t imagine a situation where these exact problems wouldn’t continue to be of issue. Wouldn’t continue to plague every moment we spent together.

“You have to deal with your shit, ok? It’s killing me…” he cried, punching himself in the head. I noticed I had picked up that habit from him. I snatched him half over onto my lap, holding his arms down until he stopped.

“He’s just a friend, alright?” he negotiated in a deliriously. Lying. He had planned on him being more. “I don’t want to be dependent on you. I just wanna fall in love with someone else. I wanna hurt you so bad…” He lay there in defeat, eyes shut. I held him as tightly as I could. After a while he grabbed my hand and interlocked our fingers. Five minutes later he was asleep. When his phone rang for his lunch date, I silenced it.


This shit is so dramatic lmao. We’ll be wrapping up 2013 soon, jumping back to 2017 to deal with the fallout of the photos and Harry’s album release, and then hopping into 2014!

(Thanks for reading! ❤️)

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