Teenage Casanova

Being an heir to a billion dollar company wasn't all that it was cracked up to be; just ask pompous troublemaker teen, Harry Styles. Sure, it had its ups, but when your CEO father threatens to cut you off and kick you out of the family unless you take over the company when he steps down next year, it ends up putting a little damper on all the fun of being a spoiled rich kid. Growing up definitely wasn't on the agenda at only nineteen years, but maybe with a little time away that would give him the time to think it all over and figure out what the hell he was going to do. And to cause reckless chaos. In enters Kennedy Ross, a good girl from Seattle, Washington, who was being forced into spending her summer with her older sister in Barcelona, Spain. The only thing she wanted to do was get through the next few months with nothing but a good tan and a few memorable stories to tell. She just didn't expect that those stories would include a spoiled brat and a painter.

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21. Iris

Well, what now?

Harry sat cross legged on his bed as he stared at the wrapped box in front of him; Kennedy’s birthday present tormenting him by the passing seconds. He had ordered it a while ago, knowing that it would be something that she would really like. But now? Now, he wasn’t welcome to give it to her.

Because he was an idiot.

No, he wasn’t just an idiot – he was a jackass. He knew it, Kennedy knew it; hell, the world should probably know it at this point. He was a real jackass and he screwed up the one thing he really didn’t want to screw up anymore. He was so close to finally getting her to be able to tolerate him, and now there was no chance in hell that was happening.

She really hated him. Though, nobody probably hated him as much as he hated himself at the moment. He messed up big time and there was no fixing it now. He should have just called the stupid bet off a long time ago, but he didn’t. He continued to use Hannah and in the end he screwed it all up for himself.

You’re pathetic.

That was another problem he was having aside from his guilt – his mind was being an even bigger jackass than he was.

You’re Harry fucking Styles and you’re going to sit around and pout over one stupid girl? Get over it and move on!

It was this big battle, his heart versus his mind. His heart was telling him that he should do exactly that and continue to feel sorry for himself about what happened. On the other hand, his mind was being a real dick and telling him exactly what he’s been trying to tell himself since he met her:

Why is Kennedy Ross so damn important?

He honestly didn’t have an answer. He didn’t have one now and he wasn’t sure if he ever would. This random girl had come into his life and now he couldn’t escape. She had her hooks in him without even wanting to. And it made no sense to him. 

Harry knew this wasn’t him. He didn’t fall into a downward spiral over some girl he was just chasing after for sex. So why did it feel like someone took his heart, ripped it out of him and stomped on it? He wanted this feeling to go away. He had already experienced heartache before and he definitely didn’t want to do it again.

So maybe the best thing to do was to give her up for good.

Maybe giving up on Kennedy Ross was always going to be the outcome. Maybe he was never going to be able to reach her. Maybe she was always going to be unattainable. And maybe he was and has been wasting his time on a girl who would never really see him.

And the truth was he didn’t want to feel this way either. For so long now he has been so set on just sex and nothing more; he couldn’t take anything more. His heart had been ripped to pieces and he just wanted to have fun and not care who got hurt. So why couldn’t he just keep doing that? Why did this girl have to get all up in his head? He didn’t want this. He just wanted it to stop.

He wanted to go back to being the guy he was when summer started. But, for some reason it just felt like that version of him was gone, and he didn’t know when, or if, it would be back.

“Harry?” Niall knocked softly on the door as he pushed it open, knowing that he was risking getting hit was something or yelled at for interrupting Harry’s ‘alone time’. “You okay? I haven’t seen you all day so I thought I’d check on you before I left.”

“Where are you going?” He already knew the answer to this and he sighed, rubbing the back of his neck. “Never mind. Um, since you’re going do you mind just giving this to her?” He picked the present up and tossed it in Niall’s direction, brushing it off like it was nothing. “Just something stupid.”

Niall wasn’t buying it, though. He gripped the box in his hands and stared at Harry, a questionable look on his face. “So you did get her something.”

“Like I said, it’s just something stupid. Not really a big deal.” 

“It’s kind of a big deal –”

“Niall!” Harry stressed, the red on his cheeks growing darker with embarrassment. He didn’t do these kinds of things normally and he didn’t want anyone making a big fuss about it now. “Can you just take it and go? I’d rather be alone since I’m not very welcomed there.”

Niall took that as his cue, not wanting to upset him even more. Though, he had quite a lot he wanted to say, he decided that keeping his mouth shut would probably be best. He moved back towards the door, throwing a sympathetic look back towards Harry before leaving without another word.

And then he was alone. Again. Like always.

He could be surrounded by tons of people and girls and anyone and he would still feel just as alone as he did now. Filling an empty void with meaningless things just didn’t seem to cut it anymore. So what was he supposed to do?

Drink, of course.

Harry’s feet carried him out of his room as he stumbled over to the make–shift bar and grabbed a bottle of whiskey. It was definitely a night for this. He poured himself a glass and lifted it to his lips. He just wanted to drink until he didn’t have to think about anything. Maybe he’d get drunk enough to get him into some trouble like usual, but he wondered if that would solve anything.

This whole thing started because of his stupid, troublesome decisions. 

She’s not worth it.

That’s what he wanted to believe. He wanted to believe that Kennedy wasn’t worth any sadness or regret or anything. She wasn’t worth his time and she sure as hell wasn’t worth being so damn pathetic over. 

He wandered around the entire hotel room, trying to find something to do for what seemed like hours. He wondered what everyone was doing; what she was doing. Was she having a good birthday? Was she happy? 

A knock on the door got his hopes up as he stared at it, wondering if maybe his inner wishes were getting answered and maybe she had actually showed up. It took him no time jumping up and heading straight to the door. Though, once his hand met the doorknob and he pulled it open he instantly wished that he hadn’t.

Harry felt his breath shorten quickly as he stared at the threateningly large man standing in the doorway. He was decked in an expensive looking black suit and a scowl that covered his face, like usual. He honestly frightened Harry. Why? Because the man before him was none other than his own father.

“F–Father,” Harry was barely able to get the words out as he swallowed hard, trying to calm down a bit. He gripped the sides of his pants as she tried to stop his shaking hands, but nothing seemed to work. He was way too nervous to even think about being calm in front of this man. His breathing started to stagger as he opened his mouth to say, “What are you–”

The man raised his hand, silencing Harry with just one little motion. He pushed past his son and strolled into the room, letting out an irritated huff as he looked around at the mess. “Still a child, I see. Can’t even pick up a little before your father comes.”

“I – I’m sorry. I had no idea you were coming.” Harry closed the door slowly, doing breathing exercises and silently cursing himself as his back was to his father. “If I had known you were coming I would have straightened up, honestly.”

The man grumbled something under his breath that Harry couldn’t comprehend as he took a seat on the couch and crossed one leg over the other. His hands were placed neatly in his lap and he narrowed his eyes at his son. This was always his position when he had something important, or harsh, to say and it worried Harry.

His gaze grew more intense by the passing silence before he finally broke it. “My assistant left you multiple messages on your phone about my arrival. Did you not get them or have you been ignoring me?”

Of course he did. Harry continued to curse silently to himself for losing his phone and for it being stolen. He should have just gotten the number disconnected a long time ago, but the thought had honestly slipped his mind and he hadn’t had the time to do so.

“Never mind that, though. We have other things to speak about.”

Harry knew where this was going and he really wished that this conversation wasn’t happening; especially in person. He didn’t want to talk about it. Hell, he never wanted to talk about it. It was the one thing that bogged down his mind constantly and something he hadn’t decided on yet. Why couldn’t his father just understand that? Why did he have to come here when the whole thing could have been talked about, like always, on a phone?

“Father, you told me that I had until the beginning of August to decide on the matter. Please tell me you haven’t changed your mind. I really haven’t had the chance to decide quite yet–.”

His father rubbed two fingers in circles against his temple, as if he were signaling that his son was giving him a headache. Harry decided to just shut his mouth and keep quiet instead of pleading with the man over something he wouldn’t have a choice in.

“I’m not here to talk about that yet, son. I have other matters of business to speak with you about,” he spoke so sophistically, unlike Harry. “I have come into a new trading partner recently and it is a major business opportunity for the company.”

“Dad, that’s great.” Harry was a little confused, but just nodded in response. He didn’t know what this had to do with him yet and why his father had to come all the way to Barcelona to talk to him about it.

But by the look on his father’s face, there was more to the story than he had told. He rose from the couch and faced his son, looking completely serious, as if he hadn’t already. Harry felt a bit intimidated being face–to–face with him and tried to stay calm.

“The chairman has a daughter whom is of marrying age now.” Harry’s stomach sank from the nerves. “I want you to meet with her when you return home in August and take her out. Show her London and do whatever you have to do to win her over, do you hear me?”

“Okay, but–” Another silencing hand gesture.

His father looked him in the eyes, that same intense look multiplied. “The two of you will wed once I feel the time is right.” He finished what he had to say and waited for Harry to respond. Unfortunately, he wasn’t going to get a response as quick as he would have liked it.

The two of you will wed.

There went Harry’s breathing again. He placed a hand on his chest and tried to take in deep breaths, but nothing was working. He was sure that he was close to passing out soon. Marriage? No way. No way was Harry ever going to get married, especially not some stupid arranged marriage. He hardly had serious relationships so why would his father ever think that he would agree to get married?

But he wondered if that was another one of those choices that he would have no part in. Was this already set in motion? Was he really expected to just go with it and do whatever his father said? No fucking way.

“You want me to get married?” Harry questioned, the concern rising clear through his voice. “You want me to get married?!” There was a little more aggravation in his tone this time. “You want me to get married?!” Finally, he raised his voice, the anger seething right through it.

This couldn’t be happening.

“I’m not asking you to get married, son. I’m telling you that you are to marry this woman so that our company can win over this important business partner and continue to work with them well in the future.”

Harry honestly couldn’t believe what he was hearing. His father was practically selling him for business? It felt like he was being stabbed right through the heart. How could he do this? He couldn’t do this, right? There was no way that Harry was ever going to go through with this. He didn’t care if it would anger his father, he really didn’t, because there was no way in hell that Harry Styles was ever getting married.

“You are completely out of your mind.” Harry had never stood up to his father in all of the nineteen year he’s been alive. It was always whatever his father said was the rule and there was no going against him. He never had a choice. But this time it was different. This was his life. He wasn’t going to let this man sell him off like he was part of some business agreement. “You can’t do that to me, Dad! It’s not fair and I won’t do this!”

He was done being a scared little kid. He was done letting his father have control. He wasn’t doing this. He wasn’t going to be a bargaining chip. He was his own person and this was never going to happen.

“You will do this because I said so!” He raised his voice, getting angrier by Harry’s refusal. “Don’t you see what this will do, son? I am trying to help you for when you take over the company! You have a responsibility to our company! To our family, too!”

“Maybe I don’t want the responsibility!”

It wasn’t the first time it had happened, and Harry was pretty sure it wouldn’t be the last, either. Regardless, it still shocked him each time it did happen. And it hurt just as much as he was shocked. 

His father pulled his hand back and swung it right at Harry, smacking him against the cheek. Harry stood frozen, maybe even paralyzed, as he let out a staggered breath. He knew he shouldn’t have said it. He shouldn’t have upset his father more than he had. He should have learned his lesson by now that there were consequences for going against this man. That’s what happens when you’re part of the Styles’ family.

And sometimes it just really sucked.

His father stood there, his eyes glaring right at Harry. Harry refused to look at him, though. He didn’t want to see that look: the look of disappointment. He had seen that look many times before and it was the one look he hated. He hated disappointing him. As weird as it was to say, he hated disappointing him. He did it often though, which made him hate himself even more.

“You know where I stand.” His father spoke softly, fixing his tie and calming down completely. “You still have until the end of summer to decide where you stand, son, but I know what you’ll choose. Though, I do advise you choose wisely, just in case. Whether or not you like it, you are a part of this family and I won’t let you tarnish our name.” Harry didn’t say a word as he listened to the words his father was saying. “You accept when the time comes,” he paused only for a second, “or you are no longer a part of this family.”

The words stung him. It was the first time his father had actually said the words directly to him. Sure, he’s been told that if he didn’t grow up and accept the responsibility that he might as well not come home, but he had never been threatened banishment from his own family.

He felt like he couldn’t breathe; like he was being suffocated. How could his own father say such awful things to him? He was his son! His flesh and blood! Why couldn’t he just accept him for who he was? It was always about business and it was never about Harry. Not when he was a kid and not now. And it never would be.

His father didn’t care about him. It was obvious to him and it was probably obvious to the whole damn world. The only thing this man cared about was business and power and money. Harry’s known that for as long as he could remember, but he never wanted to admit it. He prayed for some kind of miracle that would show him that his father loved him and wanted what was best for him. But now? Now he knew the truth. Now he could admit it.

He was nothing but a puppet in this man’s terrible game. And this puppet didn’t seem like he would be getting away from the puppet master anytime soon. He would always be pulling the strings and controlling him. And maybe it was time Harry accepted that, too.

“You better be on your best behavior for a while, Harry. I’ll be sticking around Barcelona for a few weeks on business and I will be checking up on you constantly.”

Harry bit his lip and fought back the tears that threatened to fall as the man walked towards the door and pulled it open. He didn’t bother to look back or say another word to his son as he quickly left, the door slamming shut behind him.

He stood there, perfectly still. He still felt paralyzed from the moment his father struck him; both with his hand and his awful words. He really didn’t want to move, because he was afraid if he did he might fall apart right then and there and he might not be able to recover completely.

“You accept when the time comes.” Harry finally was able to lift his hand up and cover his face as the words haunted and tormented him. “Or you are no longer a part of this family.”

A few tears trickled down his face and hit his hand that was still covering his mouth, keeping the sobs that wanted to break through. He couldn’t believe what had just happened. His heart was aching just at the thought of going over the conversation again and again.

“Or you are no longer a part of this family.”

The words echoed inside him as the hand at his side balled up into a tight fist. His breathing finally sped up as he got angrier and angrier by the second. He hadn’t been so upset in over a year and he knew what was coming next.

Complete breakdown.

He let his frustration get the best of him as he let out an agonizing and frustrated cry, stomping around the room and throwing anything and everything that got in his way. He tipped over tables, knocked over lamps; did anything he could to get it all out. Breaking things was the best way he could his feelings out and out they came.

Harry hadn’t even noticed that the tears were now falling steadily down his face as she thrashed about, letting glass break and items smack against the walls. He tugged on his curls often and was sure that any minute now he might pull them right out.

He stopped and stared at himself in the reflection of the closet mirror, staring at the destroyed boy before him. He didn’t look like himself; at least not the Harry he was when the summer started. No, he looked just like the weak kid he got rid of when his heart broke. And now he was back and he didn’t want that.

He pulled his hand back and threw it right at the mirror, the glass shattering from the contact of his fist and falling to the floor. He cried out in pain, gripping his hand with his other and staring at his bleeding knuckles. His eyes darted to the shattered mirror and he stared at the broken image of himself. 

That’s how he felt. Broken. It was always how he felt, but he did a damn good job hiding it for so long that he started to believe that he was actually okay. But that was far from the truth. No, the truth was that he was always this; broken and fragile. This was who he was and he was sure that there was nothing and nobody that could ever fix that.

He was losing it. He was really losing it. He hadn’t broken down like this ever in his life; not even on his worse and most painful day. But this time he had to. If he didn’t let it out now he was afraid that the next person he saw might get hurt. And he really didn’t want to hurt anyone. Well, anyone except himself. He wanted to tear himself apart for ever being a part of this family.

Sure, it wasn’t his fault. He was born into it. Anyone would consider themselves lucky to be in the position he was, but those were always the people who didn’t have what he did. Who didn’t go through what he had to. Who didn’t have to survive with parents who cared more about business than their own child’s happiness.

He could have lived with being normal. He could have been happy and ecstatic about being born into some poor family for all he cared. But no, he was born into this one. With these people who would rather threat their own son like complete shit than lose a dollar. Harry hated it. He hated being a part of this family, but the thought of being out of it? It scared him even more. If he left or if he was kicked out then he would truly have nobody. Nobody wanted him. Luca? Sure, they were friends, but the only reason they were was because of his social status. Niall would probably leave him too, for all he knew.

Nobody wanted him. Absolutely nobody. It was his fault, he knew that. He knew he could have changed that a long time ago. He could have been a better person and let people into his life that could care for him. But he wasn’t like that. He wasn’t a good guy. He would never be the good guy in everyone’s eyes. He was always going to be the villain to everyone.

Even if he didn’t want to be. Even if, more than anything, he just wanted somebody on his side. Somebody to care for him despite his looks or his money or his power. He neededsomeone. He truly did. But who would come? Who would want him?

Nobody.

So maybe it was time to disappear. Disappear without a word. Maybe he should just accept his fate and go with his father now. Nobody would miss him. Nobody would probably notice he was gone. It was the perfect time to escape. Everyone was together and not even thinking of him probably. It was his chance to go.

Harry headed back into his room and grabbed his suitcase. He hurried around his room, tossing everything he brought back into it as quick as he could. The ache in his heart was hurting even more as he thought about leaving. He would miss so much. He would be so busy with the company that he wouldn’t have time to keep up with Niall and Luca. He wouldn’t have the time to break up with Hannah, though she’d probably get the picture.

And he wouldn’t be able to say goodbye to Kennedy.

He leaned against the wall and dropped his head into his hands. He would be leaving without getting to apologize and say goodbye to the one girl he would regret not doing so with. He would never get the closure and he would never get to tell her how he truly felt.

But what did he feel? He didn’t even know himself. All he knew was that she drove him crazy and that the thought of never seeing her again hurt so bad. So what did that mean? If he did get the chance to say goodbye what would he say?

He didn’t know. He would probably never know now. He just needed to push her out of his mind and focus on his life now. It was time to buckle down and forget about this summer and everything that had happened. 

Harry finished packing and grabbed his suitcase, heading straight back out and towards the door. Maybe if he hurried he could catch his father before he left the hotel.

He took one last look at the room, giving it a silent goodbye before pulling the door open to head out into the hallway. Only, he was stopped when he bumped right into someone coming into the room he was leaving. He dropped his suitcase and looked quickly at the person standing before him, a little surprised.

“What?” he could hardly get the words out. “What are you doing here?”

Kennedy, is this goodbye? Am I really never going to see you again? I don’t know why, but the ache is even more evident than it was before. Why do you have such a hold over me?

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