I'm in Love with a Stripper (a One Direction Fanfiction)

After the tragic loss of her parents, Leila Karim abandons her life in Bradford and sets her sights on London. Working as a stripper at Victory Strip Club under the stage name Bambi, ex-best friend and pop superstar Zayn Malik is the last person Leila expected to be sitting in the audience watching her undress. Will Leila find herself falling for Zayn all over again or will cheeky Harry Styles win her heart instead?

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4. I Crave You

I'm in Love with a Stripper:

I Crave You

Zayn’s P.O.V:

 

The door slammed roughly.

 

“You can’t keep running Leila!” I yelled after her. She probably didn’t hear me.

 

I made my way for the door but stopped in my tracks. Was I to go after her? I could easily catch up to her if I wanted, but there was a possibility she would end up somewhere densely populated where the likelihood of fans recognizing me was extremely high. I thought back to Simon’s warning and decided it was best not to.

 

Realizing that I was alone, I looked around Leila’s small apartment. It was impeccable, not one thing out of place. She really hadn’t changed. The building that Leila lived in was quite old, probably built some time in the 70s or 80s when taking the aged floral wallpaper into account. Although the apartment was out of date and not very stylish, Leila had done a fairly good job of making it her own. The wall on my far left had a giant mirror hanging on it and just below it a small coffee table where Leila had tossed her purse coming in. Against the wall on the right was a sunken in red sofa, and across from it a small television that hardly looked operational. There was a low, aged looking table placed between the tele and sofa littered with books and magazines. I picked up the book nearest to me. It was Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. It had always been a favourite of Leila’s.

 

 The kitchen was connected directly to the living room. It was small and cramped, with only the basics; a sink, stove, and refrigerator. I ventured into the loo next. It had the same unfortunate wallpaper and the smallest bath you could imagine. I had left Leila’s room ‘til last. Did I go in? It was assuredly a huge invasion of her privacy, but she did make the mistake of leaving me alone in her apartment. Turning the doorknob, I peeked inside, switching on the light. Entering the small room, I inhaled a wave of Leila’s favourite vanilla scent. It reminded me so much of my time in Bradford that I began to panic. Things had changed so much it was unbelievable. I went from a completely anonymous Bradford boy to being part of One Direction. I shook my head and continued to look around. Leila’s room was painted white, her sheets a pale pink.

 

Plunking down on her bed, I observed her small book case. Recognizing our old college yearbooks, I pulled out the one for the years 2009/2010. I smoothed my hand over the green cover, brushing off a fine layer of dust. Flipping through the pages I finally came to Leila’s picture. A smile appeared on my face as I observed her. Leila had been so angry that she had only had a week left before getting her braces off that she planned on smiling with a closed mouth. Standing behind her in line, I had pretended to thrust the cameraman from behind her, causing her to dawn her true smile, braces and all.

 

Shutting the yearbook and placing it back in the book case, I headed back into the kitchen, picking up Leila’s groceries from the floor. Discarding of the eggs she had broken, I put the bread on the counter and placed the vegetables and other perishables in the fridge. Closing the door of the refrigerator, I was face to face with a picture of Leila and her parents, embracing on their family trip to Hawaii.

 

“I’ll take care of her.” I promised her parents before silently departing the apartment.

 

*

 

The next day, after a combination of beer, cigarettes, and poor judgment, I found myself sitting in the audience of the strip club Victory. I had disguised myself in black sweatpants, a black hoodie, black hat, and finally black sunglasses to obscure my face, leaving my red and white varsity jacket at home. Sitting at the very back of the club where there was no way Leila could spot me.

 

I thought about why I had come here, if I was sick for doing so and most of all why I simply couldn’t stay away. But then I decided that the one person I didn’t owe an explanation to was myself, so I stopped thinking and focused on waiting for Leila to appear on stage. I ordered a beer to sip on while I waited.

 

“Next, we have the lovely Bambi dancing to ‘I Crave You’. The announcer stated fifteen minutes later after two other girls had performed their acts.

 

The music began; it was rich and electronic sounding. Next, the lights flashed on and staring out into the distance was Leila all clad in white wearing angel wings. Choking on my beer, I gazed upon her in disbelief. The last time she had danced in my presence, she was sultry, sensual. This time however, as she stood up she was vulnerable, innocent, just like the angel she was portraying. However this time, I noticed something notably different, an indescribable emptiness, she was a hollow shell. Her moves were rehearsed, which meant there was something on her mind. But what could it be?

 

Leila approached her pole, twirling around it delicately, a tuft of feathers from her wings showering the audience.

 

Why can't you want me like the other boys do?

They stare at me while I stare at you

Why can't I keep you safe as my own?

One moment I have you the next you are gone

 

She lifted herself onto the pole, sliding down it gently, her legs around it. My mouth felt parched, I sipped my beer hungrily.

 

Rehearsed steps on an empty stage

That boy's got my heart in a silver cage

Why can't you want me like the other boys do?

They stare at me while I crave you

 

Like last time, Leila focused on one of the men in the front row, plucking a feather from her wings and stroking his chin with it. He stuffed a wad of bills into her bra.

 

I walked into the room dripping in gold

Yeah dripping in gold

 

Leila circled back to the middle of the stage and began to unhook her white bra. Slipping it off, she let it fall to the ground. I felt my cheeks begin to burn and my heart begin to beat faster.

 

Keep it together, Zayn. I thought to myself.

 

It's true I crave you

Crave You

It's true I crave you

 

Leila began to run her fingers through her hair, closing her eyes. It was hypnotizing. I could not tear my eyes away as hard as I tried.

 

Why can't you want me like the other boys do?

They stare at me while I stare at you.

 

Leila blew a kiss to the audience moments before the lights went out. Lifting up my hand weakly, I caught it, placing it on my cheek.

 

The vibration of my Blackberry in my pocket broke my train of thought. Whipping it out of my pocket, I saw that Harry had sent me a text. I opened it.

 

Nando’s tonight?

 

I replied quickly, I’m in.

 

Anything that would keep my mind off my past, off Bambi, off Leila.

 

 

 

 

 

Leila’s P.O.V:

 

Reaching home from my shift at Victory, I finally had the chance to reply to Harry’s text message.

 

I hope you don’t plan on standing me up tonight ;) – Harry x

 

I typed into my cell phone furiously, finding myself almost giddy with excitement.

 

The idea crossed my mind…jk ;) at what time shall you come fetch me Mr. Styles?

Harry replied moments later.

 

How does six sound you cheeky little minx? ;)

 

I looked at the clock. It was just half four, enough time to get ready and to have a panic attack before Harry got here, perfect.

 

That’s perfect. See you then. xo

 

Snapping my phone shut, I ran for the shower. I scrubbed my product filled hair, shampooing and conditioning it thoroughly. I had just shaved yesterday but decided to go over my legs once more as they already felt a bit prickly. Jumping out of the shower, my loo smelt like a concoction of coconuts and mangos.

 

Wiping the steam off the mirror, I began to blow-dry my damp hair, mentally going through my closet and thinking of outfit possibilities. I couldn’t believe it, but I was actually excited, I was having feelings other than sadness or hopelessness. It was strange, but at the same time, liberating.

 

My thoughts could not help but return to the previous day. Zayn Malik would simply stop at nothing to ruin my life. Having him abandon me so suddenly three years ago was hard enough, but he just had to return to ruin the new life I had managed to build away from Bradford and all of its ghosts. Of all the strip clubs in Great Britain, he and his band mates had chosen to walk into mine. If that wasn’t destiny’s way of saying ‘fuck you’ I didn’t know what it was. But then again, life does work in strange ways. Perhaps the reason for all of this was for me to realize that Zayn Malik never had been the one for me, and that there is a person out there who would love me back. I wondered momentarily if that person was Harry Styles. If it was, I would certainly have to keep as far away from Zayn Malik as possible.   

 

Once my hair had been dried, I parted it down the side of my head. Flicking on the button of my hot iron, I headed for my room to scour my closet while it warmed up. I needed an outfit that was in-between dressy and casual so that if we went somewhere nice I wouldn’t look out of place, and if we went somewhere more relaxed I wouldn’t look overdressed. After ten minutes of trying on and discarding clothes, I settled on a pair of light wash skinny jeans, a blue crop top with the union jack on it, and finally a pair of mint coloured heels to dress the outfit up a notch. Heading back to the bathroom, I ran the hot iron over my hair, a smile on my face the whole while.

 

*

 

I jumped when I heard a loud knock at my door. Springing to my feet, I quickly glanced in the large mirror hanging by the door. Satisfied with my appearance, I swung it open. Standing in the hallway was Harry Styles sporting an incredible disguise. I burst into immediate laughter. Harry was clad in a dark trench coat, dark sunglasses, a beanie, and the best of all a fake beard.

 

“How do I look?” Harry asked, grinning from ear to ear.

 

“You look stunning! Please come in before the women swarm you.” I said, still laughing. Closing the door behind me.

 

 “God this coat is scratchy.” Harry said, beginning to undo his jacket.

 

“Ah, how the tables have turned. It appears that you’re the one stripping now.” I said with a wink and a smiile.

 

“Well if there’s one thing you don’t know about me, it’s my love for walking around naked.” Harry said raising his eyebrows, ripping his cap off, revealing his dark curls underneath. Harry was clad in a pair of khaki jeans, dark grey hoodie, and matching grey chuck tailors, looking as perfect as the first time I had seen him in Victory. Harry walked over to my sofa, collapsing on it and putting his arms behind his head. Harry raised his eyebrows, shooting a come hither look in my direction which I couldn’t take seriously since the beard was still left on his face.

 

I couldn’t help but continue to laugh.

 

“What?!” Harry asked grinning.

 

“You forgot your facial hair.” I said still giggling. Ugh, I probably sounded like a right fool.

 

Harry went to rip off the beard, but it did not budge. “Shit.” He exclaimed! “It won’t budge!” He burst into laughter.

 

“Here let me!” I sat beside him and began to pull at it. “What did you use, super glue?” I said struggling.

 

“I don’t know! Just whatever was around the house!” Harry replied beginning, panic rising in his voice.

 

“Harry, I’m going to have to rip it off.” I told him sternly, looking into his scared green eyes.

 

“Please don’t.” He said, shaking his head and backing away from me like a frightened puppy.

 

This was absolutely hilarious. One Direction’s resident bad boy Harry Styles was scared, and the funniest part of it was that it was me he was scared of!

 

“Harry…” I said cocking an eyebrow upwards.

 

“But it’ll hurt.” Harry said childishly, frowning. He crossed him arms around himself protectively.

 

“What if I kiss it better?” I suggested, raising my eyebrows.

 

Harry contemplated this for a moment, his eyes narrowed in thought.

 

“This had better be a good kiss.” Harry finally caved.

 

Pulling his face near to mine, I took hold of the corner of the beard I had been able to lift off Harry’s skin.

 

“On the count of three,” I said preparing him.

 

“Okay.” Harry nodded his head.

 

“Three…two…one!” I ripped off the beard.

 

“FUCK!” Harry let out a piercing cry that could likely be heard echoing through the entire apartment building, leaving me in a fit of giggles.

 

“Can’t…hahaha…stop…hahaha…laughing…hahaha.” I cried. My stomach began to cramp.

 

“At my expense!” Harry said sourly, rubbing his red cheeks. “And where’s my kiss!?”

 

I finally managed to settle down, sitting up I pulled Harry’s face closer to mine. There was a satisfied smirk on his face. Grinning, I turned his face to the side, planting a small kiss on his cheek.

 

I pulled back from him and he turned to face me again. Reaching out with his arm, his thumb stroked the skin of my midriff, poking out from the bottom of my crop top.

 

“Now that was totally worth having a beard ripped off my face.” Harry said sweetly, his pink lips breaking into a wide smile.

 

I could feel a surge of electricity between us. The tension could have been cut with a knife. I quickly changed the subject before things got out of hand. And this was just the beginning of our date.

 

“So what do you have planned for us?” I ask him with a smile.

 

Harry’s face lit up. “Well, I was thinking that we could grab some coffee, walk around for a little while and then have a bite to eat at Nando’s.” He stretched, putting his arm around me.

 

Ooh I absolutely love Nando’s.” I said, placing my hand on Harry’s chest.

 

“So does Niall, which is why I invited the boys to come! I thought it would be a good chance for you to meet everyone and see that aside from our strange personalities, we’re actually all quite normal.” Harry said with a smile.

 

I could feel the colour draining from my face. Zayn would be at Nando’s, and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it.

 

“That sounds great!” I say with a smile, lying through my teeth. “I can’t wait to meet everyone.”

 

It was too late to tell Harry that I had known Zayn for the majority of my life. What really made me worry was how long I could keep this hidden for, and if this would be the only time I’d have to lie to Harry Styles.

 

*

 

Harry decided to abandon his disguise and simply rely on his sunglasses and hood to obscure his face. We waited outside the front of my apartment building, attempting to hail a taxi. Finally, after a loud whistle from Harry, a taxi pulled over to the curb.

 

“It’s a talent.” Harry said winking at me. Swinging open the door of the taxi Harry let me enter first, climbing in after me.

 

“7-106 Yorkshire Street in West London, please.” Harry requested the taxi driver.

 

He nodded in reply and began to drive.

 

“West London?” I asked Harry curiously.

 

“There’s a small café there that Louis recommended to me, not very well known and the Nando’s is just down the street from there. Hopefully the paps won’t manage to spot us.” Harry said smiling down at me.

 

Within twenty minutes, we had reached our destination. Harry paid the cab driver; he insisted that I not pay a pence. After some convincing (and minor threatening of ripping another beard of his face), he finally agreed to let me buy him coffee and whatever else he liked from the café.

 

The exterior of the small café was rough, aged. Although it looked like it had weathered a storm, it had a timeless and classic beauty to it. Harry reached for the door, holding it open to let me enter first, a small bell ringing to signal our arrival. Upon entering, we saw that the café was entirely deserted. The walls were painted a mint green; numerous pictures of the Eiffel tower littered the walls. As we approached the display of desserts at the counter, I discovered that this café certainly had Parisian influences. An endless supply of rainbow coloured Macarons were displayed on a three tiered dessert tray along with various cakes and cupcakes as well. The door of the kitchen swung open and a plump blonde lady emerged.

 

“Mon dieu! I zeed not hear zee bell ring!” The woman exclaimed in a heavy French accent.

 

“That’s alright.” I said, smiling at the lady. I then turned to Harry. “What are you in the mood for Mr. Styles?”

 

“I think I’ll just have a coffee.” Harry said, furrowing his eyebrows together and looking a bit overwhelmed by the various desserts.

 

“That’s ridiculous! You have to try something at least!” I exclaimed. I turned back to the lady, deciding to take things into my own hands. “Right, we’ll have two coffees with cream and sugar,” I quickly scanned the dessert selection once more. “Ten macarons, two of each flavor and two red velvet cupcakes, merci.” I said, thanking her in one of the only French words I knew.

 

Bien!” The woman replied in the only other French word I knew. “Please ‘ave a zeat!” The lady motioned over to the various circular tables throughout the café.

 

Harry and I made our way over to one of the tables near the window. Settling in, we both began to ask each other questions.   

 

“So what’s the best part of being a celebrity?” I asked coyly, crossing one leg over the other.

 

“It would have to be the free stuff, hands down.” Harry said. “But the beautiful women are always a plus.” He said, winking at me.

 

“I’m sure they are.” I agreed, a smile appearing on my face.

 

Just then, our food and coffee arrived. The French lady placed our pastries and drinks onto the table genially.

 

“Thank-you.” Harry said.

 

The French lady momentarily stood there starring at us before sighing “Ah, young lurve.” and trotting off dreamily.

 

The both of us burst into awkward laughter.

 

“So Leila, do you attend college when you’re not busy rendering men speechless?” Harry broke the silence, sipping his coffee, smirking.

 

“Yes, I do in fact. I plan on becoming a lawyer one day.” I told him, biting into a cupcake.

 

“That is ridiculously hot.” Harry said with a dazed look on his face. “I love a woman who can argue.”

 

“Oh, I can argue.” I assured him cheekily, taking a first sip of my coffee.

 

Then Harry began to laugh.

 

“What?!” I exclaimed.

 

“You got a little whipped cream on your face,” Harry told me grinning. “Actually, all over your face.”

 

“Oh God,” I said, mortified. “Where?” I blindly wiped at my mouth. “Did I get it?”

 

Harry took the napkin from my hand. “Here, let me.” He said, wiping just above my mouth. He then looked into my eyes for a moment before he leaned in, pressing his warm lips to mine, this time leaving me, speechless.

 

 

 

Zayn’s P.O.V

 

I almost certain that I had reached Nando’s before everyone else. Louis had gone to fetch Eleanor while Liam and Danielle would be heading over together as well. Entering the restraint, I timidly approached the waitress. There was no sense of recognition whatsoever on her face. I mentally rejoiced at this. I never used to mind if the waitress was a fan or not, however the last time we had ventured out to Nando’s, our waitress had been completely mental. We reached that conclusion when we witnessed her stowing our scraps of food and straws into her purse as we went to pay the bill.

 

“Hello.” The waitress said with a smile.

 

“Hi there, my mate made a reservation under Larry Stylinson.” I said. “Are any of them inside?”

 

“Not yet, but you’re welcome to wait at your table. We can give you a menu to look over.” The waitress offered.

 

“Thank-you.” I told her, following her. “Could you actually point me in the direction of the loo?” I asked once we had reached our table.

 

“Yes, it’s just down that hallway, the one by the entrance. First door on your right.” She said pointing. “I’ll set up a pitcher of water for you while you’re gone.”

 

“Thanks.” I said, smiling at her, making my way towards the hallway.

Entering the bathroom, I observed my face in the mirror, adjusting a few strands of my hair, pushing them upwards. I had gone home and changed into a pair of grey jeans and my blue and white varsity jacket after watching Leila at the club. I quickly pushed her out of my mind. This night was supposed to be Leila free night. I took a quick piss, washed my hands, and then made my way back to the table. Turning the corner, I froze.

 

Sitting at the table was Harry, accompanied by none other than Leila Karim. I was in absolute shock. They had been seeing each other? For how long? And Leila hadn’t mentioned anything to me when I had seen her yesterday. Harry and Leila had faced their chairs towards each other, their knees brushing. They were talking but I was too far to hear. Harry took Leila’s hands into his, whispering something into her ear which made her burst into laughter. I began to grit my teeth. There was no way I could get through dinner while having to watch this bullocks.

 

“Spying, are we?” A devious voice whispered from behind me, causing me to jump a foot into the air.

 

I turned around, my heart hammering out of my chest to face none other than Louis Tomlinson.

 

“Jesus Christ, Louis.” I whispered through clenched teeth.

 

“That’s that dancer from that strip club, right?” Louis asked me.

 

“Where’s Eleanor?” I ignored his question.

 

“There she is.” Louis said pointing at Eleanor who was emerging from the ladies room.

 

“Hi, Zayn.” Eleanor greeted me once she reached us, wrapping her arm around Louis’ waist.

 

“Hey Eleanor, how have you been.” I tried to be polite despite my foul mood.

 

“Good now that Louis has been home.” Eleanor said smiling up at Louis. “I love you Lou.” She said.

 

“Love you too babe.” Louis said, leaning in to kiss her.

 

I turned away disgusted. A moment later, I saw Liam, Danielle, and Niall walk through the door.

 

“Great everybody’s here!” Louis yelled, causing Harry and Leila to turn and face us.

 

Fucking hell.

 

Leila’s eyes flickered to meet mine for a moment before she let them drop to the ground. Everyone walked over to Leila to introduce themselves. I made my way over extremely slowly. It was too late to leave now.

 

“This is Leila.” Harry introduced her.

 

“Nice to meet you Leila, I’m Louis.” Louis said shaking her hand.

 

Eleanor followed suit. “Your shoes are amazing.” Eleanor said in awe, crouching to take a closer look.

 

“My God they’re beautiful!” Danielle said, also observing them. “I’m Danielle by the way.” She said with a smile.

 

“Thank you!” Leila said kindly. “They’re so comfortable to walk in too you wouldn’t believe it.”

 

“I’ll have to get myself a pair!” Eleanor exclaimed. 

 

“You know, we should all go shopping sometime!” Danielle said.

 

“Absolutely!” Leila replied. “That would be amazing. You girls have such beautiful clothes I’d love to see where you shop.”

 

“Anyways.” Harry interrupted the talk of shoes. “This is Niall,” Harry said gesturing towards Niall.

 

“Hi Leila.” Niall said shaking her hand.

 

“And Liam.” Harry said.

 

“Hello Leila.” Liam said.

 

Oh God, it was my turn.

 

“And last but not least, Zayn.”

 

I stuck out my hand towards Leila, knowing that if I didn’t it would look strange. Or was I just being paranoid. At this point I didn’t know anything except for the fact that I would be anywhere else but here.

 

Leila hesitated for a split second, but then reached out, placing her warm hand in mine, looking up to meet to meet my gaze.

 

“It’s nice to meet you.” I said, almost laughing at the irony of it all since it was I who had known Leila the longest and the best out of everyone. I pulled my hand away from hers, retuning it to my side. Everyone quickly made a move to sit down, leaving me to sit right across from Harry and Leila. Things could not be worse. I sat down, opening my menu and holding in front of my face.

 

“You okay?” I heard Harry ask Leila.

 

“Yes!” Leila answered quickly. “Just hungry, that’s all.”

 

“Just wait until Niall orders.” Harry said with a chuckle. “You’ll never be hungry again.”

 

After about ten minutes, everyone had made up their minds on what they wanted and so Liam waved the waitress over. Niall ordered for us all, as was tradition.

 

“We’ll have eight peri-peri chicken meals, two extra sides of chips, two plates of pita bread, one salad, and one bean burger with extra beans.” Niall said, double checking mentally that he had gotten everything.

 

Peeking at Harry and Leila from the corner of my eye, I could see Leila whisper something into Harry’s ear, causing him to smile. I had completely lost my appetite.

 

“And what would you guys like to drink?” The waitress inquired.

 

“I’ll have a pitcher of whatever ale you have on tap.” I announced. If I was going to do this, it was going to be in an inebriated state.

 

“Starting already, Zayn?” Louis said. “Good man.” He clapped me on the back.

 

Everyone else ordered, asking for either a water or coca-cola and then the waitress was off. Everyone began to chat to each other genially. I piped in with a word or two here or there and kept my gaze averted from Harry and Leila as best as I could.

 

Our food arrived shortly after as did our drinks. I began to guzzle down my first cup of beer, munching on a chip here and a bite of chicken there. Not being able to help myself, I stole a glance at Leila. Her gaze was cast downwards. She was picking at her food. Upon closer observation, I realized why. A pile of mushrooms sat directly on top of her chicken. Leila had been severely allergic to mushrooms since she was born. A smirk formed on my face.

 

“Enjoying your food Leila?” I asked obnoxiously. The alcohol had gone straight to my head.

 

Harry turned from Liam, seeing the fact that Leila had hardly touched her meal.

 

“Is something wrong with it?” Harry inquired.

 

“Oh…it’s just…I’m a little allergic to mushrooms.” Leila shrugged.

 

“Oh that’s terrible!” I exclaimed, knowing fully well I was about to start a secret argument. “I actually knew this one girl,” I said turning to everyone “who was so allergic to mushrooms that her arms and legs would inflate to three times their normal size and her face would be so swollen that she couldn’t see!” I slurred. “It was terrifying really.”

 

Leila glared at me with her most deadly stare, stabbing her fork deeply into her chicken.

 

“Here trade with me.” Harry said quietly, exchanging his plate with hers. “They’re no mushrooms on mine.”

 

“Thanks.” Leila said, turning her gaze to Harry and giving him a sweet smile.

 

Ha. I thought to myself. That showed her.

 

“Ugh, I’m so full I’m about to shite myself.” Niall announced to all of us.

 

Ew.” Danielle said, scrunching her face in disgust.

 

Then suddenly, Leila spoke up. “I actually knew this one boy who shat himself on the first day of primary school. I can still smell it as if it was yesterday.”

 

“Can you smell it here?” Eleanor asked taken aback, looking around.

 

“Yes, I can.” Leila answered, looking up to meet my horrified gaze. If she wanted a war, she’d get one.

 

I jumped right in. “Remember that girl I mentioned, the one with the mushroom allergy? Well she used to stuff her bra.” I clonked my empty glass onto the table. “But she also used to stuff her arse because she thought it was too flat. Although, it wasn’t as flat as her chest.”

 

I could hear Leila choke on her drink, disguising it as clearing her throat.

 

“Apparently, shitting himself,” Leila continued “Left such severe scars on the boy’s psyche that the first woman he ever wanked off to was Judy Dench.” She concluded matter-of-factly.

 

Everyone let out a collective groan of disgust.

 

“That’s just terrible.” Liam said shaking his head.

 

“Judy Dench of all people!” Louis said shaking his head to himself.

 

She had gone there.

 

“Judy Dench happens to be a very good actress.” I mumbled quietly, my face burning.

 

Leila had a smug look on her face knowing very well that she had won.

 

“You know, since Zayn here is already pissed, why don’t we all head out somewhere?” Louis suggested.

 

“I actually heard there’s a new place that’s opened called Cathedral. The music is supposed to be top notch.” Eleanor informed us happily.

 

Anywhere I could get more booze.

 

“Is my outfit too casual, do you think?” Leila asked Eleanor and Danielle.

 

“You can borrow something from me!” Eleanor offered. “I live close to here, so we can go change and meet up with the boys at the club. How does that sound?”

 

Leila, Danielle and the boys all nodded in agreement. I gave a delayed nod.

 

I got to my feet. “I’m going to go pay the bill.” I said, wanting to go outside afterwards for a smoke.

 

“Are you sure?” Harry asked me as he was the only one who heard me.

 

“Course, I got it.” I said, heading towards the waitress to pay, not bothering to give a backwards glance when I slipped out into the cool night air.

 

Leila’s P.O.V:

 

The three of us girls piled messily into a mini-cab.

 

“11 Trivley Drive, please.” Eleanor requested the driver as she strapped herself in.

 

Once we started moving, Eleanor and Danielle both turned to me.

 

“Spill.” Danielle said with a humungous grin on her face. 

 

I rolled my eyes dramatically. “This was just our first date!”

 

“We heard from our boyfriends that your first encounter was rather steamy.” Eleanor smiled deviously.

 

“Well I suppose it’s better I tell you now,” I said not knowing how to quite word it. “I’m sort of a stripper. Harry and I met when I danced for him.” I blurted out.

 

“You’re what!” Danielle shrieked.

 

“That is so hot!” Eleanor yelped. “You’ll have to teach me some moves for Louis.”

 

“And me too! I’m a choreographer and I could definitely incorporate some authentic strip moves into my routines!” Danielle added with a wink.

 

“I’ll do one better, why don’t you two swing by some time, and you can get tips from all of the strippers at my club and even have your go at the pole if you’d like.” I suggested, raising my eyebrows evilly. I was making friends. This was so different to the state of my life just a week ago.

 

“This is definitely happening soon!” Eleanor said.

 

Just then we pulled into her driveway.

 

“Would you mind terribly waiting for us for about twenty minutes? We need to head to a club after we change.” Eleanor asked the driver.

 

“It’ll cost you.” The man answered gruffly.

 

I pulled out a small wad of bills from my purse, taking a few notes out of it, I handed it to the driver. “That should cover it.”

 

“We’ll foot the bill for the ride there then.” Danielle said with a smile.

 

The three of us jumped out of the cab. Entering Eleanor’s house, we headed directly to her room since we had no time to spare.

 

After about fifteen minutes, we had managed to scour through Eleanor’s entire closet, the three of us finally decided on our outfits. Eleanor was clad in a lovely skin tight red dress with matching red high heels, her ash brown hair worn up in a messy bun. Danielle had settled on a mint coloured dress with a tulle skirt while she had let her wild curls flow across her shoulders. I suggested that she wear my heels in order to be matching. She squealed with glee when she saw that they fit perfectly. Eleanor had insisted that I wear one of her new dresses, a black dress with a silk bodice and feathered skirt that extended outwards at the waist. For shoes, she handed me a pair of electric blue stilettos. They were beautiful and must have cost a fortune. I plaited my hair into an intricate side braid, applied some of Eleanor’s plum coloured lipstick onto my lips, and at last I was ready.

“Oh Leila, you look amazing.” Danielle sighed, looking me up and down.

 

“All I know is that Liam and Louis are going to faint when they see you girls.” I said with a grin, raising my eyebrows.

 

“As will Harry.” Eleanor said with a wink.

 

In spite of how much I had begun to like Harry, I secretly wondered what Zayn would think too, although I would never admit it.

 

*

 

As we pulled up to the long strip of clubs, we could see that the line for Cathedral went all the way down the block, the sidewalk littered with nineteen and twenty-something girls clad in their highest heels and tightest skirts.

 

“Hopefully the boys will have managed to get us in so we don’t have to line up.” Danielle said thoughtfully as she examined the line up.

 

Once Danielle and Eleanor had pooled together to pay the cab driver, we jumped out of the taxi, the three of us approaching the bouncer at the very front of the club.

 

“Our names are Eleanor, Danielle, and Leila.” Danielle said casually, trying to glance at the bouncer’s guest list.

 

The bouncer’s eyes scanned the guest list. “Ah, yes you three are with Mr. Styles, Mr. Payne, and Mr. Tomlinson. You can go right in.” He said with a smile, lifting up the rope blocking off the entrance and allowing us to pass.

 

A wave of relief washed over the three of us, we turned and gave each other knowing smiles. Eleanor grabbed Danielle’s hand and Danielle grabbed mine as the three of us made our way into the posh club. It felt strange having female friends besides for Kitty who was more of an acquaintance, but at the same time I realized I couldn’t always live my life in complete misery and solitude.

 

I let out a gasp as we entered. The club went up three floors, the ceiling littered with various chandeliers of all colours, reflecting onto the black and pink wallpapered walls. Rihanna’s ‘We Found Love’ oozed through the speakers while the video was displayed on four enormous screens spread throughout the club. I stared in awe as the flickering strobe lights illuminated the bustling crowd of people on the dance floor.

 

“Look Leila!” Danielle exclaimed, pointing towards various cages spaced throughout the dance floor, filled with girls attempting to lift themselves up onto a pole. A wide grin formed on my face.

 

“I’ll have to show them how it’s done once we get a few drinks in us!” I yelled over the loud music. “Let’s go to the bar, shots on me!” 

 

The three of us squeezed through the crowd, finally making it to the bar.

 

“Three porn stars!” I yelled at the bartender, handing him a twenty euro note.

 

The bartender set out three shot glasses, mixing in a combination of Blue Curacao liqueur and raspberry Sourpuss, leaving behind a purplish blue concoction. I handed a shot to both Eleanor and Danielle, taking one myself.

 

“Cheers!” I said, the three of us knocking back our shots.

 

Danielle ordered a round of tequila and limes. I took mine, sucking gratefully on the lime slice. Eleanor bought the next round, buying us all triple vodka crans, tasting much more like vodka with just a hint of cranberry. I began to feel the warmth of the alcohol course through me.

 

Sipping on the remains of my vodka cran, I looked down the length of the bar only to set my sights on none other than Zayn Malik approaching the bar with a beautiful brunette. I felt my face begin to burn, trying to hide my shock from Danielle and Eleanor who were happily chatting next to me. Zayn flagged over the bartender and ordered something, the brunette blabbering to him without even taking a breath in-between. The bartender brought back a round of shots which ended up being all for Zayn. He began to take them one after the other, every so often turning to the brunette and nodding politely as if he was listening. Suddenly, Zayn’s eyes met mine, flickering away quickly before I could avert my gaze. I turned back to the bartender, ordering a Red Dragon shot for the each of us. Downing the shot, I snuck a quick glance at Zayn. He was leaned in close to the brunette now; whispering into her ear. Whatever he was saying was responsible for the huge smile on her face.

 

I whipped out my phone in anger and texted Harry.

 

Come dance with me.

 

Harry’s reply was quick.

 

Your wish is my command.

 

Two shots later, I felt a pair of arms sneak their way around my waist.

 

“Miss me?” Harry whispered into my ear. I could smell the alcohol on his breath.

 

I turned to face him, a devious grin on my face. “More than you know.” I drunkenly planted a hot kiss on his lips. The alcohol had left me braver than ever before. I waved apologetically at Danielle and Eleanor, and then taking Harry’s hands I pulled him towards the dance floor. A slowed down dubstep version of Rihanna’s ‘What’s My Name’ blared through the speakers. Harry and I began to grind to the music, my arms wrapped around his neck tightly. I pulled back from him to look into his hypnotizing eyes.

 

“You’re so beautiful.” He grinned at me drunkenly, leaning in to kiss me again. Turning around, I faced my back to Harry. He ran his hands down my bare thighs, burying his face into my hair. Looking up, I met eyes with Zayn who was now leaning against the bar observing Harry and I, the brunette nowhere in sight. Without breaking eye contact, Zayn slowly raised his beer to me and then disappeared into the crowd. Ignoring the lump that had appeared in my throat, I turned around, snuggling into Harry’s strong chest.

 

“Leila!” I heard Eleanor’s panicked voice from behind me. Harry and I separated from each other.

 

Eleanor had tears streaking down her face.

 

“What’s the matter?!” I said, hugging her tightly. Had Louis and she gotten in a fight?

 

“I can’t find Louis anywhere!” Eleanor shrieked, her mascara had smudged underneath her eyes. “We had a bit of an argument and then he went off and now I can’t find him!”

 

“Harry, why don’t you go help Eleanor find him?” I said. “You both know him better than anyone. I’ll go help Danielle and Liam look too. They’re by the washrooms, yeah?” I clarified.

 

Eleanor nodded quietly. She had her phone up against her ear, likely calling Louis.

 

Harry hesitated for a moment. “Alright.” He finally agreed begrudgingly. “Be careful. Go straight to Liam and Danielle.” He stressed.

 

“I will.” I smiled, planting a kiss on his cheek. “Keep me posted.” He squeezed my hand in reply.

 

Eleanor and Harry made their way further into the crowd while I headed in the direction of the washrooms. I could just see Danielle’s beautiful head of curls bobbing in the distance next to Liam when a strong arm grabbed me around the wrist. I turned around to face a man who had to be in his late twenties or early thirties with piercing blue eyes and dark hair shaved close to his head.

 

“Hello there.” The man slurred, pulling me close to him. I had dealt with his type before on countless occasions.

 

“Look, I’m actually here with my boyfriend. So you can let go of me.” I said sternly. If you were direct and stood your ground, they usually got scared off.

The man looked around. “I don’t see your boyfriend anywhere.”

 

“It doesn’t matter if you see him. I’m not interested.” I said, trying to escape his grasp, resulting in him tightening it. I had completely lost sight of Danielle and Liam. Panic began to rise in my throat.

 

I don’t like girls who play hard to get.” The man spat, his face contorting with anger. He pulled me right up against him roughly, shoving his hand up my skirt and past my underwear. I screamed but could not be heard. To the crowd around us, we just looked like another dancing couple.

 

Suddenly, I felt myself pulled from the man’s grasp. From out of thin air, Zayn had appeared, placing himself between me and my would be rapist.

 

“And who the fuck are you?” The man raged, shoving Zayn into me.

 

“She’s with me.” Zayn told him, flexing his jaw. “Now fuck off.”

 

The man replied with a punch to Zayn’s eye, throwing Zayn into a group of people behind him.

 

“ZAYN!” I screamed. If he was hurt because of me I would never forgive myself.

 

“FIGHT!” Someone yelled.

 

Within seconds Zayn replied with a hard punch to the man’s mouth, knocking him back into the crowd, blood gushing from his teeth and nose.

 

“Is that Zayn Malik!?” A female voice screeched.

 

People began to whip out their cell phones photographing Zayn and I. Zayn shielding his face tried to reach for me.

 

“Zayn!”

 

“ZAYN!”  

 

Hundreds of voices began to scream as the crowd swarmed him, then shafting me off to the side.

 

“LEILA!” I could hear him yelling. “LEILA!”

 

“Zayn!” I replied, reaching my hand out into the crowd wildly until I finally felt someone grasp my hand. I pulled as hard as I could, helping Zayn to struggle out of the mob. He fell into me. I wrapped my arms around his waist tightly, hugging him close to me.

 

“You saved me.” I said.

 

Zayn pulled back from my hug. “Are you alright?” He had his hands on my face, yelling over the music.

 

“Your eye.” I sighed, gently touching just underneath where the man had punched him, causing him to flinch. It was beginning to swell quickly.

 

“I’m fine but we have to get out of here, now!” Zayn said, the crowd noticing that he had escaped. He grabbed my hand as we ran blindly towards the nearest exit. Bursting through the door, we entered an alleyway. The cool air raised gooseflesh on my skin as we weaved our way through the alley. I risked a backwards glance to see that no one had followed us.

 

“Zayn, stop!” I gasped for air. Zayn turned, seeing that no one had pursued us. He let out a sigh of relief. We stood there for a few moments, catching our breath.

 

“Come here.” Zayn said, opening his arms. Hesitantly, I stepped into them, resting my head on his chest, the fabric of his varsity jacket soft against my cheek. Overwhelmed, my eyes watered and I began to shake thinking of what else that man would have done to me if Zayn hadn’t gotten there in time. “Shhh.” Zayn whispered. We stood there for a few minutes in silence until I finally lifted my head from his chest. Zayn held my gaze for a moment until I let my eyes drop. I stepped back from him awkwardly.

 

“I should probably call Harry.” I said quietly, breaking the silence.

 

Zayn nodded slowly. “Yeah, yeah you should.”

 

Taking out my cell phone, I saw that Harry had texted me twice.

 

We found Louis vomiting in a bush outside, are you with Danielle and Liam?

 

Leila, where are you? Danielle and Liam said they can’t find you!

 

Harry must be worried sick! I called him, patiently waiting while the phone rang, peeking at Zayn from beneath my lashes.

 

“Leila?” Harry answered on the second ring. “Are you alright?”

 

“Yes, I’m fine!” I told him sweetly. “Well thanks to Zayn.” I said, glancing at him again.

 

“What?! What happened?” Harry asked quickly.

 

“Well when I was heading to the washrooms to find Liam and Danielle some creep grabbed me, but luckily Zayn was near by and stepped in.” I explained.

 

Fuck!” Harry cursed. “I should’ve been with you.” He groaned in anger.

 

“It’s alright, I’m okay! I promise.” I told him gently. “I think some pictures might have been taken. Some fans recognized Zayn and that’s why we’re stuck out here.”

 

Shit, Simon’s going to kill us!” Harry sighed. “It doesn’t matter though. All that matters is that you’re alright.”

 

“Should Zayn and I head for home then? I don’t think there’s anyway we can get back to the front without being swarmed.” I asked, looking up at Zayn who was looking up from his phone at the mention of his name.

 

“Yeah, yeah of course! Louis won’t be moving for a while anyways.” Harry agreed. “Zayn will make sure you get home okay. Text me as soon as you’re home, yeah?”

 

“I will.” I said.

 

“I’ll make it up to you, babe, I promise.” Harry told me sweetly.

 

“I’m looking forward to it.” I said with a smile, hanging up.

 

“So what’s the plan?” Zayn asked me as soon as I hung up.

 

“Harry said we should head for home.” I told him, shrugging. “We can catch a cab?” I offered.

 

Zayn raised one eyebrow upwards. “I have a better idea.” He said, typing a number into his phone.

 

About two minutes later, a limo pulled into the alleyway. I tried not to show my excitement, I had never ridden in a limo before. Instead I shook my head smiling.

 

“What now?” Zayn asked incredulously, thrusting open the door of the limousine.

 

“It’s just the Zayn I knew used to bus everywhere.” I said, chuckling.

 

“Things change I guess.” I heard Zayn whisper as I climbed in.

 

Zayn and I sat in silence for the majority of the drive, me looking out the window. Hearing him hiss in pain, I turned to him.

 

“Does it hurt badly?” I asked him, uncrossing my arms.

 

“What do you think?” Zayn asked, shifting his gaze to me.

 

Hmmph!” I said, looking back out the window.

 

Hearing a cork pop, I turned to see Zayn guzzling down the limousine’s champagne straight out of the bottle.

 

“Don’t you think you’ve had enough for one night?” I snapped at him.

 

“What’s it to you?” Zayn snapped back.

 

Ignoring him, I had an idea. Reaching for the ice bucket, I grabbed a napkin and took some ice into it. Undoing my seatbelt, I slid over to Zayn’s side.

 

“Let me see your eye.” I told him.

 

Zayn looked at me nervously, hesitating slightly before he turned towards me. It had swollen significantly since inside the club. I brought the ice to his eye, moving it to different areas every few seconds.

 

“You’re going to have one hell of a shiner tomorrow morning.” I told him with a smirk. I looked up to see his warm eyes observing me. We were closer than I had realized.

 

“Not as bad as the other guy’s.” Zayn said with a smile.

 

“You shouldn’t have, Zayn.” I said, shaking my head. “You could’ve been hurt worse.”

 

“It was worth it.” Zayn whispered, his eyes falling to my lips and then returning to my eyes.

 

“Zayn…” I said quietly, frightened of how he was acting. My hand fell from his eye onto my lap.

 

“Yeah?” He moved in closer to me. My heart began to thump through my chest.

 

 “What are you doing?” I whispered in shock, frozen in place.

 

“I’m not entirely sure.” He whispered back, leaning in all the way, placing a feverish kiss on my lips.

 

A/N: Thank you for reading and please review!

Check out the accompanying tumblr for I'm in Love with a Stripper to check out music, outfits, sneak peeks, and fanart! iminlovewithastripperfanfiction.tumblr.com

 

Music:

Leila’s Song – I Crave You – Flight Facilities (Adventure Club Remix)

 

Leila and Harry’s Song – What’s My Name – Rihanna (Blackmill Dubstep Remix)

 

 

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