Louis has never known mercy. He eats, lives and breathes to win the fight.. until newcomer Harry Styles shows up, and those curls, along with his refusal to wear a shirt and that damn butterfly, tend to be a bit of a distraction.. but fraternizing with the enemy is a bit taboo for a professional.
Or, Louis is a 5 time title holder, champion boxer and Harry is the aspiring newcomer with a cheeky smirk and magnetic eyes. He’s definitely the forbidden enemy, but maybe Louis isn’t as professional as he thought.
“GOOD MORNING, YOU TWO! GOOD MORNING GOOD MORNING GOOD MORNING GOOD MORNING COME ON TIME TO GET UP I HAVE NEWS! Big news! Good news! Well, I guess good news… COME ON. TIME TO OPEN YOUR EYES.”
Not ideally how I would have liked to be woken up the night after passionate make-up sex with Harry. Before I fell asleep last night with Harry in my arms, I imagined my eyes fluttering open the next morning to see Harry staring at me like I was a sky full of blazing stars and stroking my hair gently, his lips parted just slightly with amazement. Did I think that highly of myself? Well, no. But I hoped Harry did. Instead of all of that, I was woken up by Arnold slapping our feet, which were unveiled by the covers at the foot of my bed.
Harry and I both wriggled around for a moment. He opened one eye and looked at me, just as I was doing to him, and grinned slowly. Not exactly the sky-full-of-stars look of amazement that I imagined, but it still gave me butterflies. He scowled when Arnold patted his foot again.
“We’re awake, god dammit!” Harry grumbled, throwing a pillow at Arnold and sitting up quickly. While Arnold ducked, Harry glanced down at me and remembered that, while it was acceptable for him to be shirtless in a room with Arnold, it was not the same for me. He grabbed the comforter, which had fallen off of my bare chest when Harry shot up, and yanked it over my body, hugging it to me before Arnold saw. Then he growled again. “What the hell is going on? What are you doing down here?”
Arnold’s eyes scanned the room. “Well I’ve never been down here before, actually. Quite nice. I thought you might be happy to see me, though. Good news. You’re going on a date.”
“With who?” Harry spat immediately, his eyes nearly popping out of his head. He held the comforter around my body as I shot up too.
Arnold laughed and held his hand out to me. “With Kennedy, you idiot. Who did you think?”
Both Harry and I let out a breath of air that neither of us knew we were holding in. Our exhales turned to small chuckles of relief and Harry tackled me, forcing my head onto the pillow and attacking my cheek with kisses. Arnold shook his head and rolled his eyes. “Liam will come get you in two hours. He’ll take you where you need to be.”
I squealed as Harry kissed my eye.
“GOT IT?” Arnold shouted over us.
“Yeah, mate! Got it!” Harry called over his shoulder. He seemed irritated, but lost all irritation once he turned back to me and Arnold disappeared up the stairs.
“Let’s go back to beeeeed,” I dragged out, unwrapping my body from the covers just enough for Harry to join me in a bundle.
“Okay baby, okaaaaay.” Harry kissed my nose gently and then moved his lips to my forehead as he wrapped his arms around me and pulled me closer so we could pull the covers around us like a cocoon.
“Is this date for publicity?” I asked aloud quietly, the thought suddenly entering my mind and falling out of my mouth before going through any filter. Harry moved his lips from my forehead to my mouth, placing them gently against my own lips before shaking his head.
“It means publicity to Arnold. To me, it means I get a day out with you. Another date. Well, if you want to go.”
I giggled. “I have a choice?”
“Well, no,” Harry chuckled. “Would you have declined the offer anyway?”
“I might have.”
Harry pouted. I pulled at his bottom lip with my fingers until he smiled and then reluctantly crawled out of the warm bundle of our bodies and the covers. “I guess I should get pretty for the cameras then.”
Harry sat up immediately. “You already are pretty. You’re more pretty than pretty. You’re gorgeous.”
I raised an eyebrow slowly and crossed my hands over my bare chest. “Mhmm.”
“I’m so serious,” Harry stated.
“Sooo serious,” I mimicked him. Harry didn’t seem to notice.
“Your hair is so brown and waves in all the right places and those eyes… ugh I could swim in them.”
“My eyes are brown,” I giggled.
“I would still swim in them. Stop interrupting me.”
I gasped playfully but kept my mouth shut as Harry prepared to continue. I knew exactly which feature he was choosing to compliment next because of where his eyes were looking. “Those. Breasts.” He bundled all of the fingers on one of his hands and kissed the tips of him like he was enjoying a fine meal. “Perfection. Those hips… those legs… They make me crazy,” Harry concluded, flopping his body forward onto the bed.
I laughed as I watched him and ran my fingers through his hair, pushing it all to one side. “You’re bullshitting me at this point.”
Harry turned his head sideways on the mattress so he could see me and took my hand in his own. “I’m not. You’re like a work of art, baby.” He kissed just below my thumb on the palm of my hand. I retracted my hand and reached for my phone on the floor.
“What are you doing?” Harry asked, starting to sit up.
“No!! Stay there, Bear. You look to handsome right now for me not to take a picture,” I explained, lifting my phone. Harry rolled his eyes and finally looked at me, grinning like an idiot. The picture was perfect. I felt a little silly, but it immediately became my phone background.
Liam picked us up two hours later, like Arnold promised. Harry helped me pick out a pair of black jeans and a red flannel shirt. As I fixed my hair and makeup, Harry ran to his room and came back down into mine wearing black jeans and a red flannel shirt. My mouth fell open, my eyes widened, and I shook my head frantically. “No. No, no, no, no. We are not matching.”
“I was going to wear this today anyways…” Harry laughed, grabbing me another shirt: a plain, sheer white one with three-quarter length sleeves and a more relaxed fit. “If you refuse to match me, you’ll be the one changing then. I rock the red flannel better than you do,” he smirked.
I sneered playfully and changed shirts. “You’re probably right.”
As we drove into the city, Liam told us about his week with his father. I felt bad, but I was hardly listening to him as Harry held my hand tightly in his own and drew little hearts and stars along the skin of my forearm. If I was ever staring out the window, he would watch me and I pretended not to notice. It was only when I blushed that Harry would grin and give my hand a squeeze.
“Liam,” Harry interrupted our driver as we neared the city. “Where did you say you were taking us?”
“Arnold said you needed to walk around the city a bit and you have lunch reservations at-“
“Turn left here.”
Liam and I both glanced at Harry with the same confused expression.
“Turn left here! You’re going to miss it,” Harry urged Liam. Reluctantly, Liam obliged. Harry continued to give Liam instructions until we had pretty much done a complete 180 and were going the opposite direction out of the city.
“Where are we going, Bear?”
“Just wait, babe. I think you’ll like it.”
I could hear it before I could see it – the low rumble of tiny engines and the screeching of tires on the cheap pavement. Harry beamed as we pulled up to an older-looking carnival space with four or five race tracks around a ferris wheel, but the only thing that seemed to be running was the go-karts. The little cars zipped around the cracked pavement of the track and drivers steered out of the way of one another as they rounded corners quickly. The smell of cheap gas stung my nostrils and I was tempted to cover my ears, but I laughed.
“Liam, join us?” Harry asked once we were out of the car, taking my hand and leading me toward the track. Knowing that Liam lived for speed (not that the go-karts were very fast), I waited for him to sprint for the tracks. Instead, he looked worried. Harry laughed. “Liam, you’re not going to get in trouble. K and I are. Well, maybe. Please, just come enjoy this time with us before we get screamed at for not eating an over-priced salad in the city.”
Liam shook his head but shrugged and grinned. “Fine by me.”
I tugged on Harry’s hand as Liam ran ahead of us to get to buy tickets for the tracks. Harry laughed and cupped my face in his hands. “Oh, Love. Don’t be worried. We won’t get in too much trouble.”
I giggled. “I don’t care about getting in trouble with Arnold…”
“What is it then?”
I swallowed and watched as the cars raced past the fence nearby again, the multicolored bodies of each vehicle whizzing by in a blur. “I’ve never driven a go-kart before.”
Harry’s face fell into a look of upset disbelief. “What?” I looked down at the ground sheepishly. “You’re serious?” I nodded. Harry laughed. “It’s like driving a car!”
“Except your body is all hanging out and people are bumping into you…”
Harry laughed again and pulled my chin up to look into my eyes. “Scared, K?”
I scowled and pushed past him. “No. As a matter of fact, I’m going to kick your ass.”
Unfortunately, I was wrong. I half-expected Harry to be that stereotypical boyfriend who lets his girlfriend win at something she’s new to… but he completely smoked me. Thankfully, Liam smoked Harry by a mile, so Harry didn’t have TOO much room to brag. Any time Harry would say something about beating me, Liam would come back with something about beating Harry, and Harry would scowl. Liam was going so fast at one point that he caught up to me and bumped my kart from behind. I got nervous and nearly swerved off of the track, but not before Harry came up behind Liam and bumped him away from me.
Both boys kept me laughing as we sat at one of the picnic tables and ate some melting soft-serve ice cream, talking about our races. Occasionally, someone would come up to Harry and ask for a picture, which he happily agreed to. He would talk to them, recommend restaurants to tourists that were good and not overpriced, talk to little kids about what they wanted to be when they grew up. I could tell from his facial expressions that his favorite answer came from a tiny brunette boy who answered, “I want to be a boxer just like you!” It was completely different from being surrounded by pushy paparazzi and it showed me a completely different compassionate side of Harry. Part of me couldn’t help but wonder if he had always been like this with fans in a setting like this or if it was a recent character development. I was completely caught off-guard when a younger girl asked for a picture with both Harry and myself after telling me how lucky I was to be dating Harry. Liam had gone to the bathroom, so I balanced my half-finished ice cream cone on the table and stood beside Harry with the girl in front of us. She looked like she might have been in high school.
“I don’t believe the rumors about you being a slut,” she whispered as her mother snapped the picture. Harry snorted and I tried not to laugh myself. “I think Haria was all a bunch of shit anyway,” she continued.
Harry grinned. “I couldn’t agree with you more.”
The girl raised her eyebrows like she knew it all along. “Even if Haria was real, Hennedy is more real. I want a guy to look at me with the same look Harry has when he stares at Kennedy and she doesn’t know it.”
Hennedy. We had a ship name. My heart nearly exploded in my chest. I opened my mouth to ask the girl what “look” she was talking about, but when I glanced Harry’s direction, I saw it. The way his wide eyes just seemed to lose focus as he scanned my face, the way his smile was just slightly agape, the way he looked like he was trying to memorize everything about my stance, my hair, my facial features, all in that moment. He looked like he was absorbing it all to remember in his dreams when he couldn’t be awake to see me.
As the girl and her mother walked off with their picture, Harry and I gravitated toward one another. He brushed a strand of hair off of my lips and stared straight down into my eyes. “I think I’m in love with you and it might terrify me.”
I blinked up at him. “I think I’m in love with you and it terrifies me too.”
Without a second of hesitation, he pressed his lips to mine. Harry spoke better with actions than words; while there was a good bit of uncertainty in his words, there was no denying the love in his kiss. My head was spinning as he held onto my face and wouldn’t allow me to pull away – not that I wanted to. Every second I spent around Harry had me falling more and more and more in love with him. I had fallen harder than I ever had before in my life, and what terrified me was the thought that one day, I might have to get back up. How could anyone ever recover from a feeling like this? Harry admitted it himself – we were terrified of what we could do to each other. At this point, he had my heart in his hand and his was in mine. In a world like ours, that seemed like a difficult position to be in.
On the ride home, Harry held my hand tightly again, rubbing circles and swirls into my skin, but the air between us was thick. Both of our minds were racing. Is this how it usually was after admitting your love to someone? It had been so long since I said it to anyone and meant it that I had forgotten. I wondered if Harry had ever said it to anyone… and instantly I felt the pressure on my shoulders. What if I was the first person he said it to? What if I ended up breaking his heart? It’s not like I would mean to… I didn’t plan to… right now we had an amazing thing going and it was getting even better… why was I being completely pessimistic after such an uplifting moment with him?
“Niall is here.”
“Hmm? What?” I asked, snapping out of my thoughts. We arrived home quickly, and I couldn’t tell if it was because Liam still had a heavy foot from go-karting or if I had just been so wound up in thoughts that I wasn’t paying attention.
“Niall. His car,” Harry said, helping me out of Liam’s chauffer car and spinning me to see Niall’s in the driveway. Harry kissed me on the top of my head and rubbed my shoulders. “Wanna go say hi?”
Not like I had any other choice. How would this play out? I loved Niall dearly, but last time I saw him, he was kissing me… on our date… in front of Harry… whose hand I was currently squeezing the circulation out of.
Harry opened the door and led me into the living room where Niall, Louis, and a strange girl were sitting. Niall leapt up immediately and ran to me, engulfing me in a tight hug and kissing me on the cheek.
“I have got so much explaining to do, and I am so sorry. So sorry, Kennedy.”
I laughed. “It’s really okay. Is your family okay? What happened?”
Niall returned to his seat on the couch beside the girl and took a deep breath. As he spoke, I admired the girl and her natural look, with brown eyes like mine and brown waves, more full than my own, but not nearly as long. She had dimples in her cheeks that remained even when she wasn’t smiling and bounced her knees up and down almost nervously as she looked at Harry, Louis, and myself sprawled on the couch.
“My brother Greg was in a horrible car accident. That day on the phone, my mum made it sound like he was going t’ be paralyzed for the rest of his life. He’s okay though, just a pretty broken-up leg, had t’ have surgery,” Niall explained.
“I’m sorry, mate,” Harry said, putting his arm around me on the couch. Unsure of whether or not all of the news between Harry, Maria, and myself had reached Ireland in the last week, I straightened up to try and not look too cozy with Harry. I would feel weird breaking the news to Niall that we could no longer be an item in front of everyone and the girl I didn’t know.
“This is Jenna, by the way,” Niall said, almost as if he had read my mind. He placed his hand on her thigh and squeezed lightly, smiling at her reassuringly as he introduced her. “Or Jen. She’ll respond to both.”
I smiled politely. “I’m Kennedy. Harry here. I’m sure you met Louis.”
Jenna nodded. “Thanks for having me.”
Niall’s hand seemed to move up her thigh just a little bit more. “Jenna moved to Ireland with ‘er family when we were just little kids. I’ve known ‘er my whole life.”
“Are you here to visit?” I asked.
Jenna nodded again. “Ni here convinced me to come back here with him for a little bit. I’m a therapist over at a school back in Ireland, working mainly with troubled kids in the elementary schools, but I have a bit of a break at the moment. I thought it would be nice to go somewhere different with someone I’m close to,” she explained, her eyes flickering flirtatiously away from Niall’s any time they made eye contact. Her voice was smooth and slow.
Harry squeezed my shoulder, and when I looked up at him, he was smirking. “You’ve been replaced,” Harry whispered into my hair.
Almost relieved, I grinned and watched Niall as he admired Jenna a moment more before turning to me. “Kennedy, any chance we can talk in private?”
“Of course!” I said too eagerly, leaping up from the couch. Harry pinched the back of my knee and I swatted at his hand as I followed Niall to the kitchen. Once there, Niall spun around and faced me, a slightly panicked look in his blue eyes.
“Kennedy, you have to understand. I didn’t think this would happen. I never thought I would see ‘er again and even then, I didn’t think I would fall in love with ‘er-“
“Woah, woah, woah,” I said slowly, holding up my hands for Niall to stop. “Slow your roll, baby. It’s okay.”
Niall’s entire demeanor changed with those two words. He let out a breath of relief. “I’m so sorry.”
I laughed. “Don’t apologize. I’m jealous and incredibly happy for you. It’s not every day you fall in love with your childhood buddy. Don’t you worry about me.”
Niall ran his fingers through his hair. “Jenna just ran into me on th’ street and hit it off like BAM, do yeh know? God, she’s amazing.” He peered over the bar and into the living room where Jenna was being interrogated by Louis. Niall looked a bit worried until Jenna threw her head back and let out a smooth laugh. Then a warm smile spread across his face. That was his “look.“ It was like the “look” Harry gave me when I didn’t know he was watching me. I wondered if Jenna had seen her own “look” before from Niall. Probably not. I was lucky to even have seen mine.
“Have you told her how you feel?”
Niall shook his head. “I’m a bit terrified, yeh know? What if I got ‘er to come all this way and she says she doesn’t like me? When should I even do it? She leaves in a week.”
I giggled at Niall’s panicked state and hugged him shortly. “She likes you. She likes you a lot.”
Niall glanced down at me and frowned. “How do yeh know?”
I scowled. “Niall, she took time off of work to come to NYC with you.”
A sudden realization made it’s way across Niall’s face. He seemed to start glowing. “She does love me.”
It made me laugh to think about all of these tough boys and how naïve they were sometimes. They could read someone’s body before a punch but could barely read the signs of a basic relationship. I was happy to help Niall out and beyond stoked that he was madly in love. I peered over the bar at Harry and watched as he laughed at something Louis asked Jenna. His smile was so handsome. Maybe it was time that I got excited for my love life too. Negative thoughts? Gone. No way in hell that I could ever hurt Harry, right?
“I want her to be there,” Harry said quietly, but he had a harsh edge to his voice.
“I’ve told you, Harry. She cannot be seen there. Paps are going to lose their shit and all of this stuff that I’ve built up between you and Maria is going to be shot to hell,” Arnold was doing the same with his voice, almost growling at Harry. I was crouched on the top of the staircase that led to my room listening to their conversation. Arnold had come in that morning to talk to Harry about his fight with Mateo later that night. I had forgotten all about it and the fact that I wasn’t technically supposed to go. I assured Harry that Louis could just FaceTime me or something but he was insistent about me coming. It made me unusually happy, though I didn’t and couldn’t show it.
“Iwantherthere,” Harry repeated for the millionth time.
“Harry, what the hell? I told you how hesitant I was about hiring her because of how young and pretty she was. You’ve fallen for her. I can see it in your face,” Arnold sighed angrily. In my mind, I imagined Arnold shaking his head with disapproval. Why was it so hard for Harry and I to have a normal relationship? “I told you not to fall for her.”
“I don’t see why I can’t just break up with Maria and get in a relationship, a real relationship, with someone else. Either way, it’s positive publicity.”
“No, Harry. It’s not at this point. If you ‘break up’ with Maria and immediately start dating Kennedy, all of those cheating rumors are going to look a little more true,” Arnold snapped quickly. “You want that on your resume? Do you?”
When Harry remained silent, Arnold snatched his briefcase off of the bar. “You’re an ungrateful son of a bitch, you know that? I’ve done so much for you in the last few weeks and haven’t gotten so much as a ‘thank you’ from you.”
“Yeah, okay. The money you make off of me isn’t enough for you?” Harry growled. I imagined him with his fists clenched and his jaw taut.
Arnold chuckled but didn’t respond. Instead, I heard his black dress shoes clicking across the living room tile and the front door open. “She can’t come. It’s for your own good. That’s final.” And with that, the door closed. I scurried back down the steps to my room before Harry could come to the steps and see that I was listening the whole time. To my dismay, it took him about ten minutes to come down and see me, but when he did come down the steps, he was holding his black hoodie and black frames with the missing lenses.
“I know you heard Arnold,” he said quickly.
I started to lie and say I didn’t know what he was talking about, but Harry lowered his gaze at me and grinned. I giggled guiltily and shrugged. “It’s okay.”
“No, I want you to be there,” Harry said sternly, staring me straight in the eye. How could I say no to that? I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to go. “K, I really…”
I held my breath. It seemed like any chance we got to this point, we were interrupted. I waited for Maria to call for me… I waited for Louis to come running downstairs… I waited for a phone to ring…
“I really like you.”
Praise God, he finally got it out.
“I was going to tell you in the car after the Suasso fight. I was a little bit heartbroken because I thought you were probably right when you said that both of us were just caught up in Clark cheating and all of the little touches here and there… But I actually just really freakin’ like you. You’ve taken over my mind,” Harry laughed, handing me the hoodie and glasses. “I really want you to come see me fight. It would mean a lot.”
I grinned and slipped the black zip-up around my body. It was huge and hung off of my shoulders like a blanket, definitely “hiding” me in a clump of cloth. When I slipped the glasses on, Harry chuckled and took my face in his hands before kissing me on the lips. “You look gorgeous. But, you might have to take this off for tonight…” he grinned, pulling my bandana off of my head and handing it to me.
I reached up and tied the bandana around his head, laughing at the little ringlets that hung about his face. “There. Now those ladies in the crowd will be more crazy for you.”
Harry smirked. “You like the bandana?”
“I like the bandana,” I said, winking and kissing him on the cheek.
Harry planned for me to stay at the house until he, Arnold, Louis, and Maria all left. I was dressed in my pajamas and had completely convinced Arnold that I was spending a night in. The moment they were out of the driveway, I changed clothes and ran to wait outside for Liam. He drove his own little blue car instead of the usual black and dressed down in jeans and a tee.
“I’m so excited,” He said as we entered the city. “I’ve never been to one of these. I saw this kid get punched when I was in high school but I can’t imagine that’s the same thing…”
I laughed. “No, I’d imagine it’s a bit different.”
As we entered the arena parking lot, I was beginning to wonder why Harry had sent two inexperienced boxing spectators to a fight by ourselves. I mean, I guess everyone has to learn at some point, but he could have helped us out a little more direction-wise. We parked what felt like ten miles away. I put up the hood on the black zip-up and stuck my hands in my pockets, looking left and right for anyone who might even have the camera of their phone pointed at me. The last thing I needed the next morning would be more headlines about Harry and I… or The Wrath of Arnold.
“Is that Kennedy Davenport?”
Shit, I’ve been spotted. I hooked my arm around Liam’s and held onto him tightly while I picked up my speed toward the arena.
“Aww, don’t run away!”
After a moment, I caught the accent and dared to gaze over my shoulder. Zayn was trying to catch up to us, running awkwardly with his hands in his pockets and grinning.
“Shhhh…” I hushed him, putting a finger to my lips. He hooked his arm around my free arm and walked with Liam and I into the arena.
“Not supposed to be here?” Zayn asked.
I shook my head. “How do you know?”
He laughed. “Harry texted me. Told me to help you and Liam out.”
“Good,” Liam grunted. “I don’t think either of us had an idea of where to go.”
Thanks to Zayn, we were seated in no time. “Harry picked out these seats,” he explained as people filled in around us. We were at the top of the arena directly beside the isle so that we could make a quick get-away, but Zayn and Liam stood on either side of me, their larger physiques helping shield me just enough. “I guess Harry wanted to be sure he knew where you were so he could see you.”
I grinned at the thought as someone squeezed past us. “He better be watching Mateo rather than up here at me.”
And thankfully, he was. He ran out into the ring after Mateo, definitely not earning as enthusiastic of his usual stomp-greeting from the crowd, but still a decent cheer. The man on the other side of Liam was explaining to his friend the unfairness of the Styles/Suasso fight. I wished people would just get over it at this point. As soon as the crowd started to die down and get ready for the two to approach each other in the ring, Harry’s eyes went to Maria, Louis, and Arnold in the front row, but then flashed up to me. A smirk appeared across his face as he spotted me. I tried not to grin too obviously.
Mateo looked, almost like Sammie and Niall, smaller. Maybe it was just that Harry was tall and broad while everyone else was average. They just looked small standing in front of him. Mateo’s black hair glistened in the lights that shone down onto the square ring. Harry beat his black gloves together and glanced up at me again before turning back to Mateo right as he took the first punch. Harry grunted and blocked the punch with his own gloves, and instantly, I could see him focus.
Harry and Mateo bounced on their toes back and forth, someone occasionally taking a swing or punching straight forward into their opponent’s gloves. It seemed like the fight was going nowhere until Harry finally knocked Mateo in the stomach a few times. When Harry was focusing his hits on Mateo’s stomach, Mateo took a quick swing at Harry’s face, hitting him in the jaw. I gasped and slapped my hands over my own mouth as I saw Harry spit blood onto the ground, the red of the blood matching the red of my bandana which he still had around his head.
Since I still had yet to see Harry REALLY fight, I was struggling to figure out if he was moving as quickly as he usually did. For some reason, it looked to me like he was being slow. He managed to get Mateo backed into a corner and got a few solid blows on his sides before the first round was over. Both guys grabbed some water and went back to the middle of the ring.
Harry was definitely moving more slowly this time. He didn’t look focused at all and I could hear Arnold screaming at him from just below the floor where he was sitting with Louis and Maria. Harry paid no attention to Arnold. Mateo rushed toward Harry and punched him over and over in the sides. Harry reacted by lowering his gloves, giving Mateo the chance to punch Harry across the face again. Harry fell sideways onto the floor.
“What the hell??” I blurted. “This guy isn’t even that good. I’ve seen Harry punch the bag at home harder than he’s punching Mateo.” I looked to Liam for an explanation, but he simply adjusted the black hat on his head and shrugged. Then I turned to Zayn.
“He’s trying to avoid another Suasso fight… If you get what I’m saying…” Zayn told me, not taking his eyes off of the ring. When I glanced back down there, Harry was back on his feet but taking more hits from Mateo. “He can’t just knock Mateo out or people will really not like him. Just wait. He’ll probably step up his game next round.”
I found myself praying that Zayn was right as I watched the rest of the round. Harry only allowed himself to hit Mateo a few times in the stomach and avoided hitting in the face anymore. It amazed me that, even in what Louis called a “fair fight” and even when it looked like Harry was losing, Harry still had all the control in the world. He was completely directing this fight, whether anyone knew about it or not.
Before the third round, Harry looked back up at me and nodded subtly. I almost blew him a kiss, but the bell rung and Harry spun to face Mateo again. From the way Harry’s muscles all seemed to tighten and from the intensity in his eyes, I sensed that he was about to dominate this round. Harry backed Mateo into a corner again – it must have been Harry’s usual tactic, almost in the same way Niall ran around and tired his opponents out – and punched him straight in the stomach. As Mateo’s guard was down, Harry threw his glove into Mateo’s face and knocked him to the ground. It looked like Mateo was unconscious for a few seconds of the crowd’s counting, but he got back to his feet. Harry allowed Mateo to get three or four attempts at striking him and then leapt on him again, jabbing straight into Mateo’s jaw. I grimaced as I could see, even from forty seats up, Mateo’s jaw go completely sideways. He collapsed on the floor.
“YEAAAAH Harry that’s the way to DO IT!” Liam shouted beside me. It was a much more enjoyable fight when Harry wasn’t the one being punched, but it was still difficult for me to watch. I wasn’t used to it yet. Raw chicken, I could handle. Human blood… not so much.
Mateo dared to stand back up and stumbled like he was drunk. He caught himself on the ropes of the ring and took a second to stabilize himself, but the second he turned around to face Harry again, Harry beat him across the face again and knocked him to the floor. Mateo didn’t move. Unconscious.
Zayn laughed and clapped along with the rest of the crowd. It was a much better ending to a fight than the last one, and the results of the fight were better received by the crowd this time. I didn’t have much time to take it in before Zayn had grabbed my arm and was dragging me away from the fight. “Harry told me to leave right after. You have to beat them home. They’ll leave as soon as Harry is out of the ring. They try to avoid getting stuck taking fan pictures or signing autographs that way. Liam, get the car.”
Liam took off in a sprint out of the arena and through the parking lot. Zayn and I took quick steps across the concrete until we saw Liam’s car zipping down the rows of cars to us. He skidded to a halt, Zayn opened my door for me and kissed me on the cheek before grinning and closing my door.
“Let’s do it again sometime!” He said, winking and waving us away. I nodded and gave him a thumbs-up before Liam floored it out of the parking lot.
Unluckily for us, exiting traffic had already begun to build. I bounced in my seat as we became held up at a red light between multiple other cars.
“Come on, come on come on,” I whispered, urging the light like it would hear me and magically change. Finally, it switched from red to green, but not before a familiar black car wheeled up beside us.
“SHIT, Liam, that’s them!” I shouted, ducking my head beneath the seat. He swore loudly and floored it. “Are you sure?”
I nodded. “Drive! Drive! Drive!!”
It amazed me how quickly and, at the same time, carefully Liam could zip through the traffic of the city. We lost the black car with Arnold, Louis, Maria, and Harry in the mass of cars, but I couldn’t help but turn around every three seconds as we sped into the residential houses. I laughed as we approached the gate to the driveway. “Liam, if I ever need to make a getaway from robbing a bank, I’m calling you.”
Liam chuckled and scanned his card. “Hopefully, you’ll never have a reason to rob a bank. But thank you, I’m flattered.”
As I stood in the doorway of the house and waved to him, I heard the black car rolling up the gravel driveway. I sprinted through the house and nearly fell down the stairs into my room. As I slipped back into my pajamas, I heard Maria’s heels on the floor above me and quickly made my way up the steps.
“Oh, hey guys,” I said nonchalantly, resting my body on the counter and yawning. I tried to calm my body down to keep anyone from seeing I was a bit winded from sprinting.
“Ugh, great. Sorry you missed it,” Louis said sarcastically. He walked into the kitchen and took his beanie off before wrapping his arms around my neck. “So, so, so, so, so, SO sorry you missed it. She can come next time though, right Arnold?”
Arnold wasn’t catching onto any of the sarcasm, thankfully. “Sorry Kennedy, but no fights for a while.” He looked at me and furrowed his brow. “Are those Harry’s glasses?”
SHIT. Louis snatched the frames off of my face. “What glasses?”
Arnold glanced from Louis to me suspiciously, but didn’t say anything more about the frames. “I was just saying… no fights for a while.”
I nodded quickly. “Don’t worry, I understand.”
Arnold eyed me apprehensively.
Finally, Harry walked into the house with his bags. The right side of his face was already beginning to look a little purple and his lip was split open, but no longer bleeding. I frowned when he grinned at me and shrugged.
“Gotta lose some to win some,” he whispered to me as he walked his bag to the gym and put it down. When he returned to the kitchen, Arnold spoke briefly to Louis and Harry about getting another fight set up before turning and walking to the door.
“Harry, I don’t appreciate that close of a fight without a warning…” He mumbled as he opened the front door.
Harry scowled. “I had it under control. I still won, didn’t I?”
Arnold frowned. “Warn me next time. I thought you were high or something.”
Louis disappeared into his room, giving me a chance to hug Harry tightly and observe his face.
“Ouch, K, don’t touch it,” Harry whined as I ran my finger over his cheek.
“Bear, you need ice on that.”
“What?” I asked, reaching for a bag of frozen peas in the freezer and handing it to him.
“Nothing,” he shrugged.
I grabbed a paper towel and wet it before walking to Harry and dabbing his lip gently.
“K, I’ll be alright,” he grumbled, swatting my hand and running his tongue over the cut.
I gawked at him. “Just let me help you!”
I rolled my eyes. “I’m impressed you allowed Mateo to get so many hits on you.”
Harry smirked and adjusted the peas on his cheek. “I still had control.”
I giggled and crossed my arms. “I know. That’s the impressive part.”
He watched me for a moment as I leaned against the counter beside him and then signaled me toward him with a flick of his head. He snaked an arm around my waist and pulled me to him, pressing his lips to mine (dried blood and all - gross). When I pulled away and blushed, Harry chuckled. “I like this whole ‘I’ll kiss you when I want to’ thing. It’s a lot better than that ‘I can’t tell if she likes me’ thing we’ve been doing the last few weeks.”
I shook my head. “You can kiss me when you want to ONLY when no one is around. And I personally think I made it pretty obvious that I liked you.”
Before Harry could make a comeback, Maria stepped into the kitchen, clad in her skimpy, pink silk tank top and shorts pajamas. “Well I think you two need to be a little more careful when making sure no one is around. I saw that kiss.”
“You think I give a fuck what you saw?” Harry snapped at her. I had almost forgotten about his horrible side.
“I’m just saying, wouldn’t want Arnold to know about you two being a thing,” she muttered, grabbing a glass from the cabinet and handing it to me. “Milk,” she ordered. I was surprised she even did so much as to get the glass from the cabinet. What a huge step for her.
Harry glared at her all while I poured her milk and sent her on her way back to her room. Harry shifted his gaze to meet mine and we both rolled our eyes. Harry laughed.
“She’s so mean,” I sighed, slapping my sides and leaning back into Harry’s chest. He rubbed my back.
“Don’t worry about her, she’s no threat.”
I shook my head. “I never thought so.”
When I looked at Harry again, he looked like he had something on his mind, but I couldn’t tell exactly what. “You okay, Bear?”
Harry swallowed and nodded. “Can I be honest?”
I hesitated. ”I think that would be ideal…”
Harry chuckled. “Okay. Well… I’m just struggling because I don’t want you to think I’m some kind of super sexual person rushing into our relationship… but I really just wanted to ask if you would - or, I guess if you wanted to sleep with me…?”
I couldn’t help the smile that spread across my face. “I can do that.”
Harry tried not to look too relieved. “I mean, if you don’t want to, maybe we can get those baby monitors and put one in your room and one in my room and if you hear me having a dream, you can come wake me.”
I threw my head back and laughed at the idea of having baby monitors for the big, bad, boxer Harry Styles. ”I’ll come up with you. Come on, Bear.”
I took his hand and lead him to his room. He stripped down and jumped into his shower quickly, barely taking time to dry off before he slipped into his boxers and jumped into the bed beside me. He wrapped his arms around my stomach and led my hands to his hair after turning the light off.
“Don’t you have a teddy bear to cuddle with instead?” I joked through the dark.
Harry’s chuckle vibrated the bed. ”That teddy doesn’t keep the monsters away quite as well as you do.”