#31 The Outside Scene Part 2 (Harry Styles)
Dedicated to the Anon who asked me twice…I hope this makes you happy.
Word Count: 2,185
I created this company from scratch. With my people, it is one of the best firms in the market today, but still having a woman at the head didn’t please my competition. I just had a meeting with another owner who wanted to buy my firm. My lawyer made sure that we ended up buying his instead, but still being treated less than others just because I wasn’t a man pissed me off.
I had not seen Harry since morning. I got ready to leave for my meeting as soon as I entered my house. Not overthinking, and just locking my emotions in a box was the best that I could do. He owed nothing to me. And, I didn’t want to hear him say that it was a mistake. “I want the files for the Macron deal on my table, and tell James to come to the office right now,” I kept myself busy as soon as I entered office not wasting time or giving myself a moment to think about this morning. “Why are we lagging behind on this? We need to be more careful. This is not done.”
James apologised for his team lagging behind the deal, and I realised that I might need another head, “Last chance James, I know you like working differently, but I will have to put someone in to supervise. This is the third delay and, we can’t continue to work like this.”
The phone rang, “Ma’am, Mr Styles wants to talk to you. He says it is urgent…very…very urgent,” my assistant on the line following what Harry was telling her to say.
“I’m almost done, send him in,” I said, keeping the phone down. James got up to leave, “I won’t warn again James, I’d really like the results,” He gulped and then, nodded. Harry entered, ready to say something, but stopped seeing James in the room. “Mr Styles, please take a seat,” I said. James whispered all the best to him, and he frowned. “Yes, tell me, Mr Styles, what can I do for you?” He looked so amazing, he was wearing a blue shirt with suit pants, his hair tied in a bun, showcasing his sharp jaw line.
Taking his eyes off the closing door, “Umm, it’s not about work.”
“Okay, then?” I kept a poker face.
“Strange thing happened,” he said, locking the door, “I kissed someone last night, well…made out and when I came back after picking up my daughter, I had a thank you note lying on the table.”
“What more were you expecting?” I said, and his eyes widened.
“You could have texted or called. I left in a hurry, Charlie was crying,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter now, Mr Styles,” I said.
“Hey…it does. It does matter to me.”
“Well, it doesn’t matter to me so, I’d appreciate you going back to work. Please.” I felt like I hurt him. His eyes showed that he was hurt. He shook his head, shrugged and walked out of the door.
“I heard about your breakup,” my sister called me in the evening.
“Really? It has been months,” I said, trying to finish cooking this garlic chicken so, I could eat and sleep.
“You should have called, or said something. I had written both your names for the book inauguration party. Now, who will I get to accompany you?” This was her concern. Not that I broke up with a guy after five years.
“Why don’t you just cut our names?” I told her, annoyed.
“Don’t be selfish,” I rolled my eyes at that comment. “Your ex-boyfriend sent his RSVP,” she said.
“What? You’re calling him?” I almost dropped my phone.
“Yeah, of course. Just because you’ve broken up with the perfect man, doesn’t mean our friendship is over. Anyway, he is a big name. It will add some glamour to my party,” I couldn’t believe her words. But, she had always been like that.
“And you still expect me to come?”
“Yes, with someone. I’ll see you there, someone else is calling me,” she cut the call. I had never felt so angry. My sister was another case, but he was going to my family’s party with his new girlfriend. What the hell was that? Could no one see how wrong it was? I picked up my pan and threw it against the wall, as I broke down crying on the floor.
The doorbell rang after a minute, and it kept ringing. I wiped my tears and got up. Walking to the door, I saw Charlie standing in her night suit, with Harry standing behind her in a towel, wet. “Are you okay?” She asked as she gave me a hug.
“She pulled me straight out of the shower after she heard something fall,” Harry said. Charlie invited herself in and saw the pan on the floor. Harry was quick to notice it as well. He walked into the kitchen and switched the stove off. “Charlie, why don’t you take her to our house, and I’ll join you there?”
“There’s no need,” I tried to say before Charlie took my hand and pulled me out of my house.
She made me sit on the sofa again and ran inside her room. I sat looking around the house, seeing it absolutely perfect. My hand rubbing over the couch material remembering last night, “There you go,” Charlie ran out of her room, pulling a huge yellow blanket behind her. It required a lot of strength, and this little girl pulled it across the hall and put in on my lap. Huffing a little bit, she took the edges and wrapped it around my body, “This is the happy blanket. It will make you happy and forget the bad people,” She said, and cuddled into my body, hugging me tightly. I hugged her back, just holding her as tears fell down my eyes.
The main door opened, and Harry stopped looking at the scene in front of him. Still, in the towel, he rushed to his room. Charlie didn’t move an inch and kept her hold tight on my body. Harry walked out of his room, smiling looking at his daughter and then, walked to the kitchen. Coming out with three plates of pasta, he sat next to us on the couch. Charlie let go of me and sat straight, none of us saying anything. We didn’t say anything as he handed us the plates and we ate in silence with Charlie’s eyes just looking at her dad and me one after the other.
I finished my plate and kept it on the table. Looking down at my hands, concentrating on my lines, controlling my tears until it didn’t work, “Charlie, honey, will you tuck yourself in tonight?” he asked. She nodded and then, kissed my cheek and then, her fathers and ran into the room. Harry licked his lips, and then, came and sat close to me. “What happened? You can tell me, anything?”
I closed my eyes, trying to stop the tears and my body for shaking. He sighed and then, hugged me. “Let’s sleep, okay?” He said and picked up the blanket. Taking my hands, he took me to his room, as I looked around, entering for the first time. “You sleep here? I’ll sleep outside.”
“It’s pretty big, this bed. Stay…” I said, and he smiled. I kept my head on the pillow as he wrapped the blankets around me, and I slept in no time.
My eyes opened, and the first thing I saw were the rays entering scattered in the room. The second was hearing the heartbeat in my ears. I picked up my head to notice my body being wrapped around Harry’s and his around mine. His eyes opened as slowly, and he smiled. His smiled did something to me. I kept my head on my pillow, as he looked at me. His hands putting my flick behind my ear, “slept well?” I nodded. “Will you tell me what happened?
“My family is the most inconsiderate bunch of people, just that…” I told him how my sister had invited my ex, and I had to go now. I would hear about it for the rest of my life. And, I had to keep my respect. He couldn’t show up with some other girl, what will people say? My family would say they are embarrassed though, they called him. I saw no way out of this.
“I could go with you?” he said.
“What?” I frowned.
“I could come, as your partner? I don’t mind. We can get a sitter for the night for Charlie,” he said.
“You don’t have to do that,” I said, getting up.
“I want to,” he replied, cutting me. “Why do you push me away?” he asked.
“I push everyone away, it’s easier.”
He wrapped his arm around my body and pulled me back, my head hitting the pillow. “Your daughter…”
“Is sleeping,” he replied, and kept his hands around me, climbing up. My breathing increased, as I felt his weight on my body. He looked into my eyes, and then, brought his lips closer to mine. Eyes flicking back to see my reaction, before they pressed against mine. I liked this, I liked this feeling. Here in this bed, I felt like I belonged. His lips trailed down my chin to my neck, finding a place to suck there as I remembered the night before.
“Harry,” I said, in protest. He picked up his head, looking at me with confused eyes.
“Don’t push me away,” he said, removing my hair from my face, “I won’t hurt you, you’re the first person I have kissed after…after Charlie’s mum. I really really like you, please don’t push me away.”
“You left me on the couch,” I said.
“What?” he frowned. “Couch?”
“If the man doesn’t put you on the bed after well…he doesn’t want you…” I said, repeating the words of what I have been told.
“What?” He sat up, “the bed? Where did you learn this from?”
“It’s the rule, I thought you didn’t…”
“What if the man sleeps with you on the couch?” He asked. I didn’t have any response to that. “Look, I woke up in the morning to my phone ringing and Charlie crying on the phone. It was nothing big, but I rushed out to get her so, I couldn’t take you to the bed because I had no time!”
“You cleared the bottles…” I said.
“Bottles…I did that while I was on call,” I didn’t have anything else to add. “Is that why you left?” he asked. I nodded. “Baby…” he sighed, “Next time, you have any more of your rules which I haven’t completed, please tell me?” he giggled, bending down to kiss my cheek, “Ouch,” I hit his arm.
“I’ve not done this since five years!”
“I have not done this for longer and look at me,” he raised his eyebrows.
“Have you not? Really?”
“Yeah, was very protective of Charlie. Didn’t want the wrong woman around her,” He shrugged, his hands on my waist, his thumb touching my skin, making me feel bubbles in my chest.
“So I have your approval?” I asked, blinking innocently.
“More like I have Charlie’s approval! She really adores you, I think she sees herself in you,” he said, with this warm look in his eyes.
“What is she on the outside of?” I asked, frowning.
“I meant, that she saw a strong, self-made, caring, successful girl in you,” He said, “who is not on the outside now.”
I smiled with tears in my eyes. “Daddy,” we heard the little voice and the steps on the door, as Harry jumped off me. Charlie entered, pushing the door wide open, rubbing her eyes. She left her teddy on the door, as she saw me on the bed. Her face lit up with a big smile, as she saw her blanket wrapped around me. She ran to the bed and climbed on me. “Did the happy blanket make you happy?” She asked, and I nodded. She looked at her father with a proud look on her face and jumped on him. He caught her, pulling her to his chest and kissing her face as she giggled. I sat up on my elbow, looking at them play and talk about her sleep. Keeping my head on the pillow, I heard her tell about her dream. She looked at me, and pulled the blanket, cuddling into my body as I held her little frame in my arms. And turning towards her father continuing the story. Harry’s eyes widened, but he smiled hearing her out.
“Okay, it’s still early. We can sleep for another two hours…” Harry said as he got under the sheets as well, pressing a button to shut the blinders.
Charlie turned and kept her hand on my cheek, “Now, you will always be happy,” saying that she hugged me, and slept while I wondered how I ever came across these angels in my life.
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