Status: Finished. Thanks for reading! :)

A Safe Bet


Even though Mrs. Peterson was not John O'Callaghan's biggest fan, Harlow was still completely positive that her mother was more excited about prom night than she was herself.

"Harlow, stop fidgeting," the older woman snapped, slapping her wandering hand.

Harlow groaned and slouched into her chair, being reprimanded for her posture right after. "Mom, seriously it's just prom not my wedding. I'm sure John will forgive you if one curl is a little loose."

"Well he won't even have to because none will be!" Her mom said cheerfully, smiling at her through the mirror. "Elena! Get in here you're next."

Harlow chuckled and glanced down at her phone reading a text from John. I can't wait to see you tonight beautiful <3

She smiled involuntarily and concealed her giggles of excitement. Okay, maybe she was a little excited.

"Mom, seriously, if you take as long on my hair as you did on Harlow's I'm just going to put it in a bun and jewel it up or something," Elena complained, taking a seat next to her and huffing.

"You will not, and I repeat will not, wear your hair in a bun to prom. Besides, this is bonding time!" Mrs. Peterson cheered, lifting the hot iron into the air.

Harlow chuckled lifelessly; it seemed that with her mom that she was either invisible or her entire world. It was hard to keep up these days. Harlow glanced at Elena in the mirror just as her sister turned away. She sighed and looked to her hands.

She didn't know what happened. She thought at first that maybe her and John's fight had been a blessing in disguise because for once, Elena acted like a sister should. They watched movies and talked badly about him until she felt better. They ate ice cream...they well, they depended on each other. And now, it had been almost two week since Elena had spoken to her, looked even.

"I'm going to go do my makeup," Harlow sighed, gathering her bag and walking into her bathroom, shutting the door behind her. She sat on the toilet seat and covered her face in her hands. She was nervous. Tonight was her night. Her night with John. Possibly the most important night she could have with John. She was going to give him everything.

Was Aimee right? Would it be easy as she promised? Would it hurt?

Harlow groaned and walked to her mirror looking to her reflection. Things really had changed in a year. Six months ago she was focused on college, scholarships, what episode of Supernatural she would watch when she got home. Now, she focused on her new friends, what clothes she was going to wear the next day, and most of all John.

Her priorities had changed, but she liked it. She had lived this year. For once in high school, she was truly happy.

Harlow finished her makeup and took one final glance at herself in the mirror before going into her room and covering herself in lotion and spray. If there was one thing she could be sure of tonight it was that she would not smell bad.

Harlow put on her dress and took a picture, sending it to Aimee waiting for her You're a hot mama (; text of approval, laughing when she got it. Her stomach filled with butterflies as she heard a squeal from down the hall, followed by a ringing doorbell.

"Harlow, you have someone waiting!" Her mother sang from downstairs.

She took a final breath and glance at herself in the mirror before walking out of her bedroom and to the tops of her stairs. The wood stared back at her angrily and she prayed to God she wouldn't fall.

Luck, it seemed was on her side. Harlow glided down the stairs, keeping her gaze on them as she did, not looking up until both of her feet were firmly planted on the first floor. She moved her eyes up nervously, feeling her cheeks blush as she found a beautiful set of green pools upon her.

Harlow bit her lip softly, "Hi."

"Hey," John breathed, rubbing his hands nervously on his thighs. "Y-You"

Her face became hot and she looked to the floor then back up to the boy in front of her, an enormous smile on her lips, "You too."

"Pictures!" Mrs. Peterson yelled, clapping her hands together and pushing the couple into the living room where John's mother was waiting as well.

Mrs. O'Callaghan smiled and pulled Harlow into a hug, kissing her forehead. "Oh sweetie, you look lovely. Make sure John treats you like a princess."

Harlow giggled and nodded her head, her eyes falling onto Elena who had just entered the room with her date. He was a boy at their school that Harlow had only briefly met--which was probably because he was the all-state quarterback.

"You look amazing, Elena," Harlow said softly, envying every curve of her sister's perfect body, every contour of her face. They may have been twins but she had never really seen the resemblance. Elena was too perfect, and she, well she was just Harlow. Always.

"Thank you," Elena said gently, looking at her intensely before turning her gaze to John. "You."

John sheepishly turned away and Harlow furrowed her brow, turning to the boy before she was interrupted. "No time for talking, pictures, pictures."

Harlow dropped the subject, reminding herself to ask John what that was about later. They took picture after picture before driving to meet their group at the lake for even more pictures. By six o'clock Harlow thought her jaw would fall off.

"Bye Mom!" She yelled after what felt like hours, climbing into the limo before John who shut the door behind him.

"Finally!" Eric yelled, shaking his head and planting a kiss on his date's lips. "Now," the boy smiled mischievously, "who is ready to get this party started?"


And a party, it was. Harlow was pretty positive that more than half of their group of twenty four was drunk by dinner, and almost all of the other half were high. She, John, Jared, and his date Kinsey were the only one mildly sober--mostly just buzzing on cheap vodka.

Senior prom was just as cliche as Harlow expected. Kids were grinding, teachers (who were supposed to be chaperoning) were drunk, and everyone else sat at tables sipping on cheap punch which was probably spiked.

"Well, they're announcing prom court in like thirty minutes," Garrett sighed, looking at his watch. His eyes were red and his tux smelled of pot. "What shall we do until then?"

Harlow laughed as John and Eric instantly pulled her to the dance floor, making a sandwich grinding up and down on her body, dancing to the crappy rap music from the loud speakers. They danced for a while before Harlow excused herself to the bathroom where she had just seen her best friend go.

"Aimee!" She yelled, following her into bathroom which looked more like a lounge because of all of the chairs and couches.

"Do you think boys have couches and shit in their--Harlow, shit. You look sexy!" Aimee yelled, interrupting herself. "I bet Jon can't keep his hands off of you, huh?" She winked, laughing.

Harlow looked around the bathroom nervously, making sure no one was around to see her blush. "Shut up," she giggled. "You look so pretty, Aim."

"You too, really. Tell me about your night!"

Harlow and Aimee took a seat in the bathroom's powder room, fixing their makeup and exchanging funny stories from the night. Sure she was bummed she couldn't be in a group with her best friend, but it sounded as neither one of them would have changed a single thing about their evening.

"So, tonight then? It's the big night?" Aimee smiled, wiggling her eyebrows.

Harlow nodded her head nervously, smiling. "Yeah, I think it is."

"Good luck, baby girl. And you better call me tomorrow with all the hot details."

She giggled and they talked for a while longer before leaving the room and going back to find their dates. Harlow wasn't surprised when John was announced Prom King, nor when Elena was Prom Queen, but she was surprised to see both of their faces locked into deep conversation as they danced.

Was Elena still mad about the first fight? Harlow could hardly remember being mad couldn't be.

Harlow felt a tapping on her shoulder and turned to find John with a sideways grin and a crown on his head. "May I have this dance?"

She smiled and nodded her head, following him onto the dance floor surrounded by other couples as Life House's You and Me played over the loud speakers. John wrapped his arms around her waist tightly as hers found a place around his neck, her forehead resting against his.

"Baby, you truly look breathtaking," John whispered, his eyes staring into hers, his sincerity clear in his voice. "I am by far the luckiest boy in this room."

Harlow grinned and placed a loving kiss on his lips. "Thank you for everything tonight...its been, perfect."

He smiled and kissed her nose, making her giggle. "I can't believe I got prom king. No one even likes me."

She rolled her eyes and slapped his chest playfully, "Oh shut up. Everyone loves you."

John paused their moving bodies and looked into her eyes. "Everyone?"

Harlow looked at him confused, a smile still on her lips. "Well, I mean maybe not have broken a few hearts," she laughed, missing his point.

" you love me, Peterson?" He asked nervously, his voice shaking.

"I-I...what?" Harlow asked dumbly, her voice hitching.

John took a deep breath, before smiling anxiously. "Do you love me? Because I love you."


Her reply seemed like hours, but in reality it was probably only a few second before Harlow grinned and nodded her head. "I do love you, John," she said sweetly, her cheeks blushing.

John pulled her into a deep kiss, pushing his thoughts of his and Elena's last conversation to the back of his mind. She told him not to 'fuck' Harlow.

There were so many things wrong with that statement for John.

He would never 'fuck' Harlow. No, with her it wouldn't be about fucking. It would be about love. And not only would he not 'fuck' her, when he did, it wouldn't be when there was any question about a bet--which also against Elena's thoughts, there was no way in Hell he would let it happen tonight.

Not that he didn't want it to, God knows he did, but if there was a chance of Harlow ever finding out about the bet he wanted no part of it to come true. He wouldn't allow it. He was going to protect her as much as he could from this point--mainly making it to where she never found out.

"John?" Harlow asked, her sweet voice interrupting his train of thought.


"We're going to the hotel, come on," she said innocently, giving him a shy smile and grabbing his hand. He followed her and their group to their limo, climbing in and taking his mind off of the looks his friends were giving him. He ignored the little 'this is it, eh O'Callaghan' dropped by Eric, and he erased the text from Jake telling him to 'get it in.'

As pretty and as mouth watering as Harlow looked, he couldn't do it. Not tonight. He refused.

They got to the hotel in moments, everyone separating (much to John's pleasure) to their own rooms, and leaving he and Harlow alone. They walked the hallways silently, not even speaking in the elevator. He felt like there was this instant pressure on them like they had to do something because it was prom, and he knew she could feel it too.

It wouldn't happen though, he swore to himself. But God, why hadn't he thought about that fact that it wouldn't be that hard to not do it? This was Harlow Peterson he was talking about--its not like she would even want this.

John sighed in relief, almost laughing at himself. Had he really forgotten who Harlow was? She wasn't the kind of girl who had sex because it was prom. She would have sex



He looked into her baby blue eyes blankly, his heart racing. "Yeah, baby girl?"

"A-Are you going to open the door?" She chuckled, raising her eyebrows.

John felt his face heat up. "Fuck," he chuckled. He fumbled with the key before opening the door, leading them into a standard hotel bedroom. Harlow excused herself to the restroom, her voice shaking.

He could tell she was as nervous as he was--but he wasn't exactly sure why. It wasn't like he would force himself on her, ever. Why was she so scared?

There was one bed clothed in a deep red comforter, accented with blue sheets. There was a complementary bottle of champagne on a small round coffee table with roses and a note that simply read Have a great night-Gibson.

John cursed Eric under his breath and crumpled the note, shoving it in his pocket next to the room key. He took off his shoes and threw them across the room, followed by his bow tie. He began unbuttoning his shirt when he heard the bathroom door open and Harlow's soft footsteps leading her out.

He had almost forgotten how beautiful she looked as he worried all night. Her blonde curls were loosely framing her face and the way she had done her makeup brought out her gorgeous eyes. Her baby pink dress clung to her every curve and he wanted nothing more than to press his lips to her tanned skin.

"Can you unzip me?" She asked, looking at him shyly.

John nodded his head and became aware that he was shaking as his hands slid over the zipped of her dress, surprised as Harlow let it fall to the floor. He stared at her underwear clad body, gulping as she didn't move.

She couldn't...did she--did she want this? Just his luck.

She turned around and looked into his eyes bravely, biting her red lipstick coated lip. It took everything he had in him to not rip her black pantie set off right there, but he was trying so hard--why was she making it so difficult to be the good guy?

Oh yeah, because she thought he was the good guy.

"Harlow," he choked out, his breath catching as she unbuttoned his shirt and attached her lip to his neck.

"John," she whispered, her tongue meeting his skin, moving in ways that made him wonder if she really was an amateur. "Let's do this. I-I'm ready."

He groaned involuntarily as she bit into his skin, sucking on a sweet spot she had found a few weeks prior. "Har--babe, sweetie...God."

She mistook took his frustration as pleasure, and he didn't fight her and she slid his pants onto the floor and pulled him onto the bed with her. He wasn't sure how long he kissed her or let his hands slide all over her body in places he had never been allowed to touch before he finally stopped, coming to his senses as her hand slipped down his boxers.

"Harlow no," he said suddenly, grabbing her wrist and pushing her away. "We can't do this."

John watched as her face changed--it seemed to take a nanosecond. One second she was full of passion and somehow already there were tears in her eyes. He forced himself off of her and sat on the edge of the bed, burying his face in his hands. He couldn't look at her; if he did he know he'd want to kiss all those tears away.

The room was silent for a while, until her quiet voice spoke. "Why don't you want me?"

John instantly turned to her. Her makeup was falling down her cheeks, and her lips were raw from when he had been sucking on them. "Harlow, you can't think I don't want you..."

"What else am I left to think?" She whispered, her words muffled.

He crawled across the bed, taking his face in his hands forcing her to sit up and look him dead in the eye. "Peterson, I want you more than anything in this world. I want nothing more than to show you love--true love, right here, right now. But, I can't. Not like this."

"Not like what?" She asked, her voice slightly angry. "This is perfect, John. What else do you need? Why isn't this enough for you?"

"Harlow! We're in a cheap ass hotel on our fucking prom night on probably some dirty ass sheets. This is so cliche!" He yelled, shaking his head. "This isn't romantic...I want this, your first time to be perfect."

"It'd be perfect if I was with you..."

John looked at her, his anger subsiding. She wasn't trying to make this hard; she was just a girl in love. And he was a boy in love--it should never have been this difficult at all.

"I just--

"I love you," Harlow said. "And while you are being very, very, sweet and considerate I need you to listen to me."

But she didn't understand and she wouldn't, not unless he told her. And he couldn't. He couldn't stand to.

John looked away as she crawled onto his lap, straddling his waist. "Look at me," she whispered, resting her head against his. He looked at her nervously, sighing as she took his hands and placed them on either side of her rib cage. "John, I love you. I don't care how cliche this all is. I don't care that we're in a cheap ass hotel. I don't care that your friends are all going to ask how it was tomorrow. I don't care about any of that.

"I do however, care about you," she said, love lacing her words. "I want this to be with you. I'm not going to remember this hotel because it wasn't five stars. I'll remember it because whether or not we're together forever, you're the first boy I ever fell in love with. You're the only boy I've ever with."


"Can I tell you a secret?" She whispered, cutting him off. He nodded his head. "Elena...she uh, she was raped last year."

John was quiet for a moment, soaking in her words. It all made sense now why Elena suddenly cared so much. She wanted Harlow to have something special--something Elena would never get back.

"Every time my sister has sex, she'll think about that awful night and that godawful boy," Harlow continued. "But when I think about sex, I want to remember it in a good way. And I want to remember it with you."

John stared at her chest, licking his lips softly. He wanted to remember Harlow too. He wanted to remember the taste of her, the way her hips would move against his, the way she would moan his name. He wanted it all, and he wanted it now.

He let his hand slide down to her silk underwear gripping them in his hands as he pulled Harlow against him, pressing his mouth firmly against hers.

"I fucking love you so much, Harlow Peterson."

She moaned into his mouth, a smile on her lips, "I love you too, John. I love you too."
♠ ♠ ♠
I finally got a new computer...about damn time. I'm sorry this took so long. I hope you can all forgive me eventually. Thank you for those who have stuck with us. We appreciate it <3

This story is almost at its end. What do you think will happen? Will Elena tell or John?
I'd write more but my ride is here! Love you all!