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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10. Never Have I Ever

 

I'm in Love with a Stripper:

Never Have I Ever

Leila’s P.O.V:

 

I was scrolling through the Sun’s webpage on Zayn’s iPad, frowning as I read. Seeing the hi-tech gadget abandoned on my sofa, I was no longer able to resist the temptation of the outside world and within moments I was browsing through every social media outlet that I could call to mind, Perezhilton, TMZ, and finally the Sun which focused strictly on UK celebrity gossip. And as I had known, one of the main headlines featured none other than my boyfriend Harry Styles, if I could even call him that any longer. I knew about as much as the next person did when it came to what was going on with ‘Heila’, the couple name that the tabloids had coined us with.

 

HARRY STYLES SPOTTED DEPARTING VICTORY STRIP CLUB

 

Yesterday afternoon, a discreetly dressed Harry Styles was seen leaving Central London strip club, Victory in a hurry. Having reopened on Friday, the club went under a series of renovations, made possible by the increase in revenue that Victory was able to bring in by having the girlfriend of a celebrity on its payroll. However, it appears that we knew something that Harry Styles didn’t. According to an insider source at Victory, Leila Karim has abandoned her job as a stripper at Victory and has not been spotted in London since. It’s safe to say that your relationship is in trouble when the tabloids know more about your girlfriend than you do, wouldn’t you say Harry?

 

I reread the article three times and stared at the picture of a crestfallen Harry trudging down the sidewalk and away from Victory and began to feel it seeping through my pores, began to feel it multiplying like it was a bad virus…the guilt. I could not believe myself. I was a girl with morals, Goddamnit! And here I was, acting like some sort of harlot. I had cheated on Harry physically in the back of a limousine, something I refused to think about due to reasons which resulted in me being in need of a cold shower while also admitting to myself that I had finally cheated on Harry emotionally as well. I was once again under the spell of Zayn Malik, something I had vowed to never let happen again.

 

I absentmindedly clutched my locket in my hand as I thought back to the previous day, roaming through the moors with Zayn. It was ethereal, heavenly, as if I was in another world. And to think that he had brought me there…he was trying, trying to be a friend to me as he had promised, and slowly but surely, I felt my frozen heart being chipped away at, a feat that only Zayn could manage. Whatever affection that remained for his childhood friend had made him worry. If I had seen Zayn the way that he had seen me, all fucked up and drunk beyond my senses…I would be worried too, regardless of how much I hated him at the moment. He would always have a special place in my heart, or more like it, he would always have my heart.

 

My thoughts were interrupted by a knock at the door. Jumping to my feet, I secured my robe around me and made my way to the door.

 

“Who is it?” I called through the door. To my misfortune, I was too short to look through the peep hole without a stepping stool.

 

“Really, Leila. Who else would it be?” Zayn replied, slightly annoyed.

 

Thrusting open the door, I watched as Zayn breezed past me into the warmth of the house, running his fingers through his thick black hair repeatedly, something I’d learned over the years that he only did when he was stressed. He dropped his backpack onto the floor, sighing in irritation.

 

“What’s the matter?” I asked him, trying not to sound too concerned about his well-being. After all, old habits died hard.

 

Zayn turned around to face me, narrowing his eyes at me in suspicion. “When did you plan on telling me?” There was a wounded expression on his face.

 

“When did I plan on telling you what?” I retorted, crossing my arms over my chest. What was this mad man blithering on about now?

 

“That your house was on sale.” Zayn said accusingly, pointing outside the window.

 

Walking over the window hesitantly, I saw that there indeed was a ‘for sale’ sign nailed into the frost covered grass in my front yard. Blast it! Flinching, I turned back to Zayn who was eyeing me up and down in anger, his intense gaze hovering over my locket for a moment before returning to my face.

 

“Well I don’t see how my house being on sale would concern you in any way, but my Grandparents have decided to sell it because they can’t afford to pay the mortgage any longer!” I told him with clenched fists, irritated that he had found out.

 

I hadn’t told Zayn mainly because saying it out loud would make it so much more real, like I hadn’t imagined it all. When my Grandmother had told me that she planned on selling my home, well it had quite literally pushed me over the edge, and that was something I really hadn’t wanted to reflect on.

 

Suddenly, Zayn was inches away from me, his face so close to mine that I could see the flecks of green in his mesmerizing brown eyes, the rough stubble beginning to grow on his cheeks, his pink lips. I could not tear my eyes away from his lips. I thought of how they would feel on mine, and then how they would feel like all over me, everywhere. I could feel my cheeks turn red and my pulse quicken. I was so, so very weak.

 

“What concerns you Leila, concerns me.” Zayn said quietly, the harshness in his voice gone.

 

As his eyes searched mine, I was at a loss for words. He must know how he made me feel, he must know that his presence alone turned me into a stuttering idiot! I was making it too obvious! Keep yourself in check Karim!

 

“Why are you always here anyways?! I don’t recall having invited you over for tea!” I exclaimed dramatically. If he wasn’t here all the time I wouldn’t be so overwhelmed by his perfectly sculpted forearms and those bloody tattoos that he was always flaunting about!

 

Zayn’s face fell. He flexed his jaw as he silently observed me. “If you want me to leave Leila, just say the word!” He exclaimed loudly.

 

“Well it wouldn’t be a surprise since leaving just happens to be your specialty!” I screamed viciously, my lower lip trembling. Of course Zayn wanted to leave, why wouldn’t he? Leave Leila so she can fall apart again! And then I was in tears, sobbing uncontrollably. A look of sheer horror appeared on Zayn’s face. He had never been very comfortable around crying women.

 

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry…” Zayn quietly pleaded. After a moment, he pulled me close to him, causing me to cry even harder when I felt his toned chest beneath my cheek. This was absolute torture. “…I’m not going to leave you…I promise.” Zayn began to stroke my hair and I knew then that there was no way I could win. Being near him was driving me completely mad, but being without him was simply out of the question. I just couldn’t do it. Inhaling his scent deeply, I began to feel light headed.

 

I had to get away before I did something rash, like kiss him, or worse, tell him I loved him again. Stepping out of his embrace, I once again regretted leaving his touch. The room suddenly felt colder. I sniffed awkwardly, trying to avoid eye contact with Zayn. Watching me for a moment, Zayn then cleared his throat, walking over to his backpack. Plucking it off the floor, he unzipped it, pulling out a DVD set. “I pinched this from Waliyha, Skins series five.” Zayn said with a smile, holding it up so I could see.

 

I clapped my hands together happily, glad for the distraction, glad that he and his god-like physique were at a safe distance away from me. “Perfect! I’ll go put on some tea for us.” I said, bolting from the room as quickly as I could. Entering the kitchen, I sighed with relief. Taking deep breaths to collect myself, I then went about my business, venturing into the cupboards to find the teabags. Selecting Earl Gray, I tossed a teabag into each of the mugs I had retrieved and set the water to boil on the stove. Leaning against the counter, I could hear the kettle begin to sing loudly as my thoughts drifted off, wondering what it would be like to kiss the heart-shaped tattoo just above Zayn’s hipbone…NO, NO, NO, NO. I snapped out of my delirium, the water boiling over the top of the kettle.

 

“Fuck.” I whimpered, pouring the water into the mugs hurriedly. For a virgin, I was starting to have a filthy, filthy mind.

 

Emerging from the kitchen timidly, I entered the living room, carrying a mug in each hand. Looking up, I saw that Zayn was already seated on the sofa, looking so unbelievably warm and comfortable in his black sweat pants and white t-shirt. I almost dropped the mugs all-together when I noticed that Zayn was wearing his black-rimmed glasses in order to see the tele properly.

 

Carefully, I handed him the mug. “Don’t burn yourself.” I chuckled nervously, avoiding eye-contact. Walking over to the extreme left of the sofa; I sat down, curling into ball and cradling my mug of tea close to me.

 

“Thanks.” Zayn said quietly as he watched me sit down. Genially, he took a small sip of the tea. “Mm, this is good.” He said with a smile. “What’s in it?”

 

“Oh! I’m not sure, whatever is in the teabag, I suppose…” I told Zayn, smiling at him awkwardly as I glanced at him sideways. If I spilt my tea all over myself, perhaps it would warrant a severe enough burn for a trip to the hospital and far, far away from flawless Zayn Malik seated just on the other end of the sofa.

 

Zayn raised his eyebrows at me. “Oh…well it’s very nice…” He said trailing off. “…I guess I’ll start this up then…” He mumbled, pressing the play button on the clicker.

 

The opening theme began, and still I was unable to stop myself from nervously blabbering on. “I just love this show!” I exclaimed anxiously. It had always been a favourite of mine.

 

“Me too!” Zayn replied with equal fervor, smiling at me before sipping his tea again.

 

I restrained myself from saying more, trying to forget that Zayn was in the room as I focused on the show. The episode that we were watching revolved around the character ‘Mini’, a tall blonde beauty who was the most popular girl at school. I cringed, unfortunately being reminded of both Tracey and Fiona. Taking a peek at Zayn from the corner of my eye, I just knew that he’d probably think Mini was attractive.

 

The show went on fine and well, that is until Mini began to actively seek losing her virginity to her boyfriend. I began to sweat profusely, fighting with all my might not to turn over and look at Zayn. Mini then dragged her boyfriend Nick from the club and back to his flat, with the intention of finally sealing the deal. As they began to kiss roughly, my pulse quickened and my palms began to grow moist. Was it hot in here, or was that just me? Suddenly my mind began to entertain the idea of Zayn and I kissing. I began to absentmindedly fan myself, still refusing my urge to steal a glance at Zayn.

 

Mini and Nick began to hastily undress, Mini running her hands over Nick’s bare chest. I imagined myself running my fingers over Zayn’s Arabic tattoos, and then grazing my lips over the filled-in heart on his hip. I was certain that my throat was beginning to close as it was suddenly becoming difficult to breathe.

 

“Do you have a…?” Mini asked Nick, referring to a condom as she pushed him onto the bed, straddling him. I felt my eyes bulge out of my head.

 

That was the final straw.

 

I was out of my seat in a flash. “I…I think I left the stove on!” I yelped, the words spilling out of my mouth. I didn’t even realize I was speaking until my voice reached my ears.

 

Zayn was up on his feet too. “I really need a smoke!” He exclaimed, staring at me with wide eyes before stiffly turning around and hurrying out the front door without a backwards glance.

 

Hurrying towards the kitchen, I knew fully well that the stove wasn’t on, and that the only thing that really needed switching off was my bloody hormones.

 

Zayn’s P.O.V:

 

Shutting the front door behind me, I stared at horror at the massive bulge that had formed in my pants. In hindsight, perhaps Skins had not been such a good idea after all seeing as the whole episode had revolved around sex. The whole time, I had not been able to tear my eyes away from Leila, stealing glances at her in her bloody silky robe that really left nothing to the imagination, her smooth legs, her hips, and it even looked like she wasn’t wearing a bra, which then made me wonder if she even had panties on. I imagined myself sliding it off of her and kissing every square inch of her soft body, hoping to hear her moan my name as she had in the back of the limousine.

 

Zayn.” I could hear her calling in desperation. It was when Leila jumped off the sofa realizing that she had left the stove on that I was snapped out of my fantasy and left aware of my highly visible erection. I jumped to my feet as well, thankful for the opportunity to escape outside before she noticed. Oh God, oh God at least I hoped she hadn’t noticed. I closed my eyes shut tightly, attempting to think of something else. I began to recite times tables, starting with one as I reached into my pockets, pulling out my lighter and a cigarette.

 

Putting the cigarette to my lips, I flicked at the switch of my lighter. “Five times four is twenty; five times five is twenty-five…what’s in it? It’s a bloody teabag how would she know what’s in it you stupid twit…” I muttered to myself, taking a drag from the cigarette.  

 

Finally calming down, I collapsed on the porch swing hanging to the left of the front door to finish off my smoke. Staring out into the distance, my eyes fell on the ‘for sale’ sign nailed into the ground. I had never met Leila’s grandparents, but I was certain that they at least knew of me, her ex-best friend turned pop superstar. As soon as Leila informed me that her Grandparent’s could no longer afford to keep the house, I understood why I had found her in that state, drunk out of her mind, having put two and two together. I knew Leila well, almost as well as I knew myself, and it was quite evident to me that Leila’s house being sold would simply kill her, and I wasn’t going to let that happen. Looking around the porch, I could already call to mind a handful of memories that this house had provided not only Leila, but me as well. We had sat on this very swing many times, sipping on hot chocolate, sharing our fears, our dreams.

 

flashback

 

“Why don’t you try, Zayn?” Leila said, the both of us sharing a heavy blanket as we stared out into the night sky. “Really take a shot at music?” Her dark brown eyes were searching mine as she twiddled with the ends of her long black hair.

 

“I don’t know if I have what it takes, Leila.” I shook my head chuckling. “I’m a mixed kid from Bradford…what chance do I really have?” I turned to look at her.

 

I watched as Leila sipped her drink thoughtfully, glancing upwards to observe the moon for a moment before turning back to me. “What I know is that you have a beautiful voice,” She told me assertively. “Anyone that can’t see that is a right idiot!”

 

I couldn’t help but smile, hoping that Leila’s observation was correct. I had been thinking long and hard about it, considering pursuing music seriously. It had taken months of Leila’s badgering for me to finally sing to her. It was no secret that I was shy, somewhat reserved, but in order to make it big, to actually have a shot, I’d have to let all of my reservations go. And after-all, regretting not having tried would be so much worse than being told I was rubbish, wouldn’t it?

 

“It can’t hurt to try.” I told Leila, giving her a half smile. “And how about you? Have you finally plucked up the courage to tell your Dad that you’re not going to follow in his footsteps and become an accountant?”

 

Leila’s lips turned upwards into a small smile as she eyed me curiously. “I finally told him.”

 

“What did he say, then?” I asked her almost instantly. Leila had been stressing over telling her Father that she would quite frankly rather die than dedicate her life to numbers.

 

“He said he’s sure that I’ll make a fine lawyer.” Leila grinned happily. “And that I shouldn’t have been so scared to tell him!”

 

She began to giggle as I pulled her into a crushing hug. “I’m so happy for you.” I told her, letting her go finally. “And he’s right, you’ll be marvelous.” I genuinely smiled at her, the moonlight reflecting in her dark eyes.

 

“Let’s make a deal,” Leila said quietly, leaning forward. “One day soon, I’ll be the finest lawyer in all of London, and you’ll have made it big in music, your name in lights, all the stops.” She said, grinning as if she was telling me a secret, extending her hand to me.

 

I stared at her hand for a moment and then returned my eyes to hers with a smile. “Deal.” I said, taking her warm hand into mine.

 

*

 

Through with my cigarette, I snuffed it out and tossed it over the fence into Mrs. Caterley’s garden, my mind made up on a few things. Firstly, I would be buying Leila’s house for her, and secondly, I would be paying Clive a visit as soon as I was back in London. Getting to my feet, I quietly made my way back inside the house, my bare arms numb from the cold. Turning the corner, I smiled when I saw that Leila had returned to the living room, the tele shut off and her nose tucked into Wuthering Heights.

 

She looked up as she heard me approaching. “Hey.” She said quietly, her eyes on me.

 

“Will you read to me?” I asked her, giving her a smile as I joined her on the sofa.

 

Leila eyed me for a moment before returning a smile. “Of course.” She said softly.

 

Leaning back on the sofa, I put my arms behind my head, watching Leila as she found where we had left off.

 

Clearing her throat, she looked up at me before returning her eyes to the book, her long dark hair falling over her shoulder. “Cathy, catching a glimpse of her friend in his concealment, flew to embrace him; she bestowed seven or eight kisses on his cheek within the second, and then stopped, and drawing back, burst into a laugh, exclaiming, ‘Why, how very black and cross you look! And how-how funny and grim! But that’s because I’m used to Edgar and Isabella Linton.” Leila paused, looking at me briefly. “‘Well, Heathcliff, have you forgotten me?’”

 

Harry’s P.O.V:

 

Emerging from the alleyway, I looked both ways before crossing the deserted street. For just past seven, it was pitch black outside and abnormally cold for December in London, my shoes crunching through the snow as I walked. I rubbed my hands together aggressively to warm my numb fingers and pulled my hood securely over my head. I fleetingly regretted not bringing a coat, but it no longer mattered because I had finally reached my destination. I observed the rundown diner called Fat Jim’s from outside, corking my eyebrow upwards at its rugged appearance. It surprised me that Fiona would choose this sort of establishment to meet in. She seemed more like a fine dining type of girl, not that she ate regularly or anything like that. Approaching the front door, I swung it open and walked into the warmth, a bell ringing to announce my entrance.

 

The diner looked like one from America in the 50s, black and white tiled floors, teal coloured walls, and bar stools lining the long counter. Scanning the empty diner, I finally spotted an inconspicuously dressed Fiona at the very far end of the eatery, tucked into a booth with red fabric seats. As I approached, I saw that Fiona’s blonde hair had been covered by a floral scarf, and a pair of dark glasses had hidden her blue eyes.

 

“It’s a miracle I even recognized you.” I mumbled as I slid into the seat across from her.

 

“Hello, Harry.” Fiona said as she took off her glasses, tucking them away into her purse.

 

I crossed my arms, observing her with reproach. “So what’s this about?” I asked her, pulling my hood off my head.

 

“I suppose I’ll get right to the point,” Fiona began, a grimace slowly forming on her lips. “Do you know if Zayn has been seeing anyone?”

 

This girl really was something. For months, she had followed Zayn around hoping that he would finally take notice of her, but she had never succeeded in doing so. I thought back to what she told me after we had slept together, that she had most likely made a mistake. I guess that made two of us I thought darkly, an image of Leila crossing my mind.

 

I leaned back in my seat. “Why do you ask?” Was she really still not over him?

 

Fiona cleared her throat, folding her hands on the table neatly. “In New York, Zayn mentioned that he had feelings for someone…” She trailed off.

 

“Are you really still on about this Fiona?” I asked, slightly frustrated that I had come all the way to East London to hear Fiona whine about Zayn.

 

“Let me finish!” She swatted at my arm angrily, clenching her teeth. “Zayn said that he had feelings for someone else and that he had for a long time…”

 

“Oh?” For a long time? I narrowed my eyes in thought, unsure of who this girl could be but more concerned with why Zayn hadn’t told me. Zayn was a rather mysterious bloke yes, but when it came to the five of us, we knew everything there was to know about each other, we were best friends.

 

“I was wondering if you knew who this girl was…” Fiona said trailing off. “I want to know who I lost out to.” She concluded quietly, furrowing her eyebrows together.

 

I observed Fiona placidly, not wanting to admit that I didn’t know who the girl was that Zayn fancied. 

 

“You don’t know, do you?” Fiona said, her tone accusatory.

 

I eyed her angrily before finally answering “Erm…no.” I would be having a word with Zayn regarding this so-called girl as soon as I saw him.

 

“This is where my proposition comes in.” Fiona told me, unraveling the floral scarf from her long blonde hair.

 

“Proposition?” I inquired, honestly curious about what sort of scheme Fiona could possibly have conjured up.

 

“If you agree to help me find out who this ‘someone else’ is that Zayn spoke of, I’ll help you win Leila back.” Fiona told me in the most business-like manner she could muster.   

 

“What makes you think she needs winning back?” I snapped, angry that Fiona may have finally said aloud what I couldn’t admit to myself, that I had lost Leila, not knowing where she was or who with.

 

“Would you really have slept with me if all was well on the home front?” Fiona asked smugly, crossing her arms over her chest.

 

“If I were to agree, how exactly did you plan on helping me?” I scowled at her.

 

“Really, Harry?” Fiona asked me, corking one of her perfectly plucked eyebrows upwards. “I’m a soon to be top-model.” Fiona emphasized the last two words of her statement. “And Leila…well she’s a stripper.”

 

I eyed the girl sitting in front of me in minor astonishment, impressed by her cunningness. Fiona smiled at me deviously, her blue eyes twinkling. “You’re not as dumb as you look.” I smirked.

 

“Do we have a deal?” Fiona extended her dainty hand outwards to me, watching me with interest to see if I would accept.

 

I considered my options heavily. What I had to lose, I already did. If anything, as Fiona said, she would help me win Leila back, and I truly did want her back. I missed her; I missed laughing with her, talking to her. With Leila…things were easy, effortless. We got on so well that it would be a shame to not at least try to revive our relationship, and after-all, we hadn’t really broken up. Perhaps Leila needed a little push, a little incentive to see what she was missing out on, and Fiona would be the one to help me. I knew for a fact that Leila almost instantly showed a dislike for Fiona when she met her, deeming her a brain-dead Malibu Barbie, so who better than Fiona to make her jealous?

 

“Deal.” I smiled, taking Fiona’s hand into mine and giving it an enthusiastic shake.

 

“Oh!” Fiona exclaimed. “There’s one last thing.” She leaned in close, taking a quick glance around the diner to make sure that no one was listening.

 

“What’s that?” I asked, also leaning in.

 

Fiona cleared her throat awkwardly before whispering. “A no sex clause.”

 

I could not help but burst into laughter, shaking my head in disbelief. She made it sound like it was some sort of government mandate. But I had to agree, mixing business with pleasure would not help either of our causes.

 

“No sex.” I nodded in agreement, trying to ignore the fact that Fiona had been quite a good shag for what it was worth. No shagging…easy enough, right?

 

“Well I’m glad we got that settled,” Fiona said with a small smile. Slipping her sunglasses back on, she gathered her things, tossing them one by one into her large purse. “We’ll meet tomorrow morning, ten sharp.” She said, getting to her feet.

 

I nodded wearily, wondering already if I had made a mistake by enlisting her help.

 

“This was nice, Hazza.” Fiona said with a smile. “I’ll see you bright and early tomorrow morning, then!” And with that she was off, waddling away in a pair of ridiculously tall heels.

 

Corking my eyebrow upwards, I turned back towards the booth. As a slew of soft oldies oozed out of the diner’s speakers, I was left wondering what Leila was doing in that exact moment.

 

Leila’s P.O.V:

 

I had leaned my head against the sofa, examining Zayn as he read. A small smile had appeared on my face as I watched him, so absorbed in Wuthering Heights. Who would have ever thought the day would come when Zayn Malik would actually enjoy reading? Zayn had insisted that he took over after about an hour because according to him I read “too slow”. Surprisingly, I had hardly listened to a word of the story, just the musicality of his voice and the flutter of his long and dark eyelashes when he blinked. With each thought of Zayn, there was an identical one at the back of my mind, telling me just how wrong it was to be staring at his lips for long periods of times.

 

“Leila!” Zayn laughed, snapping his fingers in front of my face, grinning at me widely.

 

“Oh!” I sprung upwards, being drawn from my thoughts. “Sorry.” I apologized sheepishly, a faint blush appearing on my cheeks. Oh God, had he caught me staring?

 

“You’re bored.” Zayn concluded, shutting the book closed, a crooked smile on his lips.

 

Bored? I was far from bored, I thought, my eyes falling to Zayn’s pink lips fleetingly.

 

“I am not!” I denied forcefully after a moment, my eyes returning to his. It was true; I happened to be enjoying my view immensely. I refused my eyes from drifting towards Zayn’s package, so visible in his black sweat pants.

 

Zayn gazed upon me mischievously. “Why don’t we go for a walk or something?” His smile had not faded, his warm eyes boring into mine.

 

I gave Zayn an incredulous look. “We couldn’t possibly!” I exclaimed. “What if we’re spotted?” I whispered this part, not taking into account the fact that we were indoors.

 

I doubted that I’d have to tell him twice about the consequence of us being seen together. The fact that no one knew a thing about our past would make things look even worse, like I was having some sort of affair with Zayn, secretly shacked up in Bradford with Harry being none the wiser.

 

“Well it’s past ten.” Zayn shrugged, his intense gaze on me. “I doubt anyone would be out now.” It felt like he was secretly challenging me, and Zayn new that I loved a challenge. And either way, how was I supposed to even think of a reasonable arguing point when he was looking at me like that, all sexy and disheveled? I fell silent, not wanting to refuse him, but too frightened to rise to the occasion.

 

“Come on Leila, for old time’s sake?” Zayn smiled softly. Leaning forward, his brown eyes were as endearing as ever, a waft of his intoxicating cologne infiltrating my nostrils and sending my head into a dizzying spin.

 

For the love of all that is good and holy.

 

“Fine, fine, alright!” I yelped feverishly, thinking that the fresh air would do me good as my head wouldn’t be constantly surrounded by the mouth-watering eau de Malik. Not to mention, the last time I had even left the house had been when Zayn took me to the moors. “If someone sees us, it’s on your head.” I told him pointedly.

 

Zayn’s lips broke into a playful smile as his eyes flowed over me, ignoring my statement. “You should probably go change, it’s quite windy outside. Wouldn’t want your robe to blow right off.” He raised his eyebrows suggestively, grinning widely now.

 

“Pervert.” I eyed Zayn with a scowl, my face flushing. Getting to my feet, I found myself thinking that my robe would have flown off days ago if not for my sheer will power. “I’ll be back.” I said, sticking out my tongue at him as I turned the corner.

 

Venturing up the stairs, I realized that I was actually excited, excited to be doing something relatively normal, something that I would have done years ago, before my parents, before stripping…before Harry…and with Zayn of all people. Perhaps I had been wrong, perhaps Leila wasn’t gone for good, perhaps Zayn had managed to revive her, or whatever was left of her. Entering my room, I let my robe fall to the floor. It still felt strange, being back in Bradford, as if I had traveled back in time, not to mention the fact that Zayn was here as well, here with me. Ever since the moors, I knew, I knew that slowly my heart was reverting back to its previous state, a state where it only beat for Zayn. Each night I dreamt of him, of him and me as I used to, but with one difference, each dream ended with Harry. He would just stand there looking at me, not saying anything, but he didn’t really have to say anything at all, did he?

 

Changing into my favourite pair of acid wash jeans, I slipped on the Batman crop top that I had worn to Capital FM all those months ago, throwing a black hoodie overtop. Sighing for a moment, I looked around my room, utterly confused, scared. Zayn doesn’t want you anyways. I told myself repeatedly, squishing my eyes shut. He wants to be your friend.

 

Screeching, I threw my hands up in the air in frustration, heading straight for my closet. Swinging open the door violently, I crouched down, pushing boxes out of the way until the floor was clear. Loosening the floorboard, I pulled it up and reached my hand in, feeling around until I found what I was looking for. Securing it in my hand, I pulled up the heavy bottle that I had set aside for emergencies. Dusting off the label, I saw the name of my beloved Jack Daniels.

 

“Hello old friend.” I greeted the bottle of whisky fondly. He had always helped me in my time of need. Unscrewing the top, I took a hearty chug, scrunching my face together as the whiskey burnt its way down my esophagus. Getting to my feet with Jack in hand, I breezed out of my room and down the stairs, happy that I wouldn’t have any problems soon enough.

 

Zayn was waiting at the bottom of the steps wearing his red and white varsity jacket, emblazoned with a white VS on the very front. For a moment I forgot everything, everything that had happened between three years ago and now. We were sixteen again and off to cause trouble in Bradford once more.

 

“For old time’s sake?” I smirked deviously, pulling out the bottle of whisky from behind my back, waving it mischievously in front of Zayn’s face.

 

Zayn grinned back at me teasingly, his warm brown eyes on mine, causing my heart to thud just a little bit quicker. “And I thought I was the bad influence.”

 

*

 

“Zayn, I can’t see a bloody thing!” I whispered in irritation, taking careful steps through the vines, trying my best not to trip and kill myself.

 

Zayn and I were venturing through the woodsy trail behind my house, our destination, Lower Fields Primary. Already, this night was reminding me so much of the last one Zayn and I ever spoke, the strong winds rustling through the leaves, the two of us blindly attempting to find our way through the darkness. We had come full circle, with of course the exception of Zayn being a super star. I almost began to laugh at this thought.    

 

“Here, take my hand.” Zayn whispered softly, offering his hand to me in the darkness.

 

I hesitated, curiously examining him in the darkness. I could see his familiar silhouette, his upstanding coif, perfect features, and his hand extended outwards, waiting for me to take it. Finally, I put my hand into his, reveling at the warmth of his even in this bitter cold.

 

“Thanks.” I mumbled under my breath, astounded at how peaceful it felt, when my hand was safely cradled in his.

 

We walked along quietly, our feet crunching through the dead leaves, our soft breaths the only thing that could be heard. Reaching a parting in the trees, I could see into the back field of Lower Fields, one of the places that I never thought I’d see again. How like a dream it felt, seeing my old elementary school, where everything started, where everything Zayn began. Zayn, letting go of my hand for a moment, jumped off the grassy ledge we stood on, landing solidly on his feet.

 

Zayn turned around, placing his hands lightly on my waist, causing me to jump slightly at the contact. “Careful.” He said, supporting me. Wavering for a moment, I gently placed my hands on his shoulders, and allowed him to guide me to the ground as I leapt off the ledge. Landing, I stumbled slightly into his strong chest.

 

“S-sorry.” I stuttered, regaining my footing and stepping away from him. This was beginning to feel like a bad idea. Squeezing the bottle of whiskey, I knew that soon enough, I would be too drunk to care or be embarrassed.  

 

“S’okay.” Zayn replied, amusement shining through in his voice, a ghost of a smile on his lips.

 

Staring at him in horror for a moment, I then quickly looked straight ahead and began to walk forwards before I did something that I would regret, like launch myself on him, kissing him senseless.

 

Zayn and I walked along the green field quietly, me wanting to say something the whole time but unsure of what exactly. Remember the last time we were here Zayn? The night I told you I loved you? You’d like to forget it and pretend it never happened? Me too, but I can’t. Or, how about that Zayn? You ended up becoming a pop sensation and I ended up becoming a stripper. Who would’ve thunk it?  

 

“This place hasn’t changed a bit, has it?” Zayn observed quietly as we reached the end of the damp field, the familiar red brick school directly in front of us. I couldn’t help but sigh in awe, a long train of memories flowing into my mind; sports days, picnics, dress up days, anything and everything, anything and everything with Zayn. I found myself observing him in the dim light given off by the moon and understanding that no matter what I did, I would never be rid of this boy for good. He was a part of me, a part of who I was. Ridding of Zayn from my life now would be like chopping off my arm, my leg, like ripping my heart from my chest.  

 

“No it hasn’t.” I agreed quietly, referring to more than just the school.

 

“Have I changed?” Zayn’s eyes were suddenly on me, my ears pricking at the sound of wind chimes ringing in the distance.

 

Had seeing our old school, our old life, seeing me made him worry? Worry that he had lost himself? I found myself swimming in his warm brown eyes, the eyes that I would recognize anywhere, the eyes of my best friend, my soul mate. Even with all the money and fame, he was still the same quiet, shy boy that I knew, that I loved, and he had not changed, not one bit. “No, you haven’t,” I told him. “Not to me at least.”

 

The expression on Zayn’s face was unreadable, so I took the opportunity to pop open the top of the whiskey bottle, bringing the cool glass to my lips and allowing the rich brown liquid to flow down my throat. Opening my eyes, I saw that Zayn was watching me curiously, impressed at my abilities. “Your turn.” I said quietly, wiping my moist lips with the back of my hand.

 

“Give it here.” Zayn said with a cheeky smile, taking the heavy bottle from my hands. Raising it to his lips, he began to effortlessly drink the alcohol, his Adam’s apple bobbing up and down as he chugged, leaving me mesmerized for a fleeting moment.  

 

A grin appeared on my face and I began to feel warm, so warm. “Someone’s been practicing.” I replied haughtily, snatching the bottle from his hand once he finished, stalking off towards the red merry-go-round.

 

I could hear Zayn letting out a hearty laugh before his footsteps crunched through the gravel, following me. “I could say the same about you, you know!” Zayn called teasingly from behind me.

 

Reaching the chipped metal of the rust-covered merry-go-round, I collapsed on the platform, leaning my back against one of the cold metal bars. It took a moment for my mind to hazily conjure up the dream that I had had eight months ago, but just like that it was in my mind, Zayn and I perched on the merry-go-round.

 

Where have you been?” I had asked him.

 

Right here.” I could hear his smooth voice as clear as day.    

 

Suddenly, I felt the small circular platform of the merry-go-round beginning to spin slowly. Opening my eyes, I watched as Zayn hopped onto the merry-go-round just across from me, also leaning against one of the metal bars. As the merry-go-round slowed down to a halt, Zayn reached over, plucking the whisky from my hand.

 

“Let’s play a game.” Zayn said, his eyes twinkling with mischief as he took a swig from the bottle.

 

I returned a devious smile. “Like what?” I asked him, the wind blowing through the trees.

 

“Never have I ever.” Zayn replied in a way that suggested this was our only option.

 

“I’ll start.” I said, accepting his challenge, the perfect question having formed in my mind. “Never have I ever gotten stoned in class.” A smirk appeared on my lips. I then began to wonder if he’d even remember what I was referring to.

 

“Ah yes, during math class with Mr. Rollins in year nine.” Zayn recalled fondly, grinning widely before taking a drink. “Don’t forget that you have to drink too.” He said with a teasing laugh, handing over the bottle to me.

 

Maths with Mr. Rollins had been absolute torture, even for a studious girl like myself. During the last week of our semester, Rollins had gone on an extremely redundant and boring spree of irrational numbers. Before class, Zayn had pulled me to the side, waving a joint teasingly in front of my face.

 

“Want to have a little fun?” He had said. That was all it really took. I would never have gone along with it if anyone else had asked me. But it hadn’t been anyone else, it had been Zayn. 

 

“How you managed to convince me, I’ll never know.” I said grinning; also taking a swig, not commenting on the fact that it hadn’t really taken any convincing at all. I could feel myself growing drunker and drunker with each passing moment.

 

“My turn.” Zayn began, watching me as he paused, the wind rustling through his dark hair. “Never have I ever regretted something.” Zayn was staring at me intensely, waiting for my response.

 

Regretted something? What was he getting at? And who hasn’t regretted something anyways? “You’re just trying to get me drunk.” I smirked, taking another swig of the whisky. “I’ll return the favour then,” I slurred, selecting something that he had most certainly done. “Never have I ever slept with Fiona Applebee.” This was a sure fire yes. Zayn would be drunk alongside me in no time.

 

Zayn was staring at me, his mouth hanging open in shock. I suppose the question was a bit personal, but I was drunk. “Go on, have a drink.” I implored, thrusting the whisky bottle in his direction. “Don’t be shy.”

 

Zayn snatched the whiskey bottle from my hand, clonking it onto the metal surface of the merry-go-round. “You think I’ve slept with Fiona?” Zayn’s eyes were narrowed.

 

“Well haven’t you?” I asked in confusion. I thought back to all the pictures I had seen, the articles I had read, Ziona, Fayn. What more did I need to convince me?

 

“No.” Zayn affirmed, his voice steady, the whisky untouched. “She’s not really my type.”

 

He hadn’t slept with her? And what was this about Fiona not being his type? She was exactly his type! I was staring at Zayn in a state of drunken amazement, feeling extremely stupid for being so presumptuous. My face began to flush deeply and suddenly, I felt less angry at him.

 

I tried to explain my reasoning to him. “Oh, well I...er…I just assumed-” I stuttered, growing more and more nervous under Zayn’s unwavering stare.

 

And then he cut me off. “Never have I ever slept with Harry Styles.” Zayn interjected sharply, his dark eyes boring into mine.

 

I was speechless, having not seen this question coming at all, the images from the night of Simon’s party flashed through the mind, the only reason for me having not slept with Harry being Zayn Malik himself. My eyes fell to the platform of the merry-go-round and I was unable to physically form a sentence.

 

“Why aren’t you drinking?” I heard Zayn’s voice ask angrily.

 

Looking up to meet his eyes again, Zayn was holding out the bottle to me.

 

“Drink.” He implored, his eyes blazing as he placed the whisky in front of me with a thud. “Go on, don’t be shy.” He egged me on, repeating my previous words.

 

“I can’t…” I whispered, trailing off. I didn’t because of you, I found myself thinking.

 

“Well if you’ve had too much to drink…” Zayn began.

 

“No.” I interrupted him, my eyes searching his. “It’s not that.”

 

Zayn’s eyebrows were furrowed in confusion. “Then what is it, Leila?” He asked me quietly.

 

The air was thick with tension, another breeze blowing through our hair. My heart was beating faster than normal. I had to tell him, it was the rule of the game after all.

 

“I can’t drink because I haven’t slept with Harry.” I said quietly, my eyes falling to my lap and my face flushing with embarrassment. “I haven’t…I haven’t slept with anyone.” I peaked at Zayn from beneath my eyelashes, seeing that Zayn’s face was frozen.

 

“Come off it, Leila.” Zayn finally said quietly after a moment. “You don’t have to lie to me.” He spoke softly.

 

I blinked at him in the darkness. “I’m not lying.” I said after a moment, only to be interrupted by the loud voice of a man and the appearance of approaching flashlights and the bark of a dog.

 

“Oi!” The loud voice yelled. “No loitering on school property!”

 

“Shit!” Zayn yelped, leaping to his feet, knocking over the whisky in the process.

 

I watched sadly for a moment as it pumped out onto the platform, thinking that this was the second time that Zayn had accidentally knocked over a bottle of my alcohol.

 

“Leila, don’t just sit there!” Zayn was screaming at me, laughing at the same time as he yanked me to me feet. “Run you stupid girl!”

 

I was in a fit of laughter as we ran, tripping over my feet drunkenly. I could hear the group of men in pursuit of us, the dogs barking as we sprinted through the field, Zayn pulling me behind him. The world was spinning as we ran, causing me to laugh even harder. It was very likely that I would be throwing up later. We reached the end of the field and were back at the grassy ledge that we had jumped off of before. Crouching down, Zayn intertwined his hands, ready to boost me up.

 

“Keep running you little bastards!” I heard one of the men yell from not far. They were gaining on us. 

 

“Go on!” He yelled, trying to stifle his laughter.

 

Planting my foot onto his hands, Zayn boosted me up onto the damp grass. I turned back to him quickly. “I’ll pull you up!” I screeched, reaching my hands out to him. Taking his hands into mine, I heaved with all of my might, Zayn digging his foot into the side of the ledge. Pulling with all the strength I could muster, Zayn was up on the ledge, only to lose his balance and topple right over. I was then on my back, Zayn breathing heavily on top of me as I stared back at him in shock. I was suddenly aware that his body was right up against mine, our legs intertwined, our chests rising and falling against one another’s. My face was burning and every inch of my body had increased in temperature by ten fold. Oh my God, Zayn Malik was on top of me. He hadn’t moved an inch. I could smell the whisky on his breath, a hint of cigarette smoke as well.

 

“I think we’ve lost them.” One of the men spoke from below. “Stupid kids, drinking in the park at this hour of the night.” He added in annoyance.

 

My eyes grew wide and suddenly Zayn’s warm hand was over my mouth. “Shhh.” He whispered.

 

“Don’t pretend you didn’t do the same thing when you were a lad.” The man’s partner added. “You just didn’t get caught!”

 

The pair broke into jovial laughter and began to stalk off. “Come on, Ginger.” One of them called to the dog who trotted off behind them.

 

And as quickly as it had appeared, the pleasant weight of Zayn was gone. He rolled off of me and onto his back, the two of us left staring up at the night sky. “Sorry about that…” He whispered awkwardly, running his hand through his dark hair.

 

I turned to look at him. “It’s alright.” I answered quickly, my voice raising an octave, blinking madly.

 

Our eyes found each other and suddenly we were both grinning like idiots. I had the urge to take Zayn’s hand into mine but I didn’t, instead I just gazed at him, happy enough to just be in his presence, happy that all of this was real, that being here with him in Bradford was real. Acting on my feelings meant losing him again, and that was something I just could not live with. I would not survive it this time. As my eyes still searched his dark ones, I found myself thinking that if Zayn Malik left me again, plain and simply, I would die.

 

Zayn’s P.O.V:

 

I was watching Leila as we walked along the sidewalk in silence. She had her arms wrapped around herself protectively, her eyes directed towards the ground, her long dark hair hiding her face. I wanted to take her by the shoulders and turn her around to face me. I wanted to kiss her, to scream at her, especially after she revealed that she hadn’t slept with Harry. For months, months I had gone on believing that she had, only to find out that she not only hadn’t slept with Harry…she hadn’t slept with anyone at all. For some reason this knowledge, it made me nervous, it made me unsure of how to act, and most of all, it made me ashamed of having objectified Leila earlier today. I knew it was something that I couldn’t help, but still I felt guilty for it.

 

“Are you cold?” The words were out of my mouth before I even realized I had asked them.

 

Leila’s head shot up in surprise. “Oh!” she began, “No, no I’m fine, thank-you.” Her eyes returned to the floor, she was still holding herself tightly.

 

Ignoring her comment, I shrugged out of my jacket, placing it around her. Leila’s eyes were then on me again, and I found myself smiling widely at the sight of her in my jacket. I couldn’t think of a better look on her.

 

“Won’t you be cold?” Leila asked, blinking at me with her mesmerizing brown eyes.

 

“No.” I said, shoving my hands into my pockets, a smile playing on my lips. “I’ll be alright.”

 

I closed my eyes, enjoying the cool breeze as it blew through my hair. It was indescribable, the many things I was feeling right now. It felt right, being in Bradford with Leila. I couldn’t even remember the last time I had felt this…normal, so at ease. I loved my job, I loved my fans, but deep inside me there had always been a longing for my old life, for the quiet life I had been leading before One Direction. Was there a way? A way to have both in my life? I looked over at Leila, so intrigued that we had managed to find our way back to each other, even when the odds of us seeing one another again had essentially been non-existent. And here we were now, the tables turned, me hopelessly in love with her, in love with Leila Karim.

 

“Imagine if those officers had caught us.” Leila whispered scandalously.

 

I let out a laugh. “We were too fast for them.” I said, grinning at Leila who was smiling back at me. She looked so cute and small in my jacket that was far too large for her small frame. “Red’s a good colour on you. You should wear it more often.” The words rolled off my tongue as if my mouth had a mind of its own. I regretted saying it almost instantly. She would surely find this random outpour of compliments odd. I did the only thing I knew how to in that moment. Reaching into my pocket, I pulled out a cigarette and my lighter. Putting the cigarette to my lips, I nervously lit it, almost dropping the lighter at one point.

 

“Thanks…” Leila said, eyeing me suspiciously. “That’s a filthy habit you know.” She said, corking one of her arched eyebrows upwards.

 

“What is?!” I said, my eyes widening, my heart pounding in my chest. Had she caught me looking at her arse? Fucking hell she was driving me mad, completely raving mad. I took another drag from the cigarette desperately.

 

“Smoking!” Leila exclaimed as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. “It’s very bad for your health, and probably doesn’t help your voice much.” Leila said nonchalantly, her eyes returning to the ground.

 

We were standing in front of the steps leading up to Leila’s house when an idea formed in my mind. “How about this.” I offered with a smile. “If you quit stripping, I’ll quit smoking.” I noticed then just how close we were standing to one another, as if I had gravitated closer to Leila without even knowing it.

 

“That’s easier said than done, Zayn.” Leila said quietly, looking up to meet my eyes.

 

She really was beautiful, and she had absolutely no idea that she was, no idea of the effect that she had on me.

 

Ignoring the voice screaming in my head for me not to, I reached my hand up, placing it on Leila’s soft cheek. Her eyes widened, her breath hitching in her throat. “You are worth so much more than what those men in that club pay you, Leila.”

 

This was it. This was the moment. I could feel the urge to say the words, scream the words building in my throat. I love you. My breaths were shallow, my eyes falling to Leila’s lips. I began to lean in when a bright flash caused both Leila and I to turn in the direction it came from.

 

Standing just a meter away from us was none other than Peaches, clad in a heavy winter coat; her cell phone was clenched tightly in hand. Tossing her blonde hair over her shoulder, she grinned at the two of us.

 

“How precious!” Peaches sighed, cocking her head momentarily. She then directed her full attention to Leila. “You’ve really done well for yourself, Bambi. Not one pop star, but two!” Peaches began to clap her hands emphatically.

 

I turned to Leila in horror. Leila was staring at Peaches wordlessly, her eyes wide in shock. “Bridget, what are you doing here?” Leila finally asked. So that was Peaches’ real name, I thought fleetingly.

 

“I had a little visit from your boyfriend Harry Styles at the club the other day.” Peaches began very matter-of-factly. “I didn’t realize it was him until he claimed to be Paul Higgins, just like Romeo over here did as well!” Peaches screeched manically.

 

Suddenly Peaches’ gaze was on me. “And I thought we had something special!” She exclaimed manically.

 

My eyes widened. Turning to Leila, I shook my head furiously. “She’s a lunatic!” I mouthed to Leila, so that Peaches wouldn’t hear. Leila shook her head and sighed, turning back to Peaches.

 

“Bridget, please don’t do anything rash.” Leila tried to reason with her. “At least not until you hear the full story.” Leila begged her. “Please.”

 

It was quite obvious that Peaches was tempted to take Leila up on her offer when her eye began to twitch. Sniffing, she flicked her hair over her shoulder. “Fine, I’ll listen.” Peaches said quietly, standing up straighter.

 

“We have no other choice,” Leila whispered to me under her breath, so quietly that only I heard. “Come inside, we can talk over tea.” Leila began to climb the steps of the porch, opening the front door. Turning, she waited patiently for Peaches to follow. “Come in out of the cold.” Leila was evidently trying her best to butter Peaches up.

 

I stood dumbly, unsure of what to do, looking between Leila and Peaches, still in shock.

 

“Is he coming too?” Peaches nodded her head at me viciously.

 

Leila’s eyes then fell on me. “Zayn.” She said pointedly. That was all I needed to hear. I bounded up the steps of Leila’s porch, giving her a fleeting glance as I breezed past her and into the warmth of her home.

 

A few minutes later, Peaches and I were left sitting in the living room together, Peaches sitting on the red easy chair while I was sitting on the sofa, the both of us waiting for Leila to return with tea. This was all my fault. I had gotten Leila into this mess, I thought, berating myself. Daring a glance at Peaches, I saw that she was she was already staring at me, the most hateful look I had ever seen plastered on her face. I looked away quickly, frightened out of my wits.

 

Leila then entered the room, a cup of tea balanced on a saucer. Carefully, she handed it to Peaches before sitting on the sofa next to me, not making eye-contact with me once. To my chagrin, I noticed that she had taken off my varsity jacket.

 

Leila cleared her throat, brushing her long dark hair behind her ears. “Where to begin…” Leila began.

 

“How about the part where you cheated on your boyfriend with his band mate?” Peaches was grinning evilly as she took a sip from her tea. “This is delicious!” She raised her cup.

 

Leila’s eyes were narrowed at Peaches. “I don’t expect you to believe it, Bridget, but,” Leila paused, pursing her lips. “But, Zayn and I are just friends.”

 

Peaches scoffed. “If that isn’t a load of bullocks, I don’t know what is!”

 

Leila’s words echoed in my mind. Just friends. How those familiar words burned, the words that I myself had told Leila years ago.

 

“It’s true.” I finally spoke aloud. The least I could do was protect Leila, prevent this from being released, from ruining what she had with Harry. “We’ve known each other since we were little.” I revealed.

 

A confused expression appeared on Peaches’ face, her eyebrows furrowed. “That’s impossible!” She exclaimed, the chair squeaking in protest. “I don’t believe that for a second!”

 

“Zayn and I went to school together.” Leila revealed firmly. “We were best friends, and then we had a bit of a falling out. I hadn’t seen him in three years when him and the rest of the band came into Victory…” Leila trailed off. “It all happened very fast…” Leila mumbled, her eyes falling to the ground.

 

Peaches’ makeup covered eyelids drooped in thought. “That still doesn’t explain why you never told anyone you knew each other.” Peaches said, looking from me to Leila suspiciously. “So why didn’t you?”

 

Leila’s head shot up at this, staring at Peaches, a guarded smile on her face. “Because I had been in love with him.”

 

Peaches leaned back in her chair, an all-knowing expression on her face. “Ah,” she said, sipping her tea again timidly. “Now that I believe.”

 

“We weren’t even on speaking terms until I ran into him here in Bradford, after I left London, of course.” Leila said quietly.

 

I hoped that Leila knew what she was doing, but I had a feeling that she did, that she knew exactly what she was saying.

 

“Why did you leave London anyways?” Peaches piped up, placing her tea on the coffee table.

 

Leila’s eyes were suddenly on me. I nodded in assent. Everyone should know what a steaming pile of shite Clive was. A small smile appeared on my face as I thought of what I had planned for him.

 

Leila turned back to Peaches. “Clive attacked me.” Leila’s voice trembled as she spoke.

 

I wanted to pull her close to me, to comfort her, take her pain away, but I thought that doing so would ruin any of the progress we had just made. I just couldn’t risk it.

 

“He what?” Peaches stuttered, her eyes widening in fear.

 

Leila took off her sweater, tossing it onto the back of the sofa. Pulling back her dark hair, she traced her fingers along the still present purplish blue bruises left on her neck from Clive’s attack. I could feel my blood begin to boil just looking at them. “They’ve faded a bit…”

 

Peaches bounded out of her seat, squishing her wide hips between Leila and I. “Let me see.” Leila allowed Peaches to examine her wounds. “The right bastard!” Peaches exclaimed after a moment. “Why did he do this to you?” Peaches asked frantically.

 

Leila’s eyes began to water, tears trailing down her tanned cheeks. “Because I refused to take everything off!” She exclaimed vehemently. “I-I thought he was going to kill me.” Leila said quietly.

 

Peaches was shaking with fury. “You poor, poor thing!” Within a moment she had Leila in a bone crushing hug, Leila’s face half smothered in Peaches’ enormous bosom.

 

I tried my best to stifle my laughter. “And you as well!” Peaches had me in a headlock, and soon I was also being suffocated by her large breasts. “Don’t worry my loves; your secret is safe with me!” Peaches exclaimed. “I won’t tell a soul, I promise!”

 

About to rip myself out of Peaches’ choke hold, I suddenly felt my hand being squeezed, and I knew without hesitation that it was Leila. I squeezed back, knowing fully that we had dodged a bullet, but for how much longer? How much longer could this really go on for before we were found out? I closed my eyes, thinking that most likely; this Bradford fairytale of ours would not be having a happy ending.

 

Fiona’s P.O.V:

 

Sipping on my tea, I patiently waited for my laptop to fire up, having decided to do a little bit of recon before meeting with Harry the next day. Bringing up Google, I typed ‘Victory Strip Club, London’ into the search bar. I scanned the list of results until my eyes landed on what looked like the correct website. Victory Strip Club, located in Central London and home of the era themed Friday night special. Clicking on it, a black and red layout of the burlesque influenced website popped onto my screen. Since leaving Harry in Fat Jim’s, I found myself pondering about Leila. I actually had not spoken to the girl before, but it really did have me wondering as to how a stripper had managed to capture the heart of Harry Styles when Zayn, for example, would not even give me the time of day. But then again, we had both agreed that there was something wrong with him. Clicking on the tab dedicated to Victory’s Girls, I scrolled down the page. Each girl had a picture of themselves and a small biography next to it. Reaching the very bottom of the page, I finally found her.

 

Bambi (Leila) – As the youngest dancer at Victory at the ripe age of nineteen, Bambi is the sweetest girl that Victory can offer you. However, don’t judge Bambi by her doe-like name alone, because as we’ve been told, she has the ability to be a naughty, naughty girl.   

 

Narrowing my eyes in thought, I scrolled upwards to observe some of the other biographies, noticing that they included much more detail, particularly where the girl was originally from among other more personal details whereas Leila’s biography essentially a skeleton next to theirs. Scrolling back down, I clicked on the picture of Leila, examining it with great detail. The smiling girl that was looking back at me certainly looked sweet, and she wasn’t all that bad looking either although I hated to admit it; her long dark hair, wide brown eyes, and tanned skin. But just because Leila appeared to be sweet and innocent didn’t by any means guarantee that she was.

 

What are you hiding?” I whispered, taking another sip of tea, knowing that soon enough, I would find out everything there was to know about Leila Karim.

A/N: Thanks for reading and please review! xo

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