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#harry styles fanfic
punkcupcakestyles · 2 hours ago
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Just One More Time
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A Masterlist
Part 1: The memory of that night
Part 2: A deal is a deal
Part 3: An idiot, and he knew it (sneak peek)
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idkthisisjustforfanfic · 3 hours ago
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that makes four.
story page | talk to me + join the tag list
PART 2
The first days of Harry staying at your house were overshadowed by Maeve’s 5th grade spelling bee victory. The fake gold medal was a mainstay around her neck for a new nights at the dinner table until she eventually forgot about it.
Luckily enough, neither of your daughters seemed to be thrown too off kilter by his presence. Maeve was just young enough to not know much about who Harry was or the band he’d been in--though she was ready and willing to brag about having a celebrity around.
CeCe--in true sibling rivalry fashion--decided to draw her own medal with crayons and ask you to cut it out so she could wear it around the house. If Maeve gets one, so do I.
With potholders on and the oven door open, you apologized. “I can’t right now, honey--give mommy a few minutes and I’ll help you.”
Harry materialized at the bottom of the stairs, eyebrows raised when he said: “What do you need, CeCe?”
“I have to cut this out!” She said excitedly, running over to the drawer where the scissors were kept. She whipped them out and turned around quickly, Harry’s eyes bulging out of his head when he hurried over to grab them from her.
“I’ll cut, you watch,” he laughed, exchanging a look with you when CeCe climbed up to sit at the island. She hummed in agreement, handed over the paper and watched as he lined it up to start snipping.
“CeCe,” he said her name inquisitively. “Is CeCe short for anything?”
“Cecilia Rose L/N,” she smiled. “Pretty, right?”
“Very pretty,” he smiled. “Same last name as your mum.”
The last part of his sentence was a statement, a quick glance in your direction when you turned off the oven and shouted towards the stairs. “Maeve! Dinner’s ready!”
Your call went unanswered into the big house--you had no clue where she was or if she’d heard you. When Harry finished cutting out the paper medal, he handed it to CeCe who beamed with pride and put it around her neck.
Hands on your hips, “CeCe, will you please find your sister and tell her dinner is ready?”
She took one big breath and then screamed, “MAEVE!”
Both you and Harry flinched at the noise but laughed. She held onto Harry’s arm when she hopped down from the stool, shaking her head in disappointment. “Good god that girl,” she huffed, heading to climb the stairs when she yelled again: Maeve!!!! Dinner!!!!
“She’s a handful tonight,” you said, almost feeling guilty as her footsteps stomped on the floor overhead. “Thank you for that, though,” you said, motioning to the scissors in his hand. “Want a glass of wine?”
“S’not against the rules?” He teased.
When you shot him a look, he smirked and let out a laugh. “I’ll gladly take one. It’s fine, though. She was ready to stab someone flinging the scissors around like that.”
“They just had scissor safety in art class not too long ago.” You told him, pulling the cork from an already open bottle of red. “Sometimes I think she barely listens to anyone--she just does her own thing.”
“Not the worst way to be,” he smiled, picked up the glass when you slid it over on the granite. An awkward beat when he took a sip, smiled in your direction when you did the same. You could hear Maeve and CeCe fighting upstairs, offered him another guilty smile, but then he asked: “do you plan on changing your name?”
“My last name?”
“Yeah--L/N is your married name, right?”
It felt a bit nosy, a bit intrusive for the fourth night he was sleeping under your roof. You shrugged your shoulders casually, unsure how to answer. “Just haven’t gotten to it.”
He’d been quiet so far, out most of the day once the girls were gone for school and he’d return before dinner. Kept to himself--or at least out of the way--and was always helpful when he could be. Bringing groceries in? He carried a few. Needed a hand with clearing plates after dinner? He would gladly help.
Maeve and CeCe came rushing downstairs and were more willing to do the gratitude thing than they usually were, forks in hand when Maeve turned to you. “Oh, by the way, Auntie Shelli is taking us out for dinner tomorrow night.”
“She is?” You smiled at Maeve. “I haven’t heard about that.”
“She promised last week, she said Friday.”
“Okay, well I can check with her.”
“Are you doing anything tomorrow night?” Maeve asked.
“Not a thing,” you said, shaking your head. You’d been looking forward to it all week--maybe a bath and a glass of wine, maybe even a movie if you were feeling adventurous. Zoey was typically after you to do something: dinner, come hold Benny for an hour while she took a shower. You were totally up for helping a friend, but it’d been a minute since you had some me-time and if Jeff’s mom had already offered to babysit, you weren’t going to say no.
CeCe turned to Harry excitedly. “What are you doing tomorrow night? Are you coming to dinner?”
He smiled in her direction but shook his head. “I’m actually going over to a friend’s house.”
“What friend?”
“CeCe,” you laughed, embarrassed by her prying. “He doesn’t have to run everything by you, you know.”
“I know,” she said simply as she shrugged her shoulders innocently. “Just thought maybe it was one of my friends. I don’t know if we have the same friends.”
Harry laughed at this and smiled when you rolled your eyes. “I don’t think you know her.”
You watched Harry for a second, wondered if it was a girlfriend or something of the sort--Jeff hadn’t mentioned anything like that. Why couldn’t he stay there, with that friend?
“Well you should come with us and Auntie Shelli one day,” Maeve said. “We usually get ice cream and she lets us get a bunch of toppings and she doesn’t even care if we’ve had dinner yet.”
You let out a short laugh, the details of their time with family members always slipped out when you least expected it. “He’s busy, girls, remember?”
Harry shrugged, “we could get ice cream soon.”
You looked up at him, forked into a bite of dinner and said quietly: you don’t have to.
He didn’t--Harry didn’t owe you or your daughters anything except common decency and kindness. Helping you clean up after dinner or bring in the groceries was enough of a repayment for a guest room and his own bathroom.
“Maybe next week?” He ignored your comment and smiled at the girls.
“Next week!” CeCe chirped back, brushing her hair out of her face with a grin.
You figured they’d forget--swept up by the excitement of something else by the time next week rolled around and Harry would be off the hook. You smiled in his direction, apologetically and pleading, but it wasn’t until the next night that you realized he was serious.
Jeff’s mom had picked Maeve and CeCe up, you had just poured a glass of wine and went to sit in your office to go over any unread emails when he knocked on the door.
“Hey,” he offered a smile, leaned against the wall and put his hands in his pockets.
“Hi,” you turned to see him, unsure what he wanted or why he was popping in. “What’s up?”
“Uh, just wanted to let you know that my plans fell through--so, I’m just gonna be home--here I mean.”
His correction was quick, a subtle misstep through words.
You pressed your lips into a thin line, nodded slowly as you took in the information. He’d be here--in your house and just hanging out. While you had planned for a quiet night, having one other person somewhere in the house wouldn’t kill you, right? Maybe he’d lock himself away in his room and leave you to your emails, then you’d slip upstairs and end the night with a bath before your children returned with a sugar high and stories for days.
“Okay,” you said. A pause when he nodded, looked at you and then down to the floor.
“Do you want to have a drink?”
“I’ve got one,” you lifted your glass and then faltered. “Oh, together--sure, yeah.”
He held back a laugh, motioned for you to lead the way once you stood up from your desk. He trailed you back through the living room and into the kitchen, got himself a wine glass when you found the bottle you’d already started on the counter.
Was this weird? You couldn’t tell. The house was quiet and for a moment it felt like neither of you knew what to say when the only sound was the cork coming out of the bottle.
“I can venmo you for groceries, too, since m’drinking your wine.” He lifted it and poured, you watched the liquid rise in the glass until he looked up at you, waiting for a reply.
“No, it’s fine.”
“M’eating your food, drinking your wine, sleeping in your house,” he let out a laugh but put the stopper back in. “I feel like I could at least pay you back for some--” he looked down at the bottle and studied the label, “cabernet.”
You pulled out a barstool and sat, a sigh when you waved him off. “S’fine--I’m still making my way through the sorry your dad died and sorry your husband left you bottles.”
His lips pulled up at the side when yours did too. “Where do they make those grapes?”
“Somewhere far away from here,” you nodded, a long sip from your own glass when he moved to sit beside you.
“So how much did Jeff have to beg you to let me stay here?”
You looked over at him, hesitant to admit your own reluctance. You knew he and Jeff were close--you’d long been hearing stories about their nights out or big wins as a team. You’d even been invited to the release party for Harry’s first solo album, but you couldn’t find a babysitter and back then your ex couldn’t be bothered.
“I got a few pleading text messages after he first brought it up,” you smiled.
He laughed and nodded. “Well, it’s a big help. My house is over in Malibu but s’not ready yet--the only guestroom in Jeff’s house shares a wall with the master and something about that felt...weird.”
You narrowed your eyes at him playfully. “You didn’t want to hear Jeff and random women hooking up?”
“Not in the slightest,” he shook his head and bit back a smile. “Figured I’d stay with his parents for a bit but then Irv and Shelli told me they loved me but their rules are strict: their children, grandchildren, and your children. Those are their only guests.”
You nodded, it wasn’t news to you. “One time my dad stayed over after a party and Irv almost hit him with a golf club in the morning because he’d forgotten who was on the couch.”
“Yeah, so, sounds like a good idea that I’m here.” Quiet again when he moved the glass around, then he said: “you know, I would be happy to take them to ice cream or something one night--give you a minute to yourself.”
You smiled, the offer was sweet and apparently he had no idea that he’d just ruined your one chance this week to have that. “You really don’t have to--I’m sorry that they’re so...fascinated by you.”
“No, they’re great, very sweet. Maybe I can tag along when Jeff watches them next and learn the ropes.”
You nodded, reassured by his understanding that watching them would take skill. “There’s a lot to learn, they can be quite the handful sometimes.”
“Yeah?” he tilted his head. “Tell me more about them.”
The way he looked at you stirred a feeling in your chest that you couldn’t quite place. Maybe it was just the fact that he seemed interested enough to ask about them, he already seemed more invested than their father had been over the last year. You also would never turn down an opportunity to humble-brag about the tiny humans you'd created.
“Well, Maeve is pretty straight-edge. She’s always cared a lot about school and she likes it--which is weird, cause she didn’t get that from me and she definitely didn’t get it from my ex-husband. Like, she actually gets excited to come home and do her homework.”
He laughed, sipped from his glass and said: “Right, I’m sure she didn’t get her drive and determination from her mother who started her own successful business.”
You brushed off the compliment with a roll of your eyes and a laugh. “The weird preteen-angst thing is new, though. I have no idea if that’s because of losing my dad or losing hers,” you picked at a thread on your sleeve.
He was quiet for a moment, like he didn’t know what to say to that.
“And CeCe,” you saved him the trouble, “she’s a fireball. She is so strong-willed it actually makes me nervous about when she’s a teenager. She might actually drive to Vegas and get married or something. It’s just her world and we’re living in it.”
His dimples appeared on his cheeks when you shrugged. “Well, you’ve clearly done something right with them. Jeff's always loved being an uncle."
“I appreciate that,” you said honestly, a pause before you admitted: “My ex was never that hands on.”
“Right,” he nodded. “Is that why things ended?”
You let out a short laugh, again unsure if you were sharing too much. Would you wake up and regret the fact that you'd poured a glass of wine, and apparently your deepest secrets, all out on display?
“That, along with the fact that he was cheating on me for a good 18 months, I think.”
“Wow,” he nodded slowly, his lips pushed out in thought when he dropped your gaze. “What a dick.”
“Yeah, better I found out now than later on, I guess.”
“So that and losing your dad this year--”
“Yeah it’s been shitty,” you cut him off, another sip of your wine to avoid having to say more. He looked at your glass, now nearing empty, and reached for the bottle.
“Then you definitely deserve another one of these,” he laughed, fingers pulling the cork out again. “No wonder you got so many sympathy wine bottles.”
He poured himself another too, eventually he followed you into your dad’s old office when he asked what hid behind the mystery door on the first floor.
It was the only room you hadn’t redone yet, something about keeping his records on the book shelves and his papers on the desk felt like it kept him here. He’d chosen the green for the walls and you apologized when Harry’s eyebrows shot up at the sight.
“Great man,” you nodded, turning on a light switch, “terrible decorating taste.”
Harry nodded slowly, wine glass still in hand and a smirk fighting it’s way onto his face. “S’a bright color, yeah.”
He let out a laugh when he made eye contact with you, a disapproving look on your face when you walked over to the desk. “All these strewn about--probably some important information about you over here somewhere.”
He came over and lifted a paper. “Harry Styles is one of the most thoughtful, caring, and funny people I know.”
“Really?” You tugged at his arm to get a better view of the paper. Your dad’s handwriting was almost illegible, a date scribbled on top and another few words halfway down the small notebook page, nothing about Harry and nothing that seemed all that important.
“I hope that’s what he thought of me,” Harry smiled, his eyes flickered to where you still had a grip around his wrist. “Your nails are digging into me.”
“Sorry,” you pulled back immediately. “Sometimes I have to grab CeCe like that in the store or she runs off.”
He kept your gaze for a second, but it felt uncomfortable and made you nervous, so you cleared your throat. “Feel free to come in here and use this stuff,” you motioned over to the piano and the guitars he had in stands. “No one uses it, so--it’d be good for it to get played.”
“You don’t play anything?”
You shook your head. “No--he’d started to teach me guitar when I was young but then my mom died, just never picked it up again.”
You were thirteen when it happened, a car accident on the 405 and you didn’t go to school for weeks. Your dad had always been your main support--they divorced when you were ten--but after that you grew even closer, which is why losing him was so hard. He’d been a friend and a parent and the best grandfather who helped pick up the pieces when things with Luke started to crumble.
Harry was quiet, a simple nod when he went over to the piano and sat. You felt the need to shift the topic of conversation to something less depressing than the unfortunate events of your life.
“Are you writing a lot for the album still?”
“Yeah--we’ve got a few things written that might end up on it, but, mostly just experimenting with some new sounds.”
He pressed a chord down on the piano and looked up at you. “How do Maeve and CeCe seem to be handling it all?”
“Which part?”
“Both.”
You shrugged. “They’ve asked a lot about where their father is and why he hasn’t visited. And they understand that their grandpa is gone, but they’re sad, I think. CeCe’s had more nightmares than usual.”
He smiled a little. “And how are you doing with all of it?”
You let out a tiny laugh, mostly out of discomfort with the sudden seriousness in his voice and the way he already pulled more out of you than you’d planned. “I’m fine.”
He lifted his brows but played another progression of chords. “Wouldn’t blame you if you’re not.”
You took a sip of the cabernet and watched as he hummed along to whatever he played. When he looked up at you and waited for a reply, you smiled. “Some days I want to pull my hair out and others I need a good glass of wine. I kind of oscillate between those two lately.”
“Well, I’m always happy to split a bottle with you.”
You nodded, tried to fight the smile on your face when he laughed but then gave in. “Good.”
**
You woke up the next morning with a bit of a headache from the third and unexpected glass of wine. The girls were home by 9pm and unfortunately for you, the weekend was busy with play dates and birthday parties and grocery shopping.
Monday had you back in the office and recounting the first week to Tristan over an iced latte and a breakfast sandwich you’d grabbed after school drop off. Now it was cold and you were approaching the mid-day slump you were all too familiar with.
“I just can’t believe you’re alive still, to be honest. You know--seeing as you thought he’d be a serial killer or something.”
You looked over at him with narrowed eyes. “I didn’t think he was a serial killer.”
“Just a pedophile?”
“Alright,” you waved him off. “I can admit that it’s been fine--good, even. It’s only been a week, though.”
“Right,” he shrugged. “Halfway there. Maybe week two is when he goes crazy.”
You ignored the teasing from your friend and looked back to your computer. “Do you know if Kailee ordered the new bottles for the matcha face mask?”
“Yesterday afternoon,” he nodded. “And we also got the labels in for them as well. They ship off to the packaging plant on Tuesday.”
“Good, and numbers are up from last quarter which is really good. The meeting with the investors should go well.”
“Yeah, I mean, our entire profit has doubled since this time last year,” he smiled in your direction, a subtle reminder that the late night emails on top of the worst year ever had already proven to be worth it. “You should be very proud.”
“I am,” you admitted. “Of us. All of us.”
“Yes, what kind of boss would you be if you took all of the credit?” He teased.
“A bad one, but I’m also the type of boss that leaves at lunch time to go home and change since I have a meeting this afternoon that I forgot all about.”
He looked you up and down when you stood.
“It’s with people from Anthropologie about carrying some of our products in store--so I don’t think I can wear athleisure.”
He laughed and kept typing. “Fair enough. See you at 2pm, though, for the website meeting?”
“Yes,” you promised as you grabbed your keys. “Please don’t let the place burn down while I’m gone.”
“Might throw the match myself,” he waved you off, a laugh at his own joke when you headed for the elevator.
You were proud of the company you’d built and the office you’d been able to purchase two years back, but you were more proud of the energy that buzzed through the halls and the people who made work feel less like work and more like the adventure of a lifetime. You tried to be the cool boss who brought enough coffee for everyone, gave good time off but still expected hard work and drive to be the core of the business.
It took a while to settle into the role, though. At first you were sure you’d be seen as a spoiled rich kid who got a loan from her father to start a company--but it only took one year to repay him when you started getting placements in health food markets across LA. When Kourtney Kardashian posted something about your raspberry toner, the rest was history.
You’d always been passionate about making people feel good about themselves and focused your entire brand on building people up, not tearing them down. The world had enough of that as a mother of two daughters, you hoped it’d be something that would change that narrative, at least for them.
The drive home was quick and the sun was shining, which put a pep in your step as you hopped out of the car in the driveway and headed for the side door.
Harry’s car was still here--you’d left earlier than usual but didn’t expect him to be home. If anything, you figured he’d left shortly after you and planned on staying late in the studio. Jeff had mentioned something about laying down new tracks.
“Hello?” You called into the kitchen and looked around, he wasn’t in the living room or out by the pool. You found a laundry basket at the top of the second floor and figured that maybe someone had picked him up, but the sound of muffled singing pulled you down the hall and closer to his guest room.
The door was cracked only a bit, the sun streamed in from the windows and you could hear the running water of the shower. It was wrong, maybe, but you pushed the door open and stepped inside, smiled to yourself at the fact that he was singing a Carole King song that your dad used to play on repeat when you were a kid.
The room was clean--you hadn’t been in it since you’d pointed out the linen closet in the bathroom and showed him how to use the TV remote. His bed was made--maybe not the way you would have made it but the throw pillows were arranged in a way that showed he tried.
A buzzing on the dresser pulled your attention away from the bed. His phone, a message from someone named Bria Whitmore. Another message, then a third. You took a step closer--who on earth was texting him this much without a reply? A girlfriend? Someone he probably slept with or something of the sort.
“Hi,” his voice pulled your head around quickly and sent your heartbeat through the roof.
“Jesus, hi--sorry--I was just--”
He was in a towel, the fabric wrapped loosely around his waist and hair was slicked back from the water. You looked away from the tattoos that littered his skin and looked down at the laundry basket.
“I was just seeing if you had any laundry you needed me to do?”
It was clean, but he didn’t need to know that.
“M’good,” he smiled like he didn’t believe you. “Why are you home?”
“Had to change--forgot about a meeting,” you let out a laugh and tried to slow your pulse. “Figured the pilates mom look wasn’t the right vibe.”
He nodded, moved around you in the center of the room to pull out a t-shirt from a drawer. You saw him look down at the cell phone you’d been eyeing.
“Your phone went off,” you admitted, the laundry basket still pressed up against your hip.
“Yeah?” He smirked over his shoulder.
“I was just making sure it wasn’t an emergency--I wasn’t, like, snooping.”
A dimple appeared on his left cheek again, he tugged the fabric over his head and then shook out his hair.
“S’not an emergency,” he said. “Just a friend.”
You didn’t know if that was code. Were twenty-somethings calling their booty-calls friends now? You figured you’d ask Tristan later.
“Why are you home?” You tossed the question back at him.
“Schedule changed--went for a run after breakfast and now just, showering, y’know,” he looked down at the towel that separated you from an even more awkward moment.
“Right, sorry, I...am leaving,” you pointed to the door. “Changing, back to the office, home tonight.”
“Sounds good,” he smiled. “Figured I could make dinner, if you wanted. I make a mean chicken taco.”
You took a few steps backwards to the door. “You cook?”
“I do,” he smiled. “Hard to believe?”
“No,” you shook your head. “That would be great--if you want, but you don’t have to.”
“I’d love to,” he nodded. “I’ll see you tonight, Y/N.”
“With more clothes,” you smiled, immediately regretting the bad joke and the attention it drew to the stuffy air and the butterflies in your stomach.
“Definitely more clothes.”
You made a face at yourself once the door was shut, idiot. At least you hadn’t accidentally seen a picture of someone’s boobs. You were sure he got plenty of those.
You pushed the thought out of your head and thankfully Harry didn’t smirk at you too much when Jeff came to pick up the girls for ice cream the next afternoon. They hadn’t forgotten, but luckily Jeff had offered to take them out one night and it seemed like the perfect opportunity for Harry to tag along. That way he could stay true to his word and the girls would stop pestering him every time he popped down to the kitchen.
Zoey had been begging to bring the baby over to get out of the house, and now she was sitting in the other room with Benny on a play mat on the floor. Maeve, CeCe, Jeff and Harry stood in a line, eagerly awaiting the green light to pile into Jeff’s car.
“Okay, so Uncle Jeff can text me if you need anything, see you around 7pm?”
“Yes ma’am,” Jeff said, a salute in your direction that pulled a giggle from both of your daughters.
They’d been fighting more lately, CeCe tried to take the medal from Maeve’s room one night over the weekend and suddenly it was like world war three. You were shocked that they’d gotten it together enough to spend some time in each other's presence, even with Uncle Jeff chaperoning, but you were eager for the quiet and hopeful the screaming matches wouldn’t return once the ice cream and dinner date was finished.
“Love you, be nice to each other, okay?” You leaned down and used both hands to hold CeCe’s head in place when you planted a kiss on her forehead, then Maeve. A hug for Jeff, “only one ice cream cone this time.”
He laughed but obliged, you moved down the line to Harry, an awkward nod in his direction when you realized that whatever type of acquaintanceship had slowly started to bloom between the two of you was hardly grounds for a kiss on the forehead or even a hug.
He apparently sensed this too, a playful smile on his face when he lifted his brows. “No farewell for me?”
Jeff let out a quick laugh but Maeve and CeCe took off for the car, racing to see who could get out the front door fastest. “Alright, don’t kill each other,” you reminded again, waved them all off with an embarrassed smirk and then watched as Harry helped CeCe buckle into her booster seat.
“So,” Zoey appeared beside you, Benny in her arms as she looked out the window. “Seems like things are going well.”
“Yeah,” you shrugged casually. “He’s been nice.”
“He seems friendly,” she wiggled her brows when she met your gaze. “Flirty friendly.”
“Just friendly,” you laughed and headed for the kitchen to pour yourself a drink. It might have only been Tuesday, but the week promised to be a busy one. You wiped up a runaway drip of wine on the rim, fully aware the words about to leave your mouth would push Zoey into gear. “But I did see him shirtless yesterday.”
“That sounds amazing,” she shifted Benny in her arms, eagerness in her voice. “How was it?”
“I mean--he also caught me snooping in his room, sort of.”
“Sort of?”
You tried to downplay it. “I came home from work in the middle of the day to change and I heard him in the shower--which is weird cause I didn’t think he’d be home.”
“So you went in there?”
“Not the bathroom--I just peeked into his room and noticed it was really clean. Which is weird, right? He’s a kid!”
“He’s not a kid,” she rolled her eyes at you. “Your kids are kids. He’s twenty-four. I looked it up.”
Your eyes were wide when you turned to head for the couch. “You looked it up?”
“I was curious! He’s a celebrity living in your house and he’s very attractive and you have been harping on his age.”
“Because it felt weird at first.”
“And it doesn’t now?” Her tone was hopeful when she laid Benny back on his play mat and kneeled beside him.
You took a gulp from your wine glass. “Less weird, but only because he’s mature. He’s helpful around the house--he cooked dinner the other night--and he’s good with the girls.”
The corner of her mouth pulled towards the ceiling, arched eyebrows when she clarified. “He’s good with the girls?”
“He’s just nice to them--I was worried that they’d annoy him. I mean, I doubt that he was excited to hear that two of his roommates were six and ten.”
“Okay--but why did you see him shirtless?”
Right--she’d gotten you off track. “Because...I went in his room and then saw his phone buzzing and then he came out and caught me looking at his phone.”
“You were looking through his phone?!”
“No! Not the actual texts, just to see who was blowing it up. I only looked at the lock screen.”
“Was he annoyed?”
“No,” you shrugged, shame laced through your voice. “He was casual. But then he put his shirt on and I left him alone and went back to work.”
“So there’s sexual tension,” she shimmied her shoulders and pulled a laugh from you, she nuzzled down into Benny’s face but then gave him a pacifier.
“No.”
This brought her gaze back to you, more serious now. “Y/N, you are not a creep if you admit that you find him attractive.”
“I can admit that he’s handsome,” you chose a new word that felt more detached. “But who cares? He’s literally just a house guest. A friend of a friend.”
“Right, but he was just flirting with you like there’s no tomorrow.”
“No he wasn’t,” you denied her accusation. When she stared at you expectantly, you took a loud sip and let the obnoxious noise ring through the now empty house as if it would preclude you from saying any more.
“You truly, seriously, one-hundred percent haven’t noticed any type of flirting?”
You averted your eyes for a second, ready to dismiss her question and tell her she was crazy. There was nothing going on between the two of you.
But then you thought on it, thought about the way he asked about Maeve and CeCe and remembered the way your stomach seemed to twist itself in knots when he smirked at you and when the dimples appeared on his cheeks.
“The look on your face is enough of an answer,” Zoey teased, bouncing side to side when Benny made a noise. “Isn’t that right, Benny Boo? Someone has a crush.”
“There’s no crush here--he’s just,” a shrug of your shoulders when you didn’t know what words to use. You didn’t want to add fuel to her fire and you certainly didn’t want to give her any more of a reason to keep bringing this topic up.
“Dreamy? Beautiful? The perfect rebound post-divorce?”
A flutter of your eyelids in annoyance when you stood to head for the kitchen. “No,” you said, making a face in her direction. “He’s just cute.”
“So cute!” She followed behind and egged you on. “A crush is perfectly harmless, a little bedtime rendezvous is totally not a big deal.”
“I think we’re getting ahead of ourselves, here, okay?”
“Oh come on,” she laughed. “You mean to tell me you haven’t already thought about if he’s good in bed?”
She came to sit next to you at the island, folding her legs beneath her. When you sipped at your wine and tried to hide a smirk, her face lit up. “I knew it, I knew it! I don’t blame you, at all, by the way. He’s gorgeous.”
“I’m just horny, number one,” you admitted, leaning forward to rest your elbow on the granite counter. “And seeing a man actually be good with kids is a breath of fresh air.”
“Yeah, Luke didn’t set the bar high with that one.”
“Absolutely not.”
A pause of silence when evening air blew through the open doors to the patio. There was music audible through the trees, wafting in from the backyard of your neighbors.
“I think you should fuck him.”
“What?!” You turned towards her quickly, your voice quieter when she smirked and looked over at you. “Are you out of your mind?”
“You have a ridiculously attractive man living in your house and he hangs out with your kids and now he’s starting to cook? It’s like a lifetime movie waiting to happen.”
“That doesn’t mean I should have sex with him!”
“Do you want to have sex with him?”
You were quiet for a second, kept her gaze but then rolled your eyes and shook your head. “I’ve had a bad year,” you made an excuse for the pulsing in your veins whenever you were alone with him. Nothing more, nothing less.
“When does he leave again?”
“I don’t know--at the end of the week, I guess. It’s not happening, so don’t get any ideas.”
“Alright,” she seemed to relent, “You do you. I just think you deserve a little feel good time.”
“That sounds gross,” you wrinkled your nose, pulling a laugh out of her.
She was able to change the topic, told you all about the way Benny was getting better at lifting his own head and he was screaming a lot less when she put him down for some tummy time. Your phone dinged, though, signalling a new text just when you were about to pull out leftovers and heat them up.
She watched when you opened it, got excited when you smirked at the screen.
“Who is it?”
You almost didn’t want to show her, but you knew she’d pry it out of your hands with force if you didn’t share. You flipped it around, watched as a smile spread across her face.
A picture of Harry and CeCe, both with sunglasses on as they ate their ice cream. Maeve and Jeff were in the background, the line at the ice cream shop down the street wasn’t too long. You were kind of surprised he was willing to go with them, wouldn't it create a buzz in the headlines?
Zoey gave you a knowing look.
“It’s just sweet.”
“Are you sure?”
“I don’t know,” you smiled a little at first, but the happiness faded from your face when you pulled yourself back to reality. “I feel stupid thinking that he’s flirting with me. He could be with a supermodel if he wanted to. One with perky boobs and who’s, like, twenty. Not someone who’s old enough to be his mom.”
“You are seven years older than him,” she made a disgusted face. “You could have been, like, his babysitter, not his mom.”
“Oh, that makes me feel so much better.”
“You’re being stupid about this!”
You paused with tupperware in your hands, turned around slowly. “I am not being dumb about not having casual sex with the popstar boyband kid living under my roof. I think not having sex with him is objectively the responsible thing to do here.”
“Why do you always have to be so responsible, though? You have been doing that forever, okay? You’re the business owner mom who’s always been incredibly family-oriented.”
“Is that a bad thing?”
“No, not in the slightest! But you’re more than just a mom.”
You bit at your cheek and dropped her gaze, put the tupperware down from exhaustion. “I just want my children to have a normal life. I only had one parent and I thought they were going to have two and now that ship has sailed.”
She nodded sympathetically. “But that doesn’t mean you did anything wrong! You never relaxing and having a good time will only teach them bad work-life balance.”
You rolled your eyes at her comment, tried to fight the smile when she waited for you to fold. “I love you,” she said. “I want you to get laid or have a drink or let your hair down once in a while.”
You held up the wine in her face. “Already halfway there.”
She reached for the bottle of wine and shoved it towards you with skeptical eyes. “Try harder.”
You let out a laugh and took another sip once it was refilled, pushed plates into the microwave and sat there with her until Jeff’s car pulled back into the driveway and the girls came tumbling back into the house.
“Mom, Harry said he could teach me how to play guitar,” Maeve grinned up at you, an affectionate hug caught you by surprise, but so did her words.
“He did, did he?” You eyed Harry as he walked in with Jeff by his side, sunglasses still on his face despite the sun lingering just above the horizon.
“We’ll start a band,” Harry nodded in her direction, kept his eyes shielded as CeCe ran into the backyard with a noise of excitement.
“And Uncle Jeff said he’ll sing.”
“You’ll definitely get far, then,” you teased, pulling an offended look from your childhood friend. “He’s obviously the best singer in the house.”
Harry nodded in playful agreement. “Could put me out of a job any day.”
“Maeve!” CeCe called suddenly, pulling everyone’s attention to the backyard. “Come play squishball!”
Harry looked down at Maeve and she looked up at him, you were unaware of whatever unspoken communication was transpiring between them. “Should we?” He asked.
“Definitely,” she giggled, hands on her hips.
Zoey was also confused, but she watched as Maeve and Harry headed for the patio. Harry finally took his sunglasses off, handed them to your older daughter before he spoke. “CeCe, we need to have a meeting.”
“A meeting?” She asked, she groaned in disappointment but walked back towards the house, bat dragging on the grass behind her. Jeff laughed and folded his arms over his chest, unaware of whatever deal had already been struck between them.
“You two are both really great at squishball,” Harry admitted, his voice suddenly more serious than before. “But I think we need to up the stakes.”
“Up the stakes?” You could tell by the look on CeCe’s face that she had no clue what that meant.
“Winner of this game gets the medal I won from the spelling bee,” Maeve explained.
You were about to protest, head outside and discourage any type of betting or gambling or whatever the backyard made up game was leading towards, but Harry went on to explain the rules. “CeCe gets a head start running bases, just because of her tiny legs.”
Maeve nodded, “and she gets a free home run to start off.”
CeCe smiled wide and put her hands on her hips, pulling a laugh from Harry as she copied her older sister. “I like the sound of that,” she said. A sure-fire way to make her win, you realized. But what was in that for Maeve? How had your previously grumpy pre-teen become a team player in a matter of hours?
It wasn’t long before Zoey gathered up her things and put Benny in the backseat, giggling and excited yells floated in from the backyard when you hugged her goodbye. Jeff stayed past sunset and offered an excited high five when CeCe won, completely unaware at how easy they’d made it for her.
But he soon left, too, you climbed the stairs behind your two little athletes, got them washed up and in bed before it was 9pm--not bad for a weeknight. You were sure Harry would have retreated to his room, too, but he was sat by the fire pit on the patio, a near empty glass of wine in his hand when you came back out.
“Care to explain?” you leaned against the doorframe and smiled. He adjusted in his seat but shrugged his shoulders when you admitted: “I never thought I would hear the end of it with that stupid medal.”
There was a confident look on his face when he met your eyes in the glow of the fire pit. “Figured I can teach her a few chords on guitar and that would take her mind off of taunting CeCe.”
It was smart, you nodded slowly and watched him. Give Maeve something that would get her really excited, but only if she’d give up something else. Bargaining--a classic parenting trick. You eyed Harry with a level of skepticism.
“How are you so good with them?”
He smiled at that, apparently flattered by the compliment. “They’re good kids,” he said simply.
“I’m aware,” you laughed, “but you don’t have to spend so much time with them.”
“I like it,” he shrugged. “It’s kind of nice to be around a family, you know?”
The words pulled emotion to your chest. Did you really look like a family to him? No husband, no grandfather, two irreplaceable roles and now you were trying to fill all of them just to keep your kids afloat.
“And besides,” he stood from his chair and grabbed the now empty glass before he came closer to you. “Something about being here just feels right.”
You looked up at him, felt the same rush of heat to your cheeks but hoped you were safe in the cover of night. He smirked, like he knew what he was doing to you but was too much of a gentleman to call you out. Hesitation when you felt some type of magnetic force between you, the distance simultaneously felt like inches and miles.
You smiled softly, embarrassed by the way your pulse picked up and the thoughts that flew through your head. What would happen if I, does he ever think about, am I crazy if I want to?
He brushed past you and walked to the sink, placing the wine glass down quietly before he turned to face you once more. “Is it as bad as you thought?”
Confusion, you wiped your sweaty palms on your pants. “Sorry?”
“Having me here,” he motioned around, the dimple on his left cheek was visible even in the dim light. You rolled your eyes, dropped his gaze for a second when he let out a quiet laugh. “I hope that it’s only as miserable as you thought--m’just aiming for not worse than expected at this point.”
You turned to face him and put your hands on the granite, thankful for the fact that the island was now between you, the ticking of a clock on the wall kept time when you tried to piece your words together carefully.
Was he flirting with you? A similar to question to that he'd asked only a few nights earlier, this time with more of a smirk on his face and a lilt in his voice that made sent a shiver down your spine.
“It’s better,” you admitted with a nod and a teasing smile. “But don’t tell Jeff that.”
He crossed his arms over his chest, held your gaze and then nodded. “Your secret’s safe with me.”
There was silence for a second, you almost offered to pour him another glass of wine but then he said: “Only a few more days, though.”
“Yeah,” you nodded, the fantasy shattered on the floor between you. “How’s the house coming?”
He winced, a quiet laugh when he shook his head. “Everything’s been pushed out a few weeks, actually. But--it’s fine, I’m probably just going to stay with a friend or something, you know, don’t want to overstay my welcome.”
You brought your lips into a thin line, unsure if what you were about to offer was appropriate or weird or just plain awkward.
“Oh...well, I mean, if you want to stay here longer, you can.”
His mouth pulled up on the side, he brought his gaze back to you and shifted his weight on his feet. “Yeah? You don’t mind?”
You shrugged, again hoping to play it cool or not come off too eager. “If that would be helpful,” you trailed off.
“Yeah, very helpful.”
“Cool.”
“Cool,” he nodded, pulling another smirk from you.
A few more weeks, tops.
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hsogolden · 4 hours ago
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I’m so excited to finally be sharing the first chapter of this story with you all! If you haven’t yet, make sure you read the prologue before this, it will just help understand a few things better! Also! I just want to remind yall that this story is somewhat dark and violent and there’s a few warnings and so if any of that bothers you please don’t read! It’s most definitely not like anything else I’ve written so I don’t want anyone to be uncomfortable! As always, my inbox is open to feedback, constructive criticism and other thoughts! Thank you for reading if you choose to!!
♠︎ warnings: death, violence, mentions of suicide and pedophelia (the pedos die though i promise), abuse, alcohol use, blood, sexual content
♣︎  word count: 10.6k
MASTERLIST // STORY TAG // ASK TAG // PLAYLIST // MOODBOARD // CHARACTERS // MY MASTERLIST // MY INBOX
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“Is this Doja?” Z had no choice but to shout over the incessant noise inside Eden, the nightclub that prided itself on exclusivity, making it so that all hopeful residents of southeast Kypa would be stuck on a mile-long waiting list for over two months just for one single night of fun.
Unless, of course, your names were Zora or Ember, and you weren’t necessarily natural born Kypians, but you had other naturally born qualifications that came in handy.
Like knowing how to aim a gun and where to stick a knife. 
Ember hadn’t been leaning against the shiny, silver pole for very long. It actually wasn’t until she’d accidentally snuck a hand someplace it shouldn’t have been and she was suddenly quite interested in the men hanging around her and her best friend the entire night. 
She swore his name was something like… Jordan or James. Some asshole name. But the tall, dark-haired asshole whom she hadn’t lost eye contact with was packing, and that was all she cared about. 
“Em!” Z started again, her voice nearly lost among the welcomed group of men crowding around her on the booth. Once she finally had the attention of Ember, who seemed clueless, Z cocked her head and her eyebrows rose to damn near her hairline. “I’m talking to you!” 
If Ember was the muscle and brains, Zora was the attitude and persuasion, which was possibly why they worked so well together. Zora had already wrapped their target tightly around her finger, so much that he was currently lifting a martini glass to Z’s mouth, and Ember was already fitting in getting laid by Jordan—or James—into their plans for the night. 
Ember rolled her eyes and shouted back her response to Z’s initial question that she most certainly had heard, but was choosing to ignore. And given the fact that Zora fell right back into the rich men surrounding her, all hoping to get lucky, Em didn’t think the artist of the song currently playing was of too much importance anymore.
So, she went back to her own target, one that she would most definitely be taking home. However, he would be seeing the light of day again afterward, unlike the poor blonde bastard under Zora’s watchful gaze. 
Andre Brahm was most certainly a bastard who deserved what was in store for him. He was one piece of a multi-layered sex-trafficking ring that Zora and Ember’s client had been investigating for months. And then they had names, a whole list of them in fact, to hunt down and terminate by the end of September. Andre was one of the few still left, and it fueled Em with an unhealthy amount of excitement to know that by the following night, they’d all be gone for good—as long as her plan worked out the way it was supposed to. Without Zora, it’d be a trickier process, but Ember had no intentions of waiting another day, or even another hour, to let the very last name on their list do any more damage. 
Jordan—or James—was a distraction, one that took her mind off of putting a bullet into Andre’s skull already and being done with it. If the cleanup afterward wouldn’t be so damn shitty, she might’ve seriously considered it. But, alas, they needed to stick to the plan. Or… most of it at least. 
There was no harm in sprinkling in just a little… or, actually, a lot of fun, if what she’d felt growing under Jordan—or James’s—zipper was any indication.
He sat back against the booth, his hands clasped in his lap conveniently, as he watched Ember and as he smiled at her. And he had such a sweet, innocent smile that she almost felt bad for sweeping him up into her tornado. 
Almost.
She smiled back, but it wasn’t the least bit sweet or innocent. As it turned out, the song itself was of some importance while she waited for the beat to drop. And once it did, there was no stopping her. No telling Ember a damn thing as she slid herself down the pole, her knees bending and her legs spreading before him. She watched on in confident amusement while the color seemed to drain from his face, his lips thinning to a hard line as his eyes fell to what was between her legs. No one besides Jordan—or James—would know that Ember had chosen to not wear a damn thing underneath her skin-tight black dress. She was certain her evil little dimples appeared when he gave her the reaction she craved. Just that little bit of attention when she wasn’t murdering someone, or actively planning to, made his distraction all the better. It made butterflies, real ass butterflies, come to life in her stomach when he fit a palm over himself to hide what she was doing to him. It made her head spin to see that look on his face, the one of hunger and need that she hoped he’d make again when she was ripping his clothes off. 
When he met her gaze again, she gave him a knowing, and a bit cocky, smile before straightening and twisting herself around the pole. She wasn’t trained in it at all, but she was trained in other ways that gave her just enough muscle in all the right places to not make a complete ass of herself while attempting a move or two. 
She didn’t get that far, though, because as soon as she turned, gripping the pole for balance, she fell into a deep pool of emerald green eyes as they watched her from across the club. As he stood leaning against the balcony, arms crossed on top of the marble bannister. Watching her. 
Normally, she’d think nothing of it. But he was… he was different. Something about him was different. His stare held her immobile and she wasn’t exactly the type to let anyone have any sort of way with her. Especially someone who was so far away, most of his angular face was cast in shadows—all except for his eyes which glowed when the fast, beaming club lights hit them. Even so, even if she’d never relinquish an ounce of power to a single living soul, she couldn’t seem to move one useless muscle as if he’d just locked her legs into place for good, with only a goddamned pair of eyes. 
Then there was a calloused hand sliding up her arm and a voice in her ear asking, “Is everything alright?” And when she turned quickly, forcibly peeling her eyes—and her body—away, she felt an ache deep within her from the loss of contact with him. Even as she tilted her head back to meet the concerned gaze of Jordan—or James—she couldn’t shake the feeling he’d left her with. 
She cleared her throat and forced a smile, “Yeah, I’m fine. I just…” she glanced toward Z for a moment, who was still lost in her own bubble, and then back to the man in front of her as she racked her brain for an excuse. Her hands moved first, without much thought put into it, but as they made their way around his neck and she pulled herself into to him, she was pretty sure she could say just about anything and he would go along with it. So, reaching her lips to his ear, she came up with something. “I wanted you closer.”
She felt him chuckle more than she heard it, because all she could think about was those green eyes. If they were still watching her. Why they had been watching her in the first place. If he was just another lust-filled man, or someone she should be fearful of. Someone she should be watching her back for. 
Her instincts screamed at her that every random stranger was someone to be fearful of, but, at the same time, she hadn’t felt an ounce of dread when she’d locked eyes with him. More… wonder and curiosity that seemed to light some sort of flame inside of her that, with Jordan—or James’s—interruption, was suddenly put out. 
She led Jordan—or James—around the pole, an excuse to turn herself around so she could light that flame again, but as soon as she did, as soon as her eyes traveled up to the balcony, he was already gone. Even as she searched desperately, he was nowhere to be found. The dark emptiness settled in and she guided Jordan—or James—back onto the booth, sliding onto his lap once more and promising the ride of his life when she’d finally get him alone.
*                                              *                                 *
She kept her word, of course, and her death grip on the headboard was an equal match to the one he had on her hips. That was about all they matched on, however, because he couldn’t keep up with her to save his life. And if he knew who was on top of him, who he was inside, Jordan—or James—would definitely be fucking her like he valued his life. Although he was big, and she was thoroughly enjoying it, he didn’t know how to use it, and instead, let her take control. She wouldn’t often—if ever—have a man in her bed any other way, though, so she couldn’t blame the way he submitted to her every little request. Or big request, like when she reached down to wrap one hand around his throat, the other over his mouth and instead of being scared, he came instantly instead. She chuckled, burying him deep inside of her while he moaned loud enough for Zora to hear, she was sure, even with her hand plastered to his mouth. She kept riding him until she got what she wanted, and then fell onto her back beside him. As soon as she caught her breath, each second that passed by afterward she grew more and more annoyed by his presence. It always happened, though, with every single man she brought home. She wanted them out the door as soon as possible. Jordan—or James—was allowed a bit of a grace period where she didn’t literally kick him out, which she couldn’t say for the rest of the men she’d fucked who had a much smaller package than him. He’d be gone soon anyway so she let him stay until then, even if she felt the violent urge to shove him out of her bed and onto his ass every time he took a deep breath and she was reminded he was still there.
“That was…” he breathed, his hand splayed across his abdomen, and she just smiled to herself because she knew exactly the effect she had on men and Jordan—or James—was not immune to it. 
“I forgot your name,” she hoped he would be like every other cocky man who thought they’d fucked her so good, she’d forgotten, and not the truth of it. That she never knew his name to begin with.
He chuckled and rand his hand through his hair, “It’s Johnny.”
“Johnny,” she repeated in a hum, not having guessed that one at all, and after a silent moment, her phone dinged, saving her from whatever small talk Johnny was just about to subject her to.
Her eyes scanned the message, already knowing what it would say, but just making sure it was the message she was waiting for. She clicked her screen off and set her phone back down. Then, she turned to him and sighed.
“Time to go.” 
His smile grew for a moment before he realized she was being serious. When she sat up, he lifted onto his elbows, watching her incredulously. “Wait, what?”
She paced to the wardrobe in the room and pulled out a clean button-up, slipping it on and fastening it before flickering her eyes to him nonchalantly. 
“Leave. Now.” She ordered for the final time, or at least she hoped it would be. That there was enough threat in her tone to scare him. She almost felt bad when she saw how he looked at her, like she’d just ripped his heart out, but at the very least he didn’t seem angry about it. No, he wasn’t mad and that was good. He wouldn’t fight her and he wouldn’t argue. 
He shook his head and scoffed, kicking the blanket off and fetching his clothes in a mad rush. Once he had his dignity covered, he faced her and motioned toward the bed. “Did this mean anything to you?”
Her earlier assumptions about him being easy to kick out were suddenly back to haunt her. So, she smiled sweetly like the little cold-hearted demon she was, and delivered the final blow. “Of course not, Johnny.”
He gave her that look again and she wished it made her feel something. She wished she felt sorry for her words, for hurting him, but she didn’t. She had no empathy for him. It was his fault after all, he could have just left, no questions asked, but he chose otherwise. So this is what he got. Ember at her very worst.
“Unbelievable.” He muttered under his breath before picking his wallet up off the floor and storming to her bedroom door. 
She rolled her eyes and followed him, pausing to lean against the doorframe as she watched him, hoping he wouldn’t turn and make matters worse for himself.
Johnny glanced at something across the room which slowed his pace and when Ember took a couple steps forward, she found Zora at her own door, waving him off with a smile that might’ve been polite and sympathetic if Ember didn’t know better.
Ember stifled a laugh, biting her lip just as Johnny threw his eyes over his shoulder at her, probably wondering how his life had gotten to this point, where he got trapped in her web and then kicked out onto his ass, but he just shook his head again and left, not even bothering to stop the door from slamming shut behind him.
Ember sighed, crossing her arms and turning toward her best friend, pretending to pout. “I liked him.”
“You like all of them,” Zora reminded her, leaning one shoulder against her closed door.
The hotel suite was one they often used, as long as they cleaned up after themselves at the end of the night. The owner was very familiar with their line of work and if he peeped a word to anyone, he’d lose everything, including the tens of thousands of dollars he was paid to keep his mouth shut. His was one of the few lasting relationships they’d built from their previous years of working under Dominic Aldine.
But Dom was a different story, and not one that mattered to either of them anymore.
“He was different.” Ember pulled a pistol from its hiding place in a large potted plant, twisting on the silencer and checking the clip as she walked toward Zora. 
“You know men are more than just the size of their cocks, right?”
Ember shrugged. “Maybe… but that’s all they’re good for. And his was big.” She held up her hands to demonstrate the length of Johnny, and Zora cocked an eyebrow, impressed even if she was a bit more respectful of men than Ember was. Even if Zora sort of had a… boyfriend? Ember wasn’t sure he could even be called that.
“What about his…” Ember nodded toward the door, toward the man she knew was tied up to the bed on the other side, waiting for them like dinner.
Zora scoffed. “If what I felt was all there was…” 
Ember smirked, “Then this will be a piece of cake.” 
On the way in, Ember obtained a knife, letting the metal flash in the light as she pulled it from the top dresser drawer and smiling sadistically to herself when the man whimpered from the bed. Not only would it be a piece of cake to kill this man, but she was also going to enjoy it. So, changing her mind, she set her gun down and walked toward him with just the blade in hand. All the while, he watched her, his eyes pleading for his life since his mouth couldn’t. Even through the gag, however, he whined and Ember had heard enough.
“Shut it.” She demanded, stopping at the foot of the bed and as soon as her burning hazel eyes held his, every sound that came out of him ceased. She flipped the hilt of the knife in her hand and smiled at him, “Good boy.”
He was nothing more than the animal she was treating him as. All the faces of innocent women flashed behind her eyes, women he had a hand in destroying for no other reason than gaining power and money. Women he’d sold like slaves, women she was positive he’d bought for himself, too. Women that deserved so much better. Women Ember couldn’t save.
She gritted her teeth, reminding herself that once he was dead, she would be saving those women. The ones that would be his future prey. Sure, there were more like him out there, but taking just one out at a time was still progress. And by tomorrow, all of his associates would be buried six feet under. 
Actually, she wasn’t quite sure what Ryker did with the bodies after he was called to clean up. She never asked, nor did she particularly care what happened to them. They could rot for an eternity for all she cared. They deserved no dignity for what they’d done.
Ember slid the tip of the knife up the bottom of the man’s foot, watching as he struggled to find a way to escape, which just amused her more. “So you’re the Andre Brahm.” He froze when he heard his name and she tilted her head to the side as her eyes wandered down and back up his body. She’d seen enough of him at the club but she had been a tad bit distracted at the time. “I thought you’d be… bigger.”
A muffled, low sounding, desperate, “please,” came from behind the gag.
“Your life is not worth begging for.” Ember’s lips thinned in annoyance and she felt Zora shift on her feet. She’d never really been good at this part of the job. Zora could reel them in with all the cunning strength of a black widow, but she always hesitated when it came to killing, which is why Ember did most of the heavy lifting now.
Still, the man pleaded for his life, louder and louder until Ember’s rage inflamed behind her eyes and she lifted her hand quick and impaled the blade of the knife into his foot. At that point, he was screaming behind his gag, eyes bulging as he stared down at the bloody mess of what she’d done. He tried to pull his legs back, but it only made things worse for him and he screamed louder.
“I told you to shut it.” Her voice wasn’t loud, not as loud as it could be, but just enough to be heard over his cries. He quieted instantly, and even Zora would admit that Ember was a nightmare when she wanted to be. And right now, she wanted to be the worst kind of nightmare that could give a person insomnia for the rest of their lives.
Ember pulled up on the blade and with a thunk, his foot fell free of her knife, but this time, if he had wanted to scream again, nothing came out. Not even as he stared at the blood gushing from his wound. He was breathing frantically and sweating profusely, however, and that was all she really needed. She didn’t care for the screaming and the pleading. But those little things the body did when it was afraid were enough. He should be afraid, she thought, he should feel everything he made countless innocent women feel.
“Good dog,” she snickered, “you learn quick.”
Zora nearly opened her mouth to tell the man to scream as much as he wanted, knowing that if he did, Ember would put her knife through his heart and be done with this already. But Zora knew what it was like to be in the hands of a man like Andre. Where she was helpless to his control. And Ember… Ember was far too familiar with it; so Zora kept her mouth shut and let her friend do what she needed to do.
Ember didn’t usually play too long, just enough to make the sorry man think he had a chance at escaping. It wasn’t often she opted for knives, either, but a simple bullet through the head seemed like she was giving him the mercy of an easy way out. And he didn’t deserve that.
She paced up the outskirts of the bed, picturing Ryker’s displeased face when he found the mess she was making as she cleaned her knife off on the sheets and some of it dripped onto the floor. That would be his problem, though, and while he may admonish her for it later, it would be well worth it.
Sitting down on the edge of the bed, the man squirmed away from her, as much as his bindings would allow and met her wicked gaze with one filled of terror. He must know this was it. He was taking his final breaths. He knew it was coming, she had been picking off his friends one by one the past month and now she’d finally come for him.
She crossed her legs and her arms, glancing down at the sharpened edge of her blade as if she were bored and then looked at him again. She was beautiful, even if she was about to stick her knife someplace he’d never recover from.
“Any last words?” She mused and pointedly dropped her eyes to his mouth, where the gag was still firmly in place. Then she smiled again. “It’s only fair isn’t it? You didn’t show any of those women a stitch of mercy, did you?” 
“E…” Zora warned and Ember stiffened for just a moment. She knew she was dragging this out too much, knew nothing she said would ever fix her own broken pieces. She still tried, though, sticking them together with glue and tape until she could pretend to be whole again. It never lasted long.
He began pleading again, this time with tears falling down his cheeks. Ember just shook her head and let Andre see the darkness within her as she locked eyes with him moments before she stabbed her knife into his chest. 
Before the light drained from him entirely, she leaned in, guiding her lips to his ear as he grunted when her movements shoved the knife in further. “See you in hell.” She whispered and blood dripped from the corner of his mouth before his head tipped to the other side and his eyes became dull and distant. Gone. 
She pulled her knife free and stood, not giving him another look as she wiped off the blade on the sheets again and, instead, met Zora’s watchful, apprehensive gaze.
“Do you feel better now?” Z crossed her arms.
“Not even in the slightest.” Ember sauntered off to the dresser, retrieving her gun and replacing the knife into its drawer. Ryker would undoubtedly give it a thorough cleaning once he’d taken care of the body. She twisted only halfway back to Zora but kept her eyes to the floor, “Let’s go.”
*                                              *                                 *
Ember left the rest of last night’s job up to Zora, which involved circling back to the clients, being paid for yet another body from the diminished list of men, and going over the details of the final stretch of the mission that had been scrupulously planned out by Ember days in advance.
With Andre, she’d followed him for a couple days to learn his patterns and to find weak spots within them. The moment she found out he had reservations to Eden, the plan practically fell into place for her. That had been his biggest weak spot: Eden. Any other club, and they wouldn’t have been as lucky. But the man who owned Eden had a bit of a soft spot for Zora ever since they’d first stepped foot on the property. Since then, they’d gained each other’s trust and he let both Zora and Ember do as they pleased, as long as they didn’t make a mess and he got a cut of the profit. Zora also tried to throw in some more… creative forms of payment—because Ace was, quote, the hottest man she’d ever laid eyes on—but he’d refused. When Zora pouted, however, he’d stepped closer, swiped his thumb over her bottom lip and told her, “When we fuck, it won’t be because you owe it to me. It’ll be because you want it.” If Ember had been in on that conversation, she would have surely rolled her eyes—and maybe gagged a little—but luckily she’d only gotten the highlights hours later when Zora was still swooning.
And now there was the final name. Edmond Wallis. His weak spot was frequenting The Palace without his usual entourage of guards. He arrived at exactly eleven-thirty every Saturday night and disappeared into a room with one of the girls, alone, for hours. Anything could happen in that spanse of time and his one and only guard would be too distracted by the other naked women to check on him.
Not to mention, Ember quite enjoyed using her body against men. It made her feel powerful to watch them go from thinking they were getting a piece of her to realizing she’d be biting a chunk out of them instead. 
She also liked waltzing around in nothing but cute lingerie, too.
Everything was set in order by lunchtime, which is when Zora returned with Ace hot on her heels. 
They had, of course, already been well introduced to each other’s beds by this point. It hadn’t really taken very long at all, in fact. And Ember couldn’t understand how Zora continued to want him, how she didn’t get sick of it. How she could sit at their dining table and gush about all the things Ace had done and said that day. 
When she had asked, Zora just insisted that Ace was fun and nothing more than that.
Even so, Ember watched them closely and with mild disgust as Zora met her in the kitchen and, moments after she stopped in front of her, Ace wrapped his arms around her middle, making her giggle when he tucked his fingers into ticklish spots on her sides.
“I thought I told you to stop doing that!” Zora squealed while smacking Ace’s arms away. He obliged, because, although he didn’t bat an eye at the whole hitwoman thing, he did obtain some morals. Like when Zora told him to stop, he did. Although, Ember wasn’t sure whether it was his morals or Zora’s ability to chop him in half that made those decisions. Possibly both, but leaning more towards the latter.
“How’d it go?” Ember asked as if she hadn’t just been gagging at the sight of them together. Ace made himself at home and strolled around the other side of the island where he dug into their fridge as if he owned the place. Which… perhaps he did. Not monetarily, but he did spend most of his nights in their penthouse. Not that he didn’t have his own, but when Ember had asked him about it, he’d just smirked and said, as sarcastically as he could, that he liked seeing her pretty face every morning.
She’d gagged at that too.
Zora sighed. “Well, I’m sure Ryker will pay you a visit later, he didn’t seem too happy about the mess you made. Did you know he has to replace the entire bed every time?”
“He may have mentioned that before.”
Ace snorted as he pulled a beer from the fridge and kicked the door shut. 
“What did you do this time?”
“She stabbed his foot.” Zora answered, earning Ember an impressed, amused, and slightly terrified look from Ace.
“The last girl he was seen with, who then disappeared, was only fifteen.”
“Bastard.” Ace grumbled, shaking his head as he took out that anger on the bottle cap, letting it fly half way across the counter once he’d pried it off.
After a silent, somber moment passed, Zora straightened. “Anyway. Once this last one is finished, I’ll meet with them tomorrow after I hear from you.”
Ember nodded. While they both took on clients of their own at times, she preferred Zora taking care of that end. She wasn’t good with people unless she was killing them and the less her clients knew about her, the better. It kept her reputation in check when only a select few actually knew what she looked like. She was the ghost. The girl who was a better killer than most of the men when she was only sixteen. And now, seven years later, she was unstoppable.
She supposed she had Dominic Aldine to thank for that, but she wouldn’t thank him even if he gave her the shirt off his back. Not that he’d ever even do something that generous.
“So,” Ace leaned onto the counter across from them, his eyes on Ember, “Zora and I were thinking that once this job is finished you two could… take a break.”
Zora cringed away slightly, clearly not expecting that topic to be brought up yet, but she didn’t say anything to stop it from happening. 
“A break?” Ember echoed.
“Yeah.” He shrugged, glancing at his… girlfriend? He still wasn’t sure what him and Zora were, actually. “Just for like… a couple months. You could go somewhere, get out of Kypa… meet someone.”
“Meet someone?” Again, she looked at him like he was crazy.
“Is there an echo in here?” 
Ember rolled her eyes. “You and Zora can take a break and travel all you want. I’ll be here.”
Zora finally opened her mouth. “Em, you can’t keep living like this. Your life is just job after job and you don’t talk about any of it. You just bury everything as deep as you can and one day, you’re gonna break.”
Ember had no idea what to say. The last thing she expected was an intervention with Zora and her… boyfriend? So, naturally, she rolled her eyes and walked away.
“Where are you going?” Zora insisted.
“Away from the two of you.” Neither of them fought Ember, mostly because they knew it was a fight they wouldn’t win, but as she disappeared into her room, she could hear them whispering back and forth, surely about the sad state of her life.
But she liked it that way. It was just her. She had nothing to lose. She had no weaknesses to be exploited. Zora, on the other hand, had Ace. If she was ever compromised, her enemies would go after him first. While Ember didn’t quite understand love, or grasp the concept of it, she still knew better than to drag someone into her life who might very well end up dead because of her. And she had lived through and tolerated so many things, but that was one she might not survive. 
She couldn’t imagine herself being in love with someone, and she wasn’t sure that’s what Zora had with Ace—at least not yet—but it was not something she wanted. He was a liability and nothing more. And if Dom ever found out about it, Ace would be wiped from the planet in a heartbeat, no questions asked.
Not to mention… she wasn’t quite sure she was even capable of that type of love. She was sure she loved Zora as a sister, and would have her back through anything, but falling in love? She’d sooner shove a knife through her own chest.
Ember spent the rest of the daylight hours sleeping and getting ready. She was thorough and meticulous, with everything from her selection of weapons to which pair of fishnets she’d wear—she’d gone with the rhinestoned ones because Ace had said any man would drop to his knees once they saw her in those.
She put that theory to the test when she emerged from her room at ten, finding Zora and Ace in the foyer where they made sure they had everything they needed for their trip. Zora had spared quite a lot of details about where she’d be, except that she was taking Ace with her. Ember didn’t care either way, she could handle Edmond Wallis on her own, and she’d long since learned that if Zora wanted her to know something, she’d know without having to ask questions.
Her heels clicked across the marble as she approached them, Ace’s eyes finding Ember decades before Zora even glanced in her direction. Which he was probably thankful for because he not only did a double take when he saw her, but he also let his eyes wander while he swallowed the pit in his throat.
Ace was, she’d admit, hot. He had angled, perfectly sculpted features and short, dark black hair that framed his face nicely. She could understand Zora’s appeal. Especially to his eyes. They were dark as well, almost black, but they could look at you like you were the only one in the room. Not to mention, Ember had too much knowledge of what was hidden underneath his black trousers thanks to Zora.
“Damn.” Ember grumbled after stopping just a few feet from them. The skirt of her dress reached the floor, but the slit up the side went all the way to her hip. And the deep V of the neckline also left little to the imagination. “You’re not on your knees.”
Ace blinked and his eyes snapped back to her face as he cleared his throat. “I did say that, didn’t I?”
Zora rolled her eyes and smacked him. “She is the most unavailable person on the planet, so don’t get any ideas.”
Ember smiled at the fact that Zora wasn’t even mad that he was clearly gawking. It made sense, though. Ember was never a threat; she just liked playing with men and making them weak, even Ace.
He straightened. “Well, I may not be on my knees, but I think I’d do just about anything you told me to.”
She was fully taking advantage of that. “Good. Go get me some wine.”
He froze for a moment and then cracked a smile, nodding just so he had an excuse to glance down the length of her again before he disappeared into the kitchen.
“Still not going to tell me where you’re going?”
Zora seemed to coil back into herself, lips thinning as she hid her eyes. “I’ll be back tomorrow afternoon. It’s just a… a job I picked up on my own.”
“But you need Ace’s help and not mine?”
“There’s people I’m meeting to help. Acquaintances of his.”
Ember nodded, still unsure what part of it Zora was trying to hide from her, but once Ace returned with three glasses of wine, she let it go.
“To…” Ace’s eyes scanned Ember again and he grinned, holding up his glass to theirs for a toast. “That incredible fucking outfit.”
Zora shoved him again as he emptied the contents of his glass. Ember had no idea what the deal was between the two of them. If they had some kind of open relationship, or if they had a relationship at all. Both Ace and Zora flirted with anything that had a heartbeat, so she imagined jealousy couldn’t be factored in. It was clear they wanted each other, but they also wanted other people. And Ember didn’t know what Ace got up to on nights he slept at his own home, but she knew for certain that Zora did not consider them exclusive.
Either way, it was not something Ember wanted to involve herself any further in. She handed off her empty glass to Zora, said her goodbyes and told them to drive safe. Zora just pointed out the fact that Ember was the one that should be concerned about safety. 
On her way out the door, she heard Ace’s voice again. “Make them fall to their knees and don’t let them get back up.” 
*                                              *                                 *
The Palace was packed, making it rather easy for her to get to where she was going unnoticed. Once she’d spotted her target, she took up root on the opposite end of the room. He hadn’t gone off with some poor girl yet, but he did have a couple of the dancers crowded around him and his guard, who she’d learned was named Julius. 
She kept an eye on them for what felt like forever, swatting away men that approached her like flies and pretending to be just another paying customer until she found her cue.
Edmond Wallis was a butt ugly man. He was hairy for one—too damn hairy. And all the hair was an ugly shade of greying blonde. He was in his later forties, and exactly how she’d imagine a sex-trafficking psychopath to appear. His fingers were meat sticks as they gripped the ass of a dancer, who didn’t seem so pleased by his unwanted touch. His creepy 70’s mustache made Ember want to hurl up her dinner. The only place he lacked hair was on top of his head, where a bright, shining bald spot took up root. He was just… a repulsive little man and she would not feel guilty for one single second about what she was to do to him.
Eventually, a man dressed to the nines in an all-black three-piece suit leaned down and whispered into Edmond’s ear. He seemed to like whatever was said to him and then greedily hurled the women off of him to follow the man into a hallway at the back of the room.
That was Ember’s cue. 
Edmond would be taken to his room, where he would get comfortable just before Paul, the man in the suit, sent him his best dancer. They would do much more than just dancing, of course, and Edmond would pay up the ass for it. It was a weakness. And Ember was rightfully exploiting it.
She left her coat on a chair at the bar and walked as if she was just another worker, headed upstairs to the private rooms. And apart from a few curious glances, no one stopped her. She was dressed the part, and she knew damn well Paul didn’t pay enough attention to any of the women who worked for him. He probably didn’t know a single one of them by name.
She got to his door with way too much ease. It was the same room every Saturday night, and she knew because she’d watched him through the window he’d left open the previous weekend. She didn’t let a single detail of his little outings go to waste.
Turning the knob, she sucked in a breath, squared her shoulders and let herself in.
However, when her eyes adjusted to the light, she found one glaring exception to her plans.
A girl, much younger than Paul’s typical clientele, was tied up with rope on the bed. Edmond stood at the foot, in the middle of undoing his belt when Ember interrupted. The girl, who, upon further inspection, looked to be barely eighteen, was crying and huffing behind the gag in her mouth.
Ember froze at the sight, the sight in front of her causing her mind to short-circuit. She knew what this was, what she’d just walked in on. What she hadn’t accounted for.
“There’s been a mistake.” She finally spoke, and then smiled when Edmond furrowed his brows in frustration. “I’m to take over from here.”
He snorted. “I’ve never seen you before.”
“I’m new.”
“Then perhaps you’re lost.” 
“You’re Mr. Wallis, correct?”
He scrutinized her and then she found her skin crawling when his eyes fell down the length of her. She much preferred Ace looking at her like that.
“I suppose I can just have you both, then.”
Ember wasn’t happy with that, but she couldn’t think of anything quickly enough that would not sound suspicious to get the other girl out of the room. She just hoped, when she locked eyes with the girl, that she understood Ember was not there to be had. And she would not let him have her, either.
Ember locked the door while Edmond removed his trousers. She knew she had to think fast and think smart. If she drew a weapon now, he’d yell and alert his guard. She had to get close.
So, she moved until she stood beside him, taking his attention off the girl as she slid the strap of her dress off her shoulder. She let his hands wander as he pulled her into him and then she pivoted, turning his back to the girl while his lips explored Ember’s neck and she tried not to vomit.
Over his shoulder, Ember made eye contact with the girl, and once she did, the girl went completely still. Ember smiled and then pulled her pistol, already equipped with a silencer, from the holster strapped around her covered thigh. In two quick motions, the barrel was pressed against Edmond’s temple and she was stepping away from him, her other hand clasped tightly over his mouth.
She looked into his eyes now, seeing the confusion leak into terror as he realized who he was staring at. The girl who was going to end his life. The girl who had ended the lives of all his colleagues. The girl he’d clearly underestimated if he was so carelessly under-guarded.
“Surprise.” She whispered just before she pulled the trigger. With one last swift motion, and a very loud thud, he was gone just like all the rest.
She eyed him for a few more moments, catching her breath from the adrenaline rush and then met the terrified, teary gaze of the girl on the bed. Ember tucked her gun away and rushed forward, “Time to go.”
The window had been her escape plan. She’d hidden a rope out on the balcony days in advance. She counted every minute it would have taken her to get out to make sure she went unnoticed. But…
But then there was the girl. A factor she did not consider when she was planning her escape. She would have been long gone by now if she were alone. If she were sticking to the plan. But there was no way she could leave the girl alone in that room. So, she cut the rope around her wrists and ankles with shaking hands, knowing she had little time. When the girl hesitated after being set free, Ember met the fearful, teary-eyed teenager.
“I can get you out, but we have to be quick,” Ember whispered. The girl glanced at the door, possibly trying to weigh her chances with the mysterious woman that had just murdered someone right in front of her. Ember grew desperate when she began to hear footsteps. “I promise I won’t let anything happen to you. But we have to go now.”
The girl looked up into Ember’s eyes again, and there must have been something she saw there because she placed her smaller, freezing hand into Ember’s and nodded her head.
Within seconds they were out on the balcony and Ember was checking to make sure her escape plan was still in place. Ten more seconds and the rope was tied to the edge and tossed over the side. She omitted the stashed gloves from her plan with ease, knowing she’d regret that decision later, but there just wasn’t any extra time to spare anymore. Luckily for the both of them, they were only three stories up. She didn’t feel all that lucky when she heard knocking on the door, though.
“Hold on to me.” Ember muttered through her teeth, gripping the rope with both hands as the girl clung to her neck for dear life. Ember flew over the side of the balcony just as the knocking on the door turned into pounding. 
When they got to the bottom, and Ember’s hand’s were burning and bloody, she grabbed the girl and flattened the both of them against the wall, hidden beneath the overhang of the second-story balcony. 
“Shh,” she pulled the girl close and held her hand over her mouth firmly to stifle the hysterics coming out of her. Ember peered out to keep an eye on the balcony they’d escaped from and within seconds, she heard the footsteps and watched as her rope disappeared back up to the third story. If she had run, she never would have made it far enough without being caught. Without being shot at. And considering she wasn’t alone, she hadn’t been willing to risk it. She just hoped they assumed she was long gone by now.
She waited quietly and the girl started to calm down after the initial shock of free falling down a raggedy rope settled. The man up above was speaking to someone over the phone it seemed, but Ember couldn’t make out a word of it. 
The wheels in her mind turned quickly, as they needed to. She needed a new plan. How to escape. Where to hide next. What in the hell she was going to do with the girl besides making sure she kept her promise.
When the voices faded, and after another half a second of listening just to be sure, Ember turned to the girl, whispering, “Can you run?”
The girl nodded. Her cheeks were hallowed and the fingers that folded in between Ember’s as she pulled her along behind her were bony and fragile now that Ember was paying attention. She wished she could turn back time and kill Edmond Wallis all over again. And then anyone else involved, beginning with Paul for his apparent role in arranging the whole thing. 
They ran along Ember’s escape route, keeping to the shadows of the alleyway and staying off the main road for as long as she could manage before she had no choice but to cross it. They didn’t make it that far, though, when a car burnt rubber as it entered the alley ahead of them. Ember’s legs jolted to a stop and the girl slammed into her shoulder. With a quick glance, she looked behind them and tried to find another way.
She pulled the girl in the opposite direction and soon realized it had been her first mistake of the night. One of the men in the car had emerged with a gun and managed to sink a bullet into the girl’s leg. She dragged Ember down the ground, wailing in pain on the rain-slicked asphalt. 
“You need to get up. Come on.” Ember took on most of the girls’ weight, pulling her back onto her feet. She knew they couldn’t outrun the car, but she’d be damned if she didn’t put up a fight. 
She twisted around, blocking the girl’s body with her own as she aimed her gun, taking out the man who’d shot at them with one single bullet to the head. Another man emerged and, just as quickly, he hit the ground as well. She pulled the girl closer and made to run as fast as she could.
But then there was a voice that echoed through the entire alleyway and sent chills down her spine.
“Ember.” 
And she paused. Another mistake. As if her first mistake hadn’t already broken her promise to the young girl. She was trying to focus on what was important, though, and that was getting them both out alive. She could deal with the guilt of getting the girl shot later.
She turned toward the voice, however. Her last mistake.
The girl was pulled from her grasp and when she realized what was happening, it was too late. Wallis’ guard, Julius, had snuck up behind them while she’d been distracted. 
While she let herself be distracted.
“Let her go!” Ember shouted, pointing her gun at Julius’ head even though he was using the girl as a shield.
Then the other voice sounded again, its familiarity haunting her as it drew closer this time. “You were Dominic’s pride and joy… and now look at you.” She glanced over her shoulder at the other man. He was tall, his voice deep and rough that aged him to his forties. But… unrecognizable. How did she know him—and how did he know Dominic?
She said nothing. Gave them nothing they could use against her. The man nodded toward the girl. “He didn’t teach you well enough, it seems. If you would have left the girl, we would have spared her life.” 
By the time the sound left Ember’s mouth, it was too late. Not even her echoing, desperate effort to protest could muffle the sound of the girl’s neck cracking just before her lifeless body thudded to the ground. Ember stared at her in shock, the whole rest of the world seeming to move in slow motion suddenly. Every one of her decisions over the past hour flashed before her eyes. Which one of those choices had led to this ending? Which uncalculated mistake had ended that girls’ life? Ember hadn’t even known her name. Would never know her name. 
Would have to live with the fact that she’d promised nothing would happen to the girl and fucked up more miserably than she ever had.
The worst of all of it was that the girl had probably spent most of her life shackled by men. How long had she been held captive? How long had she suffered, all to end up here. Dead in an alleyway before she even got a chance. 
And it was all Ember’s fault.
She fell to her knees, wrapping her hand around the girl’s bony one again. She didn’t care if she was about to be shot or strangled or killed. No one deserved to die this way. Alone and forgotten and nameless. Especially not after being given hope that Ember could get her out alive. 
The girl’s death had driven the knife in, and the stupid, foolish promise Ember failed to deliver had twisted it. She couldn’t even feel if her heart was beating anymore. Didn’t want it to beat because if anyone had to die tonight, it should have been her. 
Ember tightened her grip around her gun and lifted it, aiming right at Julius and not even thinking for a another second before she pulled the trigger as she stood back up on wobbly knees. His body joined the asphalt within seconds.
Then there was laughter and Ember pointed her gun at the unrecognizable man as tears flooded down her face. He just stood there, not at all afraid of her, and smiled. It could have been her shaking hands that made her a little less intimidating, though.
He took a step toward her. “Put the gun down, Ember.”
“So you can kill me?” Her voice shook with a million different overwhelming emotions.
“I have no need to,” his smile grew again as he pocketed his hands in his trousers, “the guilt will eat you alive soon enough.” 
He was right, she could already feel it. Not even killing Julius had settled the score. His hands might’ve done it, but he wasn’t the only one responsible. It didn’t help that whoever this man was, he hadn’t even tried to protect Julius. She might’ve just done his job for him.
She lowered her gun and fell back to the ground beside the girl, not caring what would happen to her next. 
Instead of hands grabbing her to haul her away like she’d expected, she heard footsteps as they retreated, then the whirring of an engine and the screeching of tires. She didn’t once look up. 
Ember knew the girl’s blood was on her, that she was soaked in it. That she was the reason the girl was laying amongst the trash and the sewage without a heartbeat. That she’d never even get a chance at freedom. That she’d never get older, never even turn twenty-one, never see a day in this world where someone wasn’t trying to harm her. And what good was Ember when she failed so horrifically at one simple promise.
*                                              *                                 *
Ember awoke to crashes and shouts, the familiar scents cluing her in and settling her nerves once she realized where she was. 
After the alley, she’d gone home. She’d thrown her clothes in the garbage and changed into an old grey hoodie and a ripped pair of jeans. The apartment was too quiet, and so… so fucking empty that all she did was fill every corner with her thoughts. 
She deserved to be strewn on the ground of some gritty alleyway.
She deserved to be cold and alone and without her heartbeat.
She wanted to tear her insides out so they’d stop keeping her alive. 
There was nothing she could do. She didn’t even know the girl’s name or where she came from. She couldn’t even give her a proper burial. Someone would take care of her body along with the others and she’d just… disappear forever. She didn’t deserve that life or that death. 
And once Ember could no longer stand to be inside her own head, she took herself to Tito’s.
The bar was rough, full of all the worst kinds of people in the city at this time of night, but she hadn’t cared. She just wanted liquor. All of it. The more it burned, the better. 
And then she’d passed out. 
“Hey,” a hand gripped her shoulder and shook. 
Her reflexes were still somewhat intact and she swung a fist toward the voice but another hand gripped her wrist before her knuckles made contact.
“Woah, I’m just trying to help, Em.”
“I don’t need any help.” Her words didn’t come out as polished as she’d hoped, nor did it register that this was someone she knew if he’d used her nickname.
“Yeah, it sure sounds like it.” He released her and she flung back down onto the bar. She heard a grunt and then footsteps. His voice sounded familiar once she finally thought about it and after a few moments, she realized why as he slammed a glass of water down in front of her from the other side of the counter.
“Sit up and drink this.” He demanded and she wasn’t sure why, but she did what he said. He hadn’t been the one to serve her all night, but she knew him. She’d been to Tito’s before on other hopeless nights and he’d called her a cab once or twice. There must’ve been a shift change while she was out cold.
“I imagine it was real bad if you were passed out before I even clocked in.” He ran a wet rag along the top of the bar where she’d been drooling the past hour as Ember downed the glass of water in one go.
“Just getting an early start.” She grinned at him. Nick was somewhere around her age, and definitely a sight for sore eyes. And she imagined hers were quite sore, if the grimace he made when he looked into them meant anything. 
“You’re either having a terrible allergic reaction, or you’ve been crying for hours.” 
Her smile faltered. “M’not allergic to anything.”
His concern only worsened. “What happened?”
She just shook her head and handed him back the glass. “Just give me another one of these and I’ll be out of your hair.”
“At least let me call you a cab.” He took the glass and refilled it.
She didn’t argue, mostly because she knew she wouldn’t make it home on her feet, nor was she even sure she had a phone on her to call herself her own cab.
She finished off her second round of water and then dropped her head onto the pillow of her crossed arms, closing her eyes as she mumbled, “Let me know when it gets here.” 
*                                              *                                 *
Harry’s neck ached and his back was begging him to find a better position. He almost thought about breaking through the doors and getting the job done and over with if he had to sit, hunched over his steering wheel for much longer.
He’d followed her from her apartment, where he’d waited equally as long for her to come home. He’d watched her from the building across the street as she changed her clothes right in front of her floor length windows, averting his eyes until she was decent again and stuffing weapons into her usual hiding places. Then he watched as she threw her dress and fishnets in the garbage, growing slightly more interested in what the hell she was doing. 
And lastly, he watched as she stood in the middle of the living room and stared at a wall for what felt like an eternity. He had no idea where she’d just come from, but whatever it was, he wasn’t sure he wanted to know.  
Of course, then there was Tito’s, which he’d cursed at her for. He wasn’t sure why he cared that she was walking herself into one of the worst bars in southeast Kypa, but something inside of him wanted to waltz in behind her and steer her back to the safety of her building.
Perhaps it was the fact that he’d let her see him last night and he was still wondering if she’d felt what he had when their eyes finally met. She’d never once spotted him in the past few days he’d been trailing her, but last night, he… he had no fucking idea what he’d been thinking. 
He straightened and gripped the steering wheel as a cab pulled up in front of the bar. Moments later, she was being hauled into the back seat by the bartender, a rather bulky dude even Harry himself wouldn’t mess with. Harry kept his eyes forward, even as he reached for his gearshift and switched his car into drive. It was late, and he wouldn’t be as inconspicuous with less cars on the road, but if she was as drunk as she looked, he was sure she wouldn’t notice anyway.
Not that she hadn’t already seen his face and was possibly already paranoid about him following her.
He cleared his head and kept a safe distance behind the cab, memorizing the identification numbers printed on the bumper just in case he lost track of it. But that proved to be a waste of brainpower when the cab pulled off to the side of the road up ahead of him, pass the red light he was stuck at, and she came fumbling out of the back seat and onto the curb. He glanced up at the street sign and around at the buildings surrounding them, wondering if he’d been so engulfed in following the cab that he hadn’t realized she’d already gotten home. But, when he saw they were still many blocks away from her building, and she didn’t even try to hide the fact that she was incapacitated and alone on an empty, poorly lit street, approaching a group of men, his heart began to race. 
When the light turned green, he took off, finding a side street close by to back his car into a parking spot. He flipped off his lights and then the engine and waited. It went against his every instinct to just sit and watch as she walked herself into trouble, but… he wasn’t exactly here to save her life. In fact… if it was trouble she was seeking, she should have crossed the street and met up with him instead.
His heart still pounded in his chest and he fought against every muscle that begged him to leap from his car and race across the street to save her.
She could handle herself and he knew that. It settled his nerves. He knew each and every weapon she had on her body, and where exactly the knives and guns were located. She was just blowing off steam. Possibly looking to start a fight with people who might actually be a match for her. 
Even so, he couldn’t help but worry about her safety.
Which was… ridiculous. He knew that.
But, then again, she stared blankly at a wall for entire twenty-five minutes, so he had no idea what she was about to do. 
His hands tightened around the steering wheel. Why couldn’t she just have gone home?
*                                              *                                 *
Ember slowed to a stop at the entrance of the alley just as the three men noticed her. Then she smiled as they took the bait, approaching her like she was the sad little bunny that had just stepped into their trap.
The man who walked slightly ahead of the other two eyed her up and down. “You lost, pretty girl?”
Her smile widened. “Nope.”
His brow flickered and he crossed his arms. “You reek of whiskey and…” he leaned in a bit closer and sniffed, “death.”
“And you reek of another man’s cock. Is that what the three of you were doing before I got here? Having a little circle jerk in the corner over there?” She nodded toward the trashcan the men had been huddled beside moments ago.
The man up front gritted his teeth. “Oh, she’s got a mouth, huh?”
“Least I don’t use mine to suck off my friends in an alley at two in the morning.” She was glad it didn’t take much more than that. He came at her and her fingers twitched to deflect the blow she’d rightfully earned, but she didn’t allow herself to block or fight back. He punched her square in the face, leaving a nasty cut on her cheekbone. And when she stumbled toward him again, still very much drunk, she laughed.
“What wimpy little muscles you have, barely even left a dent.” 
He cocked a brow and the corners of his lips kicked up in a smirk, “Would you like to find out what else I can do?”
“I’m afraid I don’t have a dick for you to suck.” She laughed again and that was most definitely the wrong thing to say, because he was on her this time. All three of them were. They shoved her against the brick wall and she could practically hear her spine yelling out in pain. She ignored it though, just as she ignored the pain of her head being beaten against the wall, the punches to her face, the jabs to her abdomen, the kicks to her shins. It was easy to ignore when she was numb. When she wanted this. Wanted to be beaten to nothing but a sad lifeless form.
The back of her head collided against the brick once more and it was hard enough this time to cause her vision to blur. She smiled as she began to lose consciousness, hoping it would just end soon. That was all she wanted. 
Then there were no longer any hands on her, no fists rearranging her facial features, and she was falling to the ground quickly. There was a shout and then a snap, grunting and then a thud. Footsteps and a muffled, “Shit,” in a deep, wary voice. Then it was quiet. An unfamiliar scent filled her nostrils and brought her back for just a moment. Just long enough to blink her eyes open underneath inflamed skin and catch a glimpse of emerald green before she was surrounded by darkness again.
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mindofharry · 5 hours ago
i really want to paint harrys nails. like actually paint them
this.
and he’d be so grateful too 🥺 especially during covid and he can’t get them done professionally, so you both do each others! friday nights, you get a take away, watch the falcon and the winter soldier and pain each other’s nails! It’s like a fun bonding experience, and harry would be so cute telling you what designs he can do and what colours he’d want. this is all i want in life...
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mindofharry · 7 hours ago
Text
send in some concepts we can talk about!!! bored out of my mind <3
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harryedwardstylesfics · 13 hours ago
do you have any instagram fics like @only-kiwi ones, i’m in the mood - preferably with harry and kids, but it doesn’t matter, thanks lovie <33
@cinnamon-harry has some great Instagram fics - type in ‘Instagram fics’ in their account search bar!
@dontworrysunflower - here
@harrystyleseditsx - here (type in ‘Instagram fics’ in their account search bar!)
@sheraphic - here
@changeyourticketangel - here (type in ‘Instagram fics’ in their account search bar!)
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lonely-teddy-bear · 17 hours ago
Text
Temporary Fix ➳ h.s (ch.2)
A/n: I had to rewrite this chapter, but anyways here ya go and again this is a multiple parts story, aka a book in wattpad so they aren’t in any type of relationship yet, they are just friends for now. Hope you liked it and chapter 3 is on the writings 😁 Go support my wattpad as well!!
word count: 2.1k
~_~_~_~_~_~_~~_~_~
Chapter Two
It was Friday night. I had gone out with Alex in celebration that I passed my algebra test all thanks to Harry for staying up late to help me study.
Alex and I had gone to a bar but are now at his place and by his place I mean the frat house, where he lived, all while Harry was at my apartment, waiting for me.
I waited patiently for Alex to return from the kitchen, where he went to grab me something to drink. I usually don't spend my time here at the frat house mostly because the guys scare me but because they we're just not fun to be around unless they were drunk on a Friday night during a party.
While waiting I looked down at my phone that was on my lap when I felt it vibrate.
harry berry <3
<where are you? im bored>
I rolled my eyes at his text, of course he was.
Me
<im at the frat, i'll be over in a bit, unless you want to come hang, there's a party as always>
harry berry :3
<i know theres a party. niall texted me about it>
<you know that alex is parting right? i saw him in some guys video>
I read the text over again making sure I read it right. I hope Harry is joking
Me
<are you kidding me?>
harry berry<3
<nope. im on my way. so stay where u r>
I sighed. I can't believe Alex left me here to go party, no actually I'm not surprised because he has done this several times already. I just wished he would at least send me a text telling me he was staying downstairs with his friends.
I don't really care if he parties, it's just the fact that he left me here in his messy room while I waited for him to bring me something to drink. Luckily Harry was coming but I don't think he's coming to the party.
I felt my phone vibrate again.
harry berry :3
<im here and i have found your little boyfriend ;)>
Oh no. I got up quickly from Alex's bed and made my way over to the door and opening it. I took a step back after seeing people running past the door. I barely heard the music in the room but now that I was in the hallway I could hear it clearly. I didn't know what song was playing but that was less of my worries, right now I needed to find Harry.
I looked down at my phone and shoot Harry a text.
Me
<you better not do anything to him>
I waited a second waiting for his reply. I saw the bubble, meaning he was texting back.
harry berry <3
<nah he isn't my problem right now>
<look up :)>
I exactly looked up as told and saw Harry striding up the stairs with a stupid smile on his face. I couldn't help but to laugh, shaking my head at him.
"You like joking huh?" He just simply shrugged, still smiling.
"What can I say, I like seeing you panic and besides I won't do anything to him unless he does something that would hurt you." His smile had turned into a small closed mouth smile. I knew he wouldn't hurt Alex because he knew if he did I would get mad at him and that's the last thing he would want.
"I know but sometimes I can't tell when your joking," I chuckled. I turned around and signaled Harry to follow me.
I headed back to Alex's room so I could grab my stuff so I could get out of this damn house.
I felt Harry follow behind, not saying anything but I knew he was looking around at the people on the hallways. Some were drinking, others were talking to one another and then there was those people eating each other's face.
Finally making it back to Alex's room I closed the door behind Harry who walked in as if he owned the room. He looked around with his hands on his pockets and then looked at me. I stood by the door, awkwardly looking back at him.
"He is a man child," he shook his head. I couldn't help but to laugh because he was right, Alex was a man child but I liked him like that. He was everything I have wanted and needed right now.
I walked over to the bed and grabbed bag and my jean jacket. I looked back up at Harry giving him a nod signaling him that I was ready to head out. That's what I liked about Harry's and I's friendship, we understood each other with simple nods or random movements. We have been friends for so long that having him flirt with me and tease me have become a regular thing. I'd probably find it weird if he stopped being all flirty with me. Others would think we are a couple but we are nothing but best friends and that's how I saw it. I love Harry as a friend of course and I would do anything for him and I knew he would do the same for me.
*******
Back at my apartment Harry made himself comfortable just like always. I sometimes didn't understand why he didn't move in with me because he was never at his own place. The amount of times I have asked him to just move in he would reply with something alone the lines of "I can't be having girls over all the time with you around." I would always end up rolling my eyes at him because I didn't care if he had girls over but then I guess it was best if he had his own place.
I did my own thing while Harry sat at the couch watching the television. Ignore his loud laugh I headed over to my room to shower and change, feeling a little gross from being out around so many people.
Before heading over to the bathroom that was connected to my room I took off my shoes and any jewelry that I had on me and left my phone on the nightstand next to my bed.
I headed over to the bathroom, closing the door behind me. I quickly removed my clothes and turned the shower on letting it get to the right temperature before stepping in. Around twenty minutes later I stepped out and wrapped my towel around my body making sure it was secure. I went over to do my skincare routine for the night.
Once I was all done with my skincare I had brushed my teeth knowing I might end up eating but having clean teeth might stop me from that. I quickly brushed through my wet hair with a comb and then towel dried my hair with another towel I had laying around for this exact reason.
I made my way out of the bathroom still drying my hair with the towel but dropped it when I jumped at the sight of Harry on my bed. He was laying on his back with his eyes closed. I squinted, trying to see if he was sleeping or just laying there being annoying.
"Are you alive?" I questioned not knowing if he would reply. He opened one eye and glanced towards me. I'll take that as a yes.
I got down and grabbed the towel that fell and fixed the towel around me so it wouldn't fall from my body. I wouldn't want to flash Harry.
I walked over to my drawer where I had my undergarments and pajamas along with other stuff. While roaming through my undergarments I heard Harry shifting on my bed, he either made him summer comfortable or he was sitting up looking at me. I glanced behind me and saw that he was up on his elbows still laying down, looking at me.
"You look cleaner," he joked. I rolled my eyes at him, knowing he wasn't able to see me do it.
"Well maybe you should do the same," I glanced back at him, underwear in my hand along with my pajama shirt and shorts. He only smirked at me and then plopped back down on my bed giving me space to change.
I quickly put on my underwear under the towel and then still with my back to him dropped the towel and put on my pajama shirt which consisted of being one of Harry's shirts I had stolen a long time ago. Before I turned around I put on my shorts even thought they were useless since the shirt was so big.
I turned around and saw Harry now sitting looking at me. When did he..? I didn't even hear him move.
He smirked at me, "hello kitty underwear? Really?" I felt my face heat up. I looked away from him and then looked back at him when I heard him laugh.
"Dude how do you even get sex with those? I mean they are cute but come on," I furrowed my brows at him and scrunched my nose at him.
"That's none of your concern," I gave him a closed mouth smile making sure he knew it wasn't real. He only rolled his eyes at me, making himself more comfortable on my bed.
"No for real doe she have like a kink? Like does he like seeing you in kids underwear? Cause if so, then that's messed up." He looked at me in a concerned way. I shook my head quickly.
"No he doesn't. He just doesn't see what I wear so I don't bother getting anything cute. Besides why do you care what I wear?" I crossed my arms, looking at him with a raised eyebrow in question. Well more like in curiosity. He glanced away for a second and then looked back to see me still looking at him. He just shrugged. 
He then looked at me in realization.
"He doesn't see what your wearing under your clothes?" I shook my head, might as well just be honest, maybe he could give me tips on this relationship or something.
"You sleep with him right?" I nodded.
He knew the answer to that question but I guess he wanted to make sure.
"Then how the hell does he not see you in your panties? Hell I even saw you half naked already." I looked away from his eyes, feeling the blush on my face.
Harry and his unfiltered mouth, he wasn't scared to say what he was thinking, which always caused him to get in trouble half the time.
I just shrugged at him. "He just doesn't. Can we just not talk about this?" I suddenly had the urge to go to sleep, maybe because I wanted to end this conversation with Harry.
"Yeah just answer this," I looked at him with my arms crossed over my body.
"Does he pleasure you? You know make you cu-"
"Ahhh can we stop. Please oh my gosh Harry." He raised his brows at me, a stupid smile appearing on his face.
"I'll take that as a no then," he was looking all smug. He obviously was enjoying this.
"Don't you have work tomorrow or something?" This was his cue for him to leave and get the hell out of my room.
"Oh yeah, I'm meeting up with the boys. I think we're going out to the beach or something." I raised a brow at him, questions him.
"The beach is like three hours away... You don't even like the beach," he wasn't the type to wear shorts much less go to the beach. He just simply shrugged.
"Duty calls baby," he got up from my bed and walked over to the door that was next to the drawer I was leaning on. "I'll see you Monday in class." He send me a wink before leaving my room and closing the door.
I headed to bed but didn't close my eyes until I heard the door close.
I heard my phone vibrate causing me to check my phone.
harry berry <3
<door closed. good night :)>
Me
<thanks. goodnight>
He always texted me after he leaves just to let me know that the door was locked and I was good to go to sleep without worrying about my safety.
What did stick to me was wanting to know why him and the boys were going to the beach. I didn't even know where he worked and I have known him for so long.
I will have to ask him when I see him Monday if I even remember by then but for now I'll just go to sleep since I myself had work to go to in the morning.
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cinnamon-harry · a day ago
Can you do one where y/n is famous too and maybe they can pose for a magazine together btw your name should be talent I was the one who asked for Chiarra too it was beautiful
tyyy! i’m so glad u liked it queen <3🥺
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harrystyles we had a busy day today
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harryfan1 is something coming or are u fucking with us ??
harrystyles @harryfan1 hm..
ynfan1 tease^
harryfan2 okay but that bed looks comfy asf
yourinstagram @ynfan1 it was indeed very comfy :))
harryfan3 ik she slept good
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yourinstagram This Friday, April 2021.
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arianagrande i’m obsessed
yourinstagram @arianagrande ily🥺
harryfan1 my bp is rising WHATS HAPPENING THIS FRIDAY ???
harryfan2 the way y’all tease us is actually illegal
yourinstagram @harryfan2 it’s all out of love❤️
ynfan1 yeahhh im passing away
ynfan2 U TWO ALWAYS UP TO SOMETHING
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harrystyles My love. Vogue April 2021. Out now.
View all 36,846 comments
gemmastyles stunning
harryfan1 DJDKDJD THIS IS SINGLE HANDEDLY THE BEST THING IVE EVER LAID EYES ON. BUYING 10 COPIES NOW
yourinstagram i should’ve kept those jeans
harrystyles @yourinstagram there’s always next time
ynfan1 no please they’re so cute i’m gonna cry
harryfan2 this was so beautiful i’m actually sobbing
harryfan3 IS EVERYONE BREATHING OKAY ???
ynfan2 @harryfan3 nO🥲
hello! i’m so sorry for the inconsistency, school is very much taking me out but i’m almost done ! anyways, this has been in the drafts for a minute so i hope u liked it🥺
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harryswifeofficial · a day ago
Text
what are you guy’s fanfiction pet peeves?
send them to my asks!! don’t be mean! and remember, these are all just opinions and doesn’t mean you HAVE to change your style of writing to accomodate other people’s opinions.
these are just super useful to writers and i do enjoy seeing what readers personally think
they will be in my fanfic pet peeves tag so you can look there!
mines when y/n is too forgiving cus im a stubborn bitch😭like girl he cheated on u fuck u mean u forgive him after one day💔
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dontworrysunflower · a day ago
Hey! Can u do one of those insta things with a Turkish girl? I really liked the other ones u did ❤️xx
the ones i make are usually happy so i switched it up a little!
if you would like a part two with a happier ending lmk
also lmk if i got translations wrong
oh so i put the little see translation think you know and then the actual translation in parentheses so you don’t have to look it up
requests are closed
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yourinstagram i know what you want, what you want from me
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y/nfan1 baddie 💅🏽
harryfan1 nooo please get back together 🙁
y/nfan2 lmao nothing fits in that bag
↳ yourinstagram so the fucks i give?
y/nfan3 i see the shade 😎
harryfan2 he better off anyway
y/nfan4 i don’t believe in love anymore
harryfan3 wake me up when they’re back together bc i won’t go through this pain alive
yourbff 🫖
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yourinstagram love me, thank you, leave me
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y/nfan1 “yours” ugh omg
harryfan1 lemme go sob
y/nfan2 did fanfiction just come to life?
y/nfan3 this is usually the part in a book i skip over cuz i cant take the pain
harryfan2 anyone else need tissues? 🤧
y/nfan4 i cant get over the “yours” i’m literally sobbing
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harrystyles I’m sorry.
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harryfan1 his beauty papers shoot >>>>
yourbff she just needs time
y/nfan1 fuckkkk 😩
harryfan2 my bad but...this is giving me murderer vibes
harryfan3 not her bff giving us hope
y/nfan2 hey king keep hanging in there
annetwist ❤️
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yourinstagram nesillerini
See Translation (bloodline)
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y/nfan1 what does bloodline mean??!?
pillowpersonpp 🤩
↳ yourinstagram i miss you, call me!!!
harryfan1 no i can’t take it even his friends still like her pls get back together
y/nfan2 i love everything about this look
harryfan2 please 🥲 she looks so happy that’s all i want
y/nfan3 save me the depression please
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harrystyles One was for you.
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harryfan1 stop being angsty i can’t take it
harryfan2 oh yay..more sad music..😀
y/nfan1 you wrong for the black coffee
harryfan3 no please get back together i can’t take another fine line
harryfan4 okay aesthetic i see you 👀
harryfan5 harry you lied in fine line..WE WILL NOT BE ALRIGHT
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Liked by annetwist, yourbff and 5,294,831 others
yourinstagram Tek gerçek aşkımı aramıyorum, evet o gemi uzaklara gitti
See Translation (i ain’t looking for my one true love, yeah that ship sailed away)
View all 71,358 comments
y/nfan1 please for your sake...and for mine..please get back together
harryfan1 they’re still in love with each other 😩
y/nfan2 no bc she’s so gorgeous i can’t
y/nfan3 please 😣i just want you to be happy
↳ yourinstagram ty bb 😘 i promise i’m trying
harryfan2 you better swim after that ship like ariel 🧜‍♀️
y/nfan4 look at how confident she is!! i love her sm
•••
sorry lmao this was too angsty on harry’s part like idk how to post for him.
i’ve been meaning to post this for the past three days but i keep forgetting! anyway here ya go!
taglist: @chillingonlife @just-here-to-escape-from-reality @letsgoparty-ah-ah-ah-yeah @tom-hollands-wife @acciosiriusblack
(lmk if you want to be added or taken off taglist)
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g0lden-cth · a day ago
Can u do one with Harry and his daughter and they have a little daddy daughter moment while they are at a get together and everyone like admires there relationship?? Can it be fluffy please???🥺🤍
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Requests || Main Masterlist || Harry Masterlist ||  Goes with this
Warnings: None I think (if not tell me and I’ll add it no question) 
Word count:1k+ (sorry it’s so short)
Sorry it too so long!! But here it is, fluffy dad!harry!!!
Hope you enjoy!! Happy reading!!! <3 -G
-
-
You felt as if you were just pregnant with her, that you just brought her tiny body home from the hospital wrapped in a tiny onesie and a swaddle. That you were holding her for the first time, her beautiful green eyes opening for the first time and her tiny hand wrapping around just one of your fingers.  
Time has flown by because right now, you’re standing in your backyard with family and friends celebrating your daughter's second birthday. You're watching your husband holding your giggling daughter as he spins around dancing with her to the music playing. 
You watch them with so much adoration, Ellie is definitely a daddy’s girl. She always wants to be with him, at the studio he’ll take her into the booth while he’s recording. He even lets her ‘sing’ into the mic like she’s recording her own song. 
They’re always up to something silly, whether it be dancing around in crazy movements while music is blasting loudly through the speakers, or singing at the top of their lungs as they make breakfast. 
You never could have imagined how much having a daughter would bring you and Harry closer. You both had never seen eachother in vulnerable situations before. When you were pregnant he was always there for you when your hormones decided to go crazy and make you cry over things that weren’t exactly cry worthy. 
But during that time is when you both opened up, needing to know each other inside and out before the baby came. You had very deep talks, not that you hadn’t before, but this was different, everything was on the table. 
So now as you watch Harry and Ellie, you could feel your heart about to burst with love. Hearing your daughter's giggles sound loudly around the backyard and your husband's face with a huge heart stopping smile spread across it. 
“They are so cute together,” Sarah says. Her and Mitch coming up beside you, all of you watching Harry and Ellie spin around in circles, swaying side to side as they dance. 
You nod, “she’s a daddy’s girl for sure,” you tell her, wrapping her in a tight hug, or as tight as her pregnant belly would allow. 
“How are you and the little one doing?” you ask, pulling back and placing a gentle hand on her protruding belly. 
“We're good, happy, healthy, “ she smiles. You smile at her words, “don’t think I forgot you Mitchell,” you laughed, pulling him down into a tight hug. 
Rolling his eyes, he hugs you back, “you and your husband I swear.” 
The three of you laugh at his words, you talk and joke around for a while before Harry comes over with Ellie in tow. 
“Come on, sweet girl show mum,” he tells her, kissing her cheek making her laugh. 
You watch them, waiting for whatever new babble or sound she makes. Ellie is a bit of a late talker, which isn’t bad, not at all. She has a good understanding of language, and has great motor, thinking, and social skills she just hasn’t said her first word yet. 
“Dada,” the word slips from her lips along with a giggle. 
You stand there frozen, staring at your daughter who just said her first word. Your jaw slacked, tears filling your eyes. 
“Dada,” she calls happily. 
And then it hits you, your daughter said her first word. 
Her first word. 
Tearily, you look at Harry, silently asking him if that really just happened. He nods his head, his own tears filling his emerald eyes. 
“Oh my god! Baby!!” you start freaking out, the tears sliding down your cheeks. 
----
Harry’s pov. 
Spinning around in circles, swaying back and forth. I have my daughter in my arms as we dance crazily in our backyard, she’s giggling and babbling as I place kisses all over her chubby cheeks. 
I can’t believe she’s two today, it feels like yesterday we were just bringing her home from the hospital wrapped in a tiny swaddle. 
I remember the first time I held her in my arms, she was crying and wouldn’t calm down. Y/n was asleep in the hospital bed, exhausted from over twenty hours of labor. 
So picking her up from the rolling crib the hospital provided next to the bed, I take her gently in my arms, supporting her head as I take a seat in the rocking chair. 
I started rocking in the chair, shushing her and patting her back gently. But that didn’t work, so I started to hum, looking down at her in my arms 
“I’d walk through fire for you, just let me adore you 
Oh honey, 
I’d walk through fire for you, just let me adore you,” I sing down to her, reaching up and stroking her tiny cheek with my thumb. She starts to quiet down, her face still scrunched up like she's gonna cry. 
“Just let me adore you,  
I’d walk through fire for you, just let me adore you” I continue. She stopped crying, her face relaxing, her eyes opening as she looked up at me with those green eyes. 
Love and warmth fill my heart as I look down at my daughter in my arms, her nose and eyes shaped like  her mothers. 
“I love you so much, my sweet girl,” I place a kiss on her tiny cheek as she closes her small eyes and falls asleep. 
“Dada,” Ellie says, pulling me out of my thoughts. Her small hand rests on my stubbly cheek, as a cute little smile splayed across her dimpled face. 
Then it hit me, she just said her first word. 
A huge smile takes over my face, tears filling my eyes, “say it again, sweet girl. Dada,” I urge her, she giggles her hand still on my cheek. I want to jump around in happiness, love and amazement taking over me. 
She keeps her green eyes on me as I wait for her to say it again. My heart feels like it’s going to beat out of my chest with happiness. She said her first word, I looked around quickly for Y/n as it dawned on me she wasn’t here for it. 
I quickly find her talking with Mitch and Sarah by the back doors, making my way over to them. Stopping in front of them, Ellie in my arms, “Come on, sweet girl. Show, mum,” I urge her, kissing her chubby cheek making her let out her cute little giggle. 
“Dada,” she says, giggling. 
I look at Y/n’s reaction. Her jaw is slack and tears filling her eyes as she watches Ellie with amazement clear on her face. 
She looks at me, silently asking if that really just happened as a smile of excitement tugs at her lips. I nod just as Eliie says it again, placing her hand back on my cheek. 
So much love fills me, celebrating our daughter's second birthday and her first word. I want time to slow down, I don’t want her to grow up.  But I will continue to love her with my whole heart as we watch her grow up to be whoever she wants to be.
//
Feedback is highly appreciated!! <33
Taglist: @vividstyles23 @thesadstoryofme @harrystylesandharrypotter (if you want to be added just send me an ask!! <3)
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Down For The Ride
a/n: so ive had this idea in my head since forever so here is a blurb! involves harry and bikes hehe
word count: 2.7k
warnings: pure smut, no plot. not proofread!
talk to me!
pls rb to share! <3
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The stoplight ahead turned to red, and you gradually began to pull on your front brakes until your bike came to a stop right in front of the white line, breaking apart the crosswalk and where cars and bikes are supposed to stop.
You planted your feet on the hot cemented street to balance yourself, preventing yourself from falling off your bike. Fixing your gloves, you restrapped them tighter so they wouldn’t become loose while you were riding.
The particular stoplight in the intersection you were patiently waiting for always took the longest since it was quite a busy street with civilization in every corner. So, you bobbed your head to the music playing through your AirPods until someone, most likely on a bike, pulled up next to you, not aligned as they were slightly behind you.
You didn’t bother looking at the person next to you, who shared the same lane, since most people make you feel weird and uncomfortable. It didn’t help that you were wearing a dress that was clad on your body, showcasing your curves, but it was hot and humid out, and the last thing you wanted to do was put on a pair of jeans that will be incredibly uncomfortable because of the sweat that would produce from the heat. So, you were going to wear whatever the fuck you want.
Suddenly, a hand slapped your ass, making you whip your head around. As you were about to go off on the person, you noticed that it was your boyfriend, Harry. There were three key things that you knew it was your boyfriend, and how you could tell him apart from other people riding motorcycles.
The first one was the bulky part in the middle where the speedometer laid was a sleek silver—other motorcyclists have black or some other color since Harry custom designed his own. Next, was the sticker that was placed on the side of the bulky part that was a picture of a flower with a face on it—his niece put it there without him knowing, and he thought it was a nice touch to his bike. Last but definitely not the least—and the most obvious one—was his baby pink glitter helmet.
You gasped, a smile appearing on your face. “Hi, love!”
“Hey, baby. On your way home?” You nodded; you’d just left the restaurant in one of the plazas in the busy intersection from having lunch with your girlfriends.
“How was brunch with the guys?” You asked loudly through the engine. Harry had left earlier than you to hang out with his friends, so you both had a morning and afternoon apart, catching up with your own friends.
“Good! We had-”
Mid sentence, the cars next to them drove off, indicating the light had turned green.
“Race you home!” You challenged, and he smirked. You always loved racing him, and maybe it was because Harry always let you win, but it was fun and playful too.
He loved how much you got into motorcycles ever since you met him; you were wary about riding one when the relationship was still new. But once you got on one, sitting behind him as you clutched on his waist, you absolutely loved every part of it—the freedom it made you feel and how fast it goes. When you’d been with him for six months, you asked him to teach you to drive one; and when you’d been with him for a year, you asked him to go motorcycle shopping with you. Now, you’d been with him for two and a half years, and you’re a proper pro at riding—Harry could definitely agree to that.
You and Harry revived your engines, twisting the throttle as you both rode off into the street. Deciding to tease him a bit, you slightly lifted your hips so you weren’t sitting down anymore, showing him your backside for a moment. Harry laughed as he stayed behind you until you two pulled up into the driveway and into the garage.
Parking your bikes and taking off your helmets, you let out a laugh like you always did. Every time you saw him on the street, you’d always give him a little show—practically showing off and teasing him, and it would get him riled up, practically from how you always lift your hips up and how hot you look riding a bike, but he could think of another thing you could ride.
“I won,” you said with a chuckle.
“Indeed you did.”
“Do I get a prize for my winnings?” You asked teasingly, taking off your helmet. Aside from watching you ride a motorcycle, he loved watching you take off your helmet.
“Hmm, I could think of a few things.”
Once you two placed your helmets on the shelf in the garage and rubbed hand sanitizer all over your hands, Harry wrapped his arm around your waist, kissing you feverishly and catching you off guard that you gasped into the kiss, but you soon relaxed and kissed him back.
He pulled away, leaving you breathless. “God, you’re so hot.” Harry leaned down to attack your neck with kisses, leaving hickies in his favorite and your sweet spot. You tugged on his hair, leaning your head back to expose more of your neck, which he was delighted to kiss your skin all over.
There were only a handful of times they had sex in the garage, and right now was going to be added to that count.
Harry was always so needy every time he saw you on the street, and in a way, he felt proud to see you do whatever the hell you wanted to do because you took interest in it. That was sexy in itself.
You lifted the hem of his shirt, touching his skin, making him shiver; the slightest bit of touch drove him absolutely crazy.
“Harry…” you moaned, wrapping your arms around his waist to pull him closer.
“What is it, baby?” He asked against your neck.
You whimpered once you felt his teeth sinking into your skin. “Want you right now. Please, just need you inside of me.”
Who was he to say no to that?
He backed you up into his bike, swiftly turning you around so your back was pressed up against his chest as he began to kiss your neck and shoulder. Lifting your dress, he bunched the material up so it rested on your waist; your ass that you were waving at him prior was on display. Harry moved your panties to the side before bending down and softly licking at your core, making you moan.
“Fuck, your so wet. How long have you been like this?” He asked, licking your clit.
You groaned. “Since you left this morning.” His tongue entered your weeping hole, tasting your juices. “Please…” his finger rubbed your clit in slow circles, just the way you liked it, and you moaned loudly, biting your lip and shutting your eyes closed.
“Can’t leave you like this anymore, can we? Next time, I want you to call me and I will literally turn back around to eat your pretty cunt until you cum.” His filthy words made you buck your hips, you ass in his face.
Just as you were on the edge of experiencing an eager orgasm, he pulled his head away before he stood up, making you turn around, brows furrowed.
“I was almost—oh, holy shit.” So you wouldn’t complain, he entered inside of you in one thrust, completely stretching you out so deliciously.
Harry groaned, finally relieving his aching and very hard cock. You were so wet that you were drenching him, covering his length in your arousal from base to tip; your wetness leaking out of your hole, sticking to your vulva and inner thighs.
“You’re so tight, baby.” He breathed out, thrusting in and out of you. Your soft walls swallowed him whole, making space for his length and girth, and producing more arousal to lubricate his cock.
A string of curses came out of your mouth, hiking your leg up on the seat as one leg stayed on the ground so you could feel him from a different angle.
He grabbed the flesh of your hips, squeezing tightly as he used your body as a leverage to thrust; his grasp was surely going to leave marks and bruises that you two would admire in the morning.
The tip of his cock brushed against your sweet spot, making your eyes roll back.
“Yes, yes, yes.” You chanted; Harry spanked one of your ass cheeks repeatedly until you were whimpering. He then soothed your raw skin with his palm; he could feel how warm your skin was due to the stinging pain that made you moan.
He pressed his chest against your back, wrapping his arm across your chest as he pulled down the straps of your dress, exposing your tits that bounced freely without a bra. He palmed one of your breasts, squeezing and pinching your nipple as your hand reached behind you to play with his hair.
“Wanna ride me?” He asked, his raspy voice audible against your ear.
“Mhm.” You answered, nodding. He pulled out of you, taking off his shirt before placing it on the seat of his motorcycle before he swung one of his legs over as his back was facing the front of the bike.
“Hop on, love.” He opened his arms, welcoming you in as he helped you get on top of him. You were lucky that his long legs were stabilizing the bike, keeping the bike from swaying side to side.
Once you were situated on his thighs, you grabbed ahold of his cock, lining it up with your entrance before sinking down on him. Your feet were against the foot rest as you began to grind back and forth, seeing as you couldn’t bounce up and down. Your clit was brushing against the small patch of hair on his pubic bone, and the friction felt absolutely amazing, throwing your head back as you clung onto Harry’s neck.
His hands stayed on your hips, going along with your movements and encouraging you to keep riding him.
“Look at you, baby. Look so pretty riding my cock like that. Tell me how it feels.”
“Feels so good, Harry. I could feel you everywhere. You’re so fuckin’ big.” You bit your lip hard enough that it felt like you were going to cut it open. The familiar balloon in your stomach was inflating, and you knew you were close. Harry let out a deep moan with the way you were squeezing his cock so tightly, practically milking it. You felt his cock twitch inside of you, and you knew that he was close too.
Pushing at his chest, he leaned backwards, resting his back against the middle part of the bike. You grabbed the handlebars, slightly hovering over him to the best of your ability. You grinded harder, using the handlebars as a leverage to ride him faster and better.
“Wanna…fuckin’ cum.” You let out in between your movements.
“Fuck me. You’re so good to me.” Harry leaned forwards, taking one of your nipples in his mouth since they were quite irresistible with how they were swinging and bouncing in his face. One of your hands gripped his hair, trailing down to his chest as your nails raked at his skin, leaving a stinging scratch. “You’re a fuckin’ slut with how you’re riding me. Making me feel so good.”
“I’m gonna cum, holy shit.” Your breath hitched in your throat. Your mouth was open but nothing came out as your orgasm hit you like a ton of bricks, leaving you breathless.
“That’s it. So damn pretty coming on my cock.” Harry complimented, kissing your neck. You continued your movements, riding your high out and getting Harry to his peak. After a few moments, he was spilling his orgasm inside of you, stomach clenching as he let out a series of curses and your name.
As you two were coming down from your highs, chests heaving, you got off of him in a swift movement, standing on the side of the bike. Just as Harry was going to ask what you were doing, you took him in your mouth. You tasted yours and his orgasm all on his cock that was still hard; his cum dripping out of your pussy and landing on the garage floor.
“Oh my god.” He moaned.
Your lips wrapped around his tip, sucking as your cheeks hollowed, focusing on the head since it was sensitive from his orgasm. You bobbed your head up and down, Harry buried his hand in your head, pushing your head down a bit further until he hit the back of your throat, making you gag. There was a string of saliva that was connected from your mouth to the base of his length.
You leaned your head down to take his balls in your mouth as your hand pumped his dick. Just like your lips, your hands closed in around his tip, chasing for another orgasm that was soon on its way.
“Your mouth is so perfect.” A droplet of sweat dripped down the side of his face. Your tongue licked up the vein on the underside of his dick as your mouth was brought back to his tip. You created a rhythm where you didn’t lift your head up to take a breather as you breathed through your nose. “Oh, baby, keep going.” He encouraged you.
Your lips effortlessly slipped up and down his cock, all thanks to your saliva and your and Harry’s mixed arousal. He twitched inside of your mouth, his hands tightened its grip on your hair as he came inside of your mouth. His moans were louder and his breaths were heavier as they were staggered when he peaked a second time. You swallowed his load with precision as the hot and white spurts flowed down your throat.
Staying there for a moment to wait for him to calm down, you licked him clean until his cock was going soft, and you kissed up his body, tasting the saltiness from the sweat that glistened on his tattooed chest before you met his lips. You kissed him with an open mouth, diving your tongue in first so he could taste himself on you.
He moaned at the taste, and you swallowed them. You ended up on his lap again with no direction to move it forwards, rather just kissing and holding one another tightly. His head was against your collarbones as you scratched his back in a comforting way.
Harry pulled his head back to look at you. Some strands of his hair had stuck to his forehead, so you brushed it off.
“I love you,” he said, breaking the silence.
You smiled. “I love you too, baby.”
“Even though you’re a filthy girl and practically get my bike dirty.” He teased, making you laugh out loud—the noise bouncing off the walls of the garage.
“Mm, thought you loved it when I ride you on your bike?” You asked innocently, though your words were far from innocent.
He laughed, nodding his head. “I do. I love it so much. I think you love it more than me though.”
“Maybe,” you said teasingly. “Only because it gives you something to think of when you’re riding it. You could think of how I rode you and sucked you off on here.” Your hands rubbed his shoulders.
“Christ, you’re gonna be the death of me.” He chuckled, rubbing his forehead.
“But you love it.”
“Oh, definitely. You’re my dirty girl, and if you’re mine, then I sure as hell am not complaining.”
A smirk landed on your face. “Yeah, I’m yours,” you confirmed.
“Good because I’m yours, too. Now, how about we get in the shower before we have a round two? Want you to ride my face on the couch. Would you like that?”
You smiled, nodding your head as you got off of him. He playfully slapped your ass before you headed inside of the house.
Despite your legs being sore, you were always down for the ride.
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pmaxshay · 2 days ago
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Camp - H.S
Every year, Penny takes 9 weeks out of her summer, travelling from her cosy home in England to the USA, to enlist as a camp counsellor. Her days consist of kids, kids and you guessed it... more kids!
But when a new counsellor joins the ranks, Penny's attention soon gets diverted elsewhere. Will she keep her cool or will love be blossoming at Camp Crescent?
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harryedwardstylesfics · 2 days ago
Can u recommend some really smutty Harry fics
🥰
some of the best smut comes from @watchmegetobsessed, @vocalharry, @songbirdstyles and @honeydulcewrites so check out their masterlists. here’s my fav smut fic from each of their accounts x
- here
- here
- here
- here
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harryedwardstylesfics · 2 days ago
heeyyy, do you know some flatmate harry fics? I‘ve been searching for more after @heyyyharry series😭
heyyy, here you go xxx
@watchmegetobsessed - here
@goldenbluesuit - here
@bopbopstyles - here & here
@berrynarrybanana - here
@vocalharry - here
@autumn-sunflowers - here
@hes-writer - here
@atlafan - here & here
@softforcal - here
@0nlythrowharrybeaux - here
@harryysstyless - here
@havethetimeofyourstyles - here
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g0ldenkiwi · 2 days ago
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Trouvaille | Prologue: Emergency Message | Harry Styles
Pairing: Harry Styles/Reader
Words: 215
Warnings: none
Series Masterlist
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"Attention all our listeners: this is an emergency communication. Please do not leave the house and do not approach unknown persons outside your family group. Close everything with extreme caution.
We ask that, in case of direct contact with an infected person, the greatest caution and try not to let them try to attempt against your life or that of healthy people.
This is not a test. I repeat: this is not a test.
In case of encountering one of the infected already transformed, we ask you to take the utmost care for your safety and that of your family.
We know that the infection is transmitted mainly by direct contact with blood, saliva, or other organic substances, scratches of any kind, and direct bites on your skin.
Again, this is not a test, and we are in an emergency situation. Try to avoid these infected people as they are already considered a direct danger as they can be fatal for you as well as for the people around you. So try to cover any open wounds and avoid direct contact with infected people, especially if they are already in the final stages of the virus.
In case you have been infected by such virus for any of the above-mentioned causes...
Good luck."
"Well shit."
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g0ldenkiwi · 2 days ago
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Trouvaille | Masterlist
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\ trüˈvī \
↪︎  Something lovely discovered by chance.
➽ Summary: Apocalypse AU. After several months of the end of the world, there is a settlement in the city of York, England, where a group of people persist and each day they prepare to go a little further to get food and resupply. Between zombies, death and destruction Y/N and Harry can find a light at the end of the road that guides them to a new future.
➽ TW: Graphic Depictions Of Violence, Character Deaths, Blood, Explicit Wounds, Swearing, Angst, Fluff and Smut.
Smut: 🍉
Fluff: 🍒
Angst: 🥝
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Prologue: Emergency Message [08/04/2021]
Chapter 1: ??
Chapter 2: ??
Chapter 3: ??
Chapter 4: ??
Chapter 5: ??
Epilogue: ??
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sanktogrief · 2 days ago
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everyone on tiktok recommended "Malignant" but it's really just pissing me off? Harry is absolutely horrible. there better be character development bc this seems like a waste of time
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harryswifeofficial · 2 days ago
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Summer Evening
Summary: Y/N spends a summer day poolside with Harry.
Pairing: Harry Styles x Y/N, Harry Styles x Reader
Word Count: 602
Warnings: None
A/N: sorry its so teeny tiny, thats all i can manage right now🥺longer fics coming soon, im just editing them
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She sat with her ankles crossed, licking cold lemonade off of her top lip. It wasn’t doing much to aid the burning of her skin, or the sweat that slid down her forehead, but was still enough to keep her somewhat refreshed. 
They had made it together a few hours earlier, after Harry had nagged her all week about the recipe he’d found. One that included sprinkling in a few mint leaves, and some watermelon juice, it tasted just like summer.
Placing her glass on the table beside her, she picked up the book that sat face down again and shot a glance in front of her where he was, floating in the water. The summer sun had turned his skin a bright golden, which she loved, maybe even more than the curls that sat stuck to his forehead.
“I’m gonna start reading again, okay?” She called out, and his lips lifted up into a smile.
“Go on.”
She began reading out passages from the book they’d been reading for a few weeks now. The Course of Love, after having picked it up during one of their monthly strolls at the bookstore. They’d read it after dinner, before bed, tucked against each other under a blanket and often over a glass of wine. Voices alternating throughout the chapter. Sometimes, the deep rasp and timber of his voice were enough to lull her to sleep, but she always tried her best to stay awake, just for the discussions they’d have afterwards. Where she’d get to hear his thoughts, opinions, and in those moments, she never loved him more. He always sounded like some sort of genius philosopher, something she always made sure to let him know, and something that never failed to pull a laugh out of him. 
When her throat began to grow dry and strain, she bookmarked the page and set it on the table beside her. The distance between them making her grow restless and antsy.
“What? Why’d you stop?” He looked at her with furrowed eyebrows and she laughed.
“Come here.” 
“You’re too far away.” She said with a pout, and a cocky grin grew on his face. 
“Am I?” And she rolled her eyes. Despite his cocky attitude that would always come out at any time she mentioned missing him, he gave in and began to swim towards the edge of the pool. She watched as his biceps flexed while he pulled himself up and out of the pool, relishing in the chill that shot up her spine as he did so and began to approach her. Droplets sliding down his toned torso and over his inked skin.
 She had a towel waiting for him already, spread between her arms that she threw over him the second he began to climb atop her. Arms positioning themselves beside her waist as he hovered above her with a smile, but she wasn’t so pleased as he dropped water onto her.
“Nope, there are plenty of lounge chairs, mister.” She warned and scooted backwards but he didn’t budge. 
“Thought y’said y’missed me.” He nudged her nose with his own, and she groaned once more at the dampness of his skin. 
“I change my mind. If you dry yourself, maybe I’ll reconsider.” 
He only laughed, and despite her whining, he inched closer to her face. There was nowhere she could go, and deep down, there was nowhere she wanted to go, enjoying the gentle sweep of his lips against hers. He tasted like chlorine, with a hint of the lemonade he’d sipped on earlier. But most importantly, he tasted like summer.
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