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?


3. The Past, Present, and Future

I’m In Love With a Stripper:

The Past, Present, and Future


Zayn’s P.O.V:


Five minutes ago Leila Karim had not been in my head for the past three years, and now she was all I could think about. My mind traveled back to the sight I had taken in just moments ago of Harry with his tongue down Leila’s throat. I cringed at the memory, patting down my pockets to see if I had a left over pack of fags. No luck. It had been especially hard quitting but at this point I could not care less about the state of my lungs.


I regarded my surroundings sullenly. I was waiting for the rest of the boys at the back of the club where management had told us to wait to be picked up. I hadn’t spoken to the people at Syco, but I knew for a fact that they would be furious with us. Technically they should be furious with me since I was the one who tipped off the paps. I regretted acting so rashly now of course, but at the time I couldn’t stand the idea of Leila and Harry alone in a room together. She had really pulled a number on me. Suddenly, the door that I stood beside swung open, and out walked Louis, Niall, Liam, and Harry.


“Haz got the girl’s number.” Niall gushed, giving Harry a hearty pat on the back.


“Her name’s Leila.” Harry clarified shyly.


“Right on mate.” I mumbled unenthusiastically, truly wishing for a cigarette.


“Oh shite.” Liam said, looking to our left.


 Louis saw what Liam was referring to. “Looks like we’ve got our pap of the day over here.” He chimed.


Harry, Niall, and I turned. Crouched behind a pile of garbage was a middle-aged man photographing us stealthily. The shutter of his camera opened and closed extremely fast.


“Well, we’re screwed.” Harry said with a shrug.


As if one cue, our hired car quickly pulled into the alley. Hurriedly, we ran towards it, ripping the doors open and piling in.


“Drive!” Louis yelped. Our driver, John hit the gas and began to speed away.


“You boys are in deep shit.” He said, looking at us in his rearview mirror.


“We know.” The five of us said in unison.  


Taking a right, John made the unwise decision of circling around to the front of the club where the sidewalk was packed with a reasonable crowd of screaming girls and more of the paparazzi.


“It’s them!” One of the girls squealed, causing the entire crowd to erupt into screaming.


The photographers began to snap pictures, the powerful flashes of their cameras still able to be seen through the tinted windows of our car. As a precaution, we all ducked. Not that it mattered; the pap in the back alley had gotten enough incriminating evidence of us to provide to all of Britain’s tabloids.




After a long and drawn out conference call with Simon, we were finally able to head for home.


Simon left us with a warning: “If any of you so much as step a toe out of line or venture to any strip clubs ever again, I will be extremely displeased.”


“So let’s get our story straight,” Niall began “We were attending a private birthday party that was simply renting out the venue. There were no strippers there at the time.” He looked around at all of us to make sure we comprehended what he had said.


“I doubt that even the dimmest of our fans would believe that.” Liam sighed.


“I guess we’ll find out in the morning then,” I said, getting to my feet. “I’m heading home though lads, so I’ll see you all tomorrow.” I headed for the door.


The boys all said their goodbyes as I made my way out. We had decided to take the conference call at Louis and Harry’s place, a luxury townhouse located next door to mine. Next door to mine was Liam’s place and next to Liam was Niall’s. It was nice being close to them but also having my privacy at the same time. On numerous occasions the lot of us ended up staying over and Louis and Harry’s however.


Reaching my door I made my way inside and climbed the stairs wearily. We only had a month to ourselves with performances here and there before our tour of Australia and New Zealand was set to begin. Normally, I would have gone for a visit to Bradford during our time off, but we were so busy with promoting the North American release of our album that it was impossible to.


Collapsing on the sofa, I clicked on the tele and grabbed my MacBook from the coffee table. Opening the Safari browser, I headed for the Sun’s webpage and as I had feared they had already posted numerous pictures of us at the back of the strip club. The heading read: ONE DIRECTION’S NIGHT OUT…AT THE STRIP CLUB. I sighed, rubbing my eyes. This was all my fault. The idea of Harry and Leila together had just bothered me so much… And just as I knew it would, my mind slowly drifted back to her.


An idea entered my mind and I closed the Sun’s webpage. I had transferred everything from my old computer at home before moving out to the city. I accessed my old files easily enough and browsed through my pictures until I found what I was looking for. Opening it, I was face to face with a sixteen year-old Leila, rosy-cheeked and makeup less standing with me on the porch of her house. The both of us had enormous smiles plastered onto our faces. Where had this girl gone? Or better yet, where had that boy gone?


Leila still had not told me why or how she ended up working at Victory, so I decided to find out on my own. After a quick search I had exactly what I was looking for. Reaching over to my Blackberry, I typed in the phone number that I had found. It was almost eleven so I planned to just leave a message. The phone rang twice and surprisingly someone answered it.


“Hi there, is this Manchester Intelligence?” I inquired.


“Yes it is, how can I help you?” The man affirmed.


“I was hoping you can track down some information on an old friend of mine. Her name is Leila Karim and she is originally from Bradford…” I said.



I woke the next morning to my cell phone ringing loudly. I had fallen asleep on the couch, not bothering to change or even head to my bed. I scrambled to reach my Blackberry. Securing it in my hand, I answered it.


“Hello?” I asked groggily, my voice thick with sleep.


“Good morning Mr. Malik. This is Ron calling with the information you requested regarding one Leila Karim from Bradford.”


“Yes, yes. Thank you for getting back to me so soon.” I said. Apparently Manchester Intelligence was extremely efficient and quick.


“So you were mainly interested in the past two to three years of Miss Karim’s life. The most significant information that we were able to gather was that both of Leila’s parents were killed in a car crash during the Christmas holiday of 2010 while they were visiting friends in the neighbouring city of Leeds.” Ron told me.


That was just after I had auditioned for the X-Factor. It took a moment for the shock to wash over me. Her parents…? Leila had been so close to her Mother and Father. I had been close to them…A lump formed in my throat and my eyes began to water dangerously. No wonder Leila hated me so much. How could she not? She must have gone through hell and back. I rejected her, and then I abandoned her, too caught up in my own life to even give her a second thought. Had she tried to reach out to me and I hadn’t even noticed?


“Shortly after Leila moved in with her grandparents, but once she reached the age of eighteen she relocated to London and is still living there currently. She is employed by the Victory Nightclub and attends the University of Westminster every other semester, majoring in criminology and law.”


“Is that everything?” I inquired nervously, bracing myself for more terrible news.


“That’s everything. Miss Karim is not in significant debt nor does she have any criminal charges laid against her, although she is more then often late in paying her rent according to a number of warnings that have been issued against her by the building’s manager.”


“Thank-you very much Ron, you’ve been a huge help.” I said. “I take it you went ahead and charged my credit card?”


“That we did.” Ron informed me.


“Right on. Thanks again.” I concluded.


“Nice doing business with you Mister Malik.” Ron said, hanging up.


I had to help Leila. Redeeming myself in her eyes didn’t matter. All I knew is that I had to help her. And also, I needed a pack of fags, badly.




Leila’s P.O.V


I wake with a start, my eyes flickering open to stare at the ceiling. I’ve sweated through all of my clothes and my blankets had been thrown into a heap on the floor. The dream that used to haunt me was back again. The dream was a perfect reenactment of the day I found out that my parents had been killed. I screamed and ran and ran and ran until I was in the city. The dream ended with my dialing Zayn’s familiar digits in a telephone booth, only to find that his number was not in service any longer. The dream hardly affected me in the way that is used to. I no longer woke in tears. I was simply numb and indifferent to all of it.


I strolled over to the computer, halfheartedly checking my facebook when I saw that a friend had read an article by the Sun titled: ONE DIRECTION’S NIGHT OUT…AT THE STRIP CLUB. Interesting. That meant the paparazzi had managed to track them down before they were able to leave. I clicked on the article in spite of my mind screaming for me not to. A new window opened, and I was faced with numerous photographs of the very same boys I had seen the previous night and a short blurb underneath them stating that they had been caught leaving the low-end strip club Victory. It also stated that according to rumors, Harry had gotten quite a steamy private dance from one of the club’s regulars. My face burned at this.


I scrolled back up the page, looking at Harry in the article’s main picture. His hands were tucked into his jeans and the expression on his face was priceless. It was probably taken right when he became aware of the paparazzo’s presence. My eyes traveled to his pink lips, the lips that I had been kissing. Even Kitty would never believe that I had managed to snog One Direction’s cheeky Harry Styles I thought, a girlish smile appearing on my face. I then felt my eyes drift to Zayn Malik, the very same Zayn Malik that had disappeared from my life three years ago only to return in the most unexpected way possible. My smile faded and I tilted my head curiously. The expression on his face was blank, almost sad. Sighing, I closed the window, wondering briefly if Harry Styles ever would call me. What a preposterous idea, of course he wouldn’t.


Departing from the computer, I made my way to the bathroom in order to indulge myself in a long and hot shower. Hopping out fifteen minutes later, I dried myself with the fluffiest towel I owned, brushed my teeth, and then changed into a worn plaid shirt, jeans, and a pair of Mary Jane high heels. Walking in heels was now a second nature to me, and to be quite frank, they were a guilty pleasure of mine. Tossing on my leather coat and putting my headphones around my neck, I was ready to run my errands for the day. I was running extremely low on food so all I really had to do today was shop for some groceries and possibly rent a movie or series to indulge in for the night. I so looked forward to a nice relaxing night to myself. Grabbing my purse off the coat hanger, I threw open the door, only to be met with the sight of a flower delivery man making his way towards my door.


“Leila Karim?” He asked after observing my door number. He was carrying an enormous bouquet of flowers.


“Yes…” I confirmed suspiciously. Who would be buying me flowers? Could they be from Harry?


“There you are.” He handed them to me, giving me a curt nod and a smile before heading back down the hallway.


Heading back into my apartment, I placed my purse on the counter, observing the flowers thoughtfully. The bouquet consisted of white lilies. Removing the card from the bouquet, I found a vase, filled it up with water, and placed the flowers into it. Finally I picked up the small card, removing it from its envelope.


It read:


I should have been there for you. X


So he knew at last. A small sob escaped my lips. Tossing the card onto the counter, I quickly grabbed my purse and keys, exiting my apartment. Climbing down the stairs and out into the daylight I thought to myself:


Yes Zayn, you should have.



Returning to the entrance of my apartment, I swung open the door and hauled my bags inside. I had managed to get everything I needed, enough food to last me for at least a week and a half, series 3 and 4 of Skins, and I had even swung by Victory to pick up my week’s pay. I had to admit that my jaw dropped when I saw the huge increase in money that I had been paid in comparison to past times. It was all thanks to Harry Styles that I would be paying my rent on time for the first time in a long time. Strolling towards the manager’s booth, I could see Rita with her feet kicked up on the table, sipping on coffee and reading the newspaper. After plunking my groceries on the ground, I knocked on the glass to get her attention.


Rita looked up at me. “Yes?” she asked, irritated. She never failed to be an extremely displeasing cow to deal with.


“I’ve come to pay my rent.” I said, pulling the envelope busting with cash out of my coat pocket.


“Your boyfriend’s already paid for it.” She stated, reaching for her newspaper again.


“What?” I asked, furrowing my eyebrows. “There must be some sort of mistake.”


“And what’s that?” Rita said, tossing her newspaper back onto the table.


“I don’t have a boyfriend.” I said.


“Well then it was your brother.” Rita said.


“I don’t have a brother either…” I trailed off clenching my teeth in anger.


“Well then it must have been your pimp. All I can tell you is a boy-very handsome by the way, came here with a load of cash and paid a year’s worth of your rent,” Rita tossed her hands into the air dramatically. “I called Bill and told him. He was ecstatic.”   


Confused, I forgot to react to her insinuation that I was a prostitute. Rita kicking her feet back up returned to reading the newspaper. I was met with the back page of the paper, the entertainment section, displaying an article titled “One Direction Conquers America” with a photograph of five smiling faces just below it. I then knew exactly who it was that had paid my rent; the boy that refused to stay gone.




“Stupid bastard.” I muttered under my breath as I fidgeted with my keys. The bag around my wrist was cutting off my circulation. Adjusting them as I struggled to locate the correct key, one of them slipped off my wrist and went crashing to the floor. The very distinct sound of cracking eggs could be heard.


“Shit!” I screamed. This day had been going so well. In defeat, I let the bags fall to the floor.


“Need a hand?” I heard a voice from behind me. Nostrils flaring, I turned to face the reason for all my current troubles.


“Which part of ‘fuck off’’ don’t you understand?” I said through clenched teeth.


Zayn stared at me amused before crouching down and picking up a few of my bags as well as my keys. On the first try, he managed to open my door, walking in to my apartment as if he owned the damn place. To my dismay, I realized that he technically did own the place. Picking up the rest of my groceries I followed him inside scowling, slamming the door behind me and dropping them. I could see Zayn observing the flowers he sent me. I regretted putting them in water instead of throwing them out.


“I meant it,” Zayn said picking up the card he wrote and then placing it back on the counter. “I should have been there for you.” He turned to face me.


“And you think paying a year of my rent makes up for that?” my tone accusing. “Well it doesn’t!”


“I came here to tell you that I’m sorry.” Zayn’s eyes searched mine. “I’m sorry about your parents. I didn’t know.”


Angry tears began to form in my eyes. He tried to approach me, but once again I backed away. I would always back away.


“It’s over now, Zayn.” I said wiping my cheeks. “Neither of us can change the past.” I added.


“No, it’s not, Leila.” Zayn shook his head. “I want to set things I right. I want to be the friend that you deserved two years ago when all of this happened.”


My lower lip began to tremble.


“Why can’t you just leave me alone?” I whispered after a long pause, breaking down into sobs, crying into my fists. I simply could not take his constant intrusions into my life anymore. I had been happy, I had been successful, my life was falling back into place and now it was once again in pieces. My eyes sprung open when I felt a pair of strong, familiar arms envelop me. In spite of all my resistance, I could not help but allow myself to melt into Zayn’s embrace. The comfort I felt was overwhelming. I felt safe, and I felt at peace. I breathed in the dizzying scent of the boy who I had loved far too much for my own good.


A good deal of time passed, although I didn’t know how long.


“I needed you then, but I don’t need you now, Zayn. Can’t you understand?” I said weakly into the shoulder of his varsity jacket.


“That’s a lie. You do need me, and you know it too.” He said passionately, pulling me back to look at my face. We were inches away from each other. Frightened, I pulled back.   


“I called you, when it happened. And then when I saw you on the tele I knew why your number had been disconnected.” I told him. “I was happy for you, and I still am.” I said, leaving his arms and making a break for the door.


I didn’t stop running until I reached the nearest park. Breathing heavily, I collapsed on a vacant swing. The park was empty except for a few toddlers playing in the sandbox with their Mother. I sat there starring at my hands for a long time, swinging forward and back, dragging my heels in the gravel. Sitting on the swings always reminded me so much of that night with Zayn, the night I told him I loved him.




Zayn and I sat contentedly on the swings, passing a bottle of whiskey back and forth. It was a warm summer night and the cloudless sky was littered with stars.


“Every time I try to concentrate on a star, it starts to move!” I slurred in disappointment, taking another hearty swig from the bottle. The whiskey washed down my throat, burning it as it traveled down to my stomach. I scrunched my face at the unpleasant taste, passing the bottle back to Zayn.


“Same thing’s happening to me!” He exclaimed drunkenly, leaning backwards in order to take a better look, but instead toppling over, his arms flailing and the whiskey flying out of his grasp.


“THE BOOZE!” I screeched as I watched the whiskey bottle hit the ground, its contents pumping out into the grass.


The sight of Zayn sprawled out on graveled floor; his feet tangled up in the chains of the swings caused me to burst in hysterical laughter and to forget about the lost alcohol.


“It’s not funny!” I heard Zayn try to suppress his laughter “I could’ve been killed!” He freed his feet from the clutches of the swings.


Getting to my feet to help him, I swayed violently. “Well that settles it, I’m utterly pissed.”


“Help Uncle Zayn up, would you?” Zayn reached his arms upwards.


Stumbling over to him I took his hands, heaving him upwards.


“Right, we’re in no condition to be operating these.” Zayn said, pointing at the garbage cans but meaning to point at the swings.


“I could not agree more!” I said jabbing him in the chest with my finger.


“Oh!” Zayn squealed. “Let’s see if the stars move from over there!” He was pointing at the hillside.


“What a fabulous idea!” I agreed. “Let us race there.” I said. “The last one there is…” I wracked my drunken brain. “A lonely pube!” I exclaimed, corking one of my eyebrows upwards.


“I’m no lonely pube.” Zayn scoffed, lining up next to me, ready to race.


“On your mark, get set, go!” I yelled, the both of us launching into a drunken run.


Two steps in; my foot caught on something, causing me to topple over face first, my face hitting the ground. Zayn kept running until he noticed I was gone. As he trotted back, he was howling with laughter.


“Ow,” I let out a muffled moan.


“Are you okay?” Zayn asked in-between his laughter.


“I’ll live.” I said, struggling to turn over onto my back.


The next thing I knew, Zayn had collapsed next to me on the grass.


“I can see the stars much better from here,” Zayn observed. “Although they’re still moving.”


We turned to face each other. Zayn smiled at me, and I smiled back slowly. Now was my chance. I had been wanting to tell Zayn how I was feeling for so long. At first, I didn’t want to tell him. I didn’t want to ruin our friendship, but most of all I didn’t want to face the possibility of rejection. But now, none of that mattered. I had all the confidence in the world, thanks to my friend Jack Daniels. I lean in and I kiss him.


Zayn pushes me back. “What are you doing, Leila?” He’s laughing. “You’re too drunk, I should get you home.”


“No, Zayn. I need to tell you now, tonight.” I said sitting up.


Zayn sat up as well, looking at me in confusion. “Tell me what?”


“I like you,” I gushed. “So much.” I turned to look at him.


“I like you too. You’re my best friend.” Zayn said, still not getting what I was trying to say.


“No, you don’t understand.” I clarified. “I think I love you.” I whispered this part. The silence hovered around us. The both of us had sobered up fast. “No, I do love you.” I concluded.


“That’s the alcohol talking, Leila.” Zayn was shaking his head. He wasn’t looking at me.


“No it’s not the alcohol!” I affirmed. “It’s the truth! I’ve been trying to pluck up the courage to tell you for months!”


Zayn turned to me, confusion written all over his face. “But we’re best friends, Leila. I just don’t see you in that way?” Zayn explained. “How did this even start?” He asked.


I ignored his question. “Why?” I spat. “You see all the other girls at school ‘like that’ except for me!” I said heatedly. “What’s wrong with me?”


“Leila, there is nothing wrong with you. But to me, you’re my friend, my best friend, but that’s all.” Zayn told me. “I just don’t understand where this came from?” He asked me again.


I felt my eyes begin to water. This is exactly why I hadn’t wanted to tell him. I’d get over it, I’d survive. Maybe one day, he’s change his mind.


“I see,” I said, touching the sides of my eyes with my fingertips. “Well at least I can say I have no regrets.” I got to my feet and started for home.


Zayn stood. “Leila, don’t be like that.” He called after me. “At least let me walk you home!” He said.


I turned back around. “I’m fine, Zayn. I’ll see you at school, yeah?” I continued to walk away from him.


“See you.” He said quietly.


On Monday, I did not see Zayn in school. The next few days after that consisted of me seeing fleeting glances of him in the hallways, turning a corner or entering a classroom. I’d see him eating lunch in the parking lot, sitting on top of cars with the boys in our grade that he had never hung around with before. This went on for two weeks until one day I was running late to class. Taking a right, I could see Zayn near the end of the hallway, walking towards me. He had his cell phone out, furiously clicking away at the buttons. Looking up from his phone he saw me approaching him. His eyes met mine for a moment and then he shifted his gaze to the lockers lining the hallway. We passed each other silently, just as we continued to do so any other times we crossed paths. My heart ached, not only for the boy I loved but for the best friend I had ever had. After that, he disappeared all together, making me wonder if he had ever really existed in the first place.


The vibration of my phone broke my train of thought. Pulling it out of my pocket, I flipped it open, the tears in my eyes momentarily blurring my vision. The text message was sent from an unfamiliar number.


It read:


I was wondering if I could get to know the real Leila tomorrow night over dinner? – Harry x


A small smile appeared on my face despite all the fiascos that had managed to happen today.


Looks like my schedule just opened up ;) Leila x


The real question was, would it be Leila appearing tomorrow night, or would it perhaps be Bambi?


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

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