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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17. Just Keep Breathing - PART I

“You’re always such a disappointment.”

Harry already knew that, of course, but he still hated hearing the words directly from his father. Nothing he did was ever good enough so what was the point in trying anymore? He couldn’t do anything right. Even when it came to making the biggest decision of his life he still wasn’t making it fast enough for his father’s liking.

And he really just wanted to give up.

He knew he could easily end this pressure right now and just tell his father that he wasn’t going to take over the company. He wasn’t ready for that. He was nineteen years old and still trying to figure out what he wanted to do with his life. He’s barely lived and he was expected to run one of the most important companies in the UK? How was that fair?

It wasn’t fair. Hell, Harry’s life has never really been fair to him. Sure, he grew up having almost everything he wanted. He had money and power and people who would do anything to please him. He could have anything with just a snap of a finger.

Well, almost anything. The one thing he actually wanted was someone who truly cared about him for him. Of course he had his mom, but a part of him always knew that if it had to come to it she would side with his father in a heartbeat. And then there was Niall…but he always felt like they were a part of two different worlds. Niall was always running with other friends and other people, while Harry would sit in his house surrounded in meaningless things.

He wasn’t very sociable growing up. That was the one thing he wished he could have changed about his childhood. He was so nervous and anxious around people that it ruined any chance for him to really get to know somebody. And that led to him putting up his walls and locking himself away from the entire world.

He just never expected those walls to follow him all the way to Barcelona. And he never expected that the one person that could change everything he’s ever thought and tried to hide away from would be the same person he was chasing after.

“Don’t you ever go to your own room?”

Harry glanced up from the couch in Hannah’s hotel room and was brought away from his own thoughts as he stared at the beauty standing before him. Kennedy was looking just as good as she always did, even if she looked like she had just gotten up. He wondered if there anything she could do that would ever make him not feel this way. 

He was about to reply, but she just grabbed the bottom of his legs and shoved them onto the floor, taking a seat where they once were and crossing her arms. Harry just chuckled and pushed himself up into a sitting position while ruffling his hair.

“I really don’t know why you insist on hanging around here when I know this entire relationship is bullshit.”

Every time she said that it made him more and more worried. Had she honestly already caught on to his plan? She couldn’t have. But it still worried him and he wondered if in the end he would still be able to pull this off.

“Well aren’t you just a ray of sunshine this morning?” He eyed her intensely, reaching up and rubbing his lips out of habit. He watched her pick up a book from the table and open it to wherever her bookmark was and, once again, he was chuckling softly. “Reading? Really?” Harry snatched the book from her and looked it over. “The Great Gatsby, huh? I think I read this in high school. Well, pretended to read it.”

Kennedy didn’t look as amused as Harry did as she took the book back from him, glaring hard. Even when she was pissed off he couldn’t help but be so caught up in her. She was something else. What is happening to you man? You’re losing it. Focus on the main objective. That’s what he had to do, right? There was no time to be caught up in this girl for any other reason.

“I think you’re the only person in the world who actually reads while they’re on vacation. You’re supposed to be enjoying yourself, Kenny,” he teased.

She gritted her teeth, the intenseness in her glare growing stronger. “Don’t you dare call me that. Hannah is the only person who is allowed and even then I still hate it.”

Yep, she definitely wasn’t amused at all and Harry could tell. He couldn’t help but curse himself repeatedly for saying the wrong thing all the time. He wondered if he’d ever be able to just talk to her normally and not end up in some argument. Maybe if we were forced together with no escape, he smiled to himself at the thought.

The truth was, he would actually do anything just to spend some time and talk to her. Of course if you asked him directly he wouldn’t have admitted it…but it felt like every time he was near her she was changing everything up about him without even trying. It was so confusing and conflicting and Harry didn’t know how to handle these feelings.

Ever since he saw her and Zayn kissing he has wanted nothing more than to swoop her away from that guy. He knew it was wrong, but he didn’t want her with anyone else. And he really didn’t know why he felt like this. He wanted to push these feelings away. He wanted them to leave and never come back so he could just get back to the main objective.

But the more he let this plan go on and on, the more he felt like he was getting absolutely nowhere. Was being with Hannah really not going to help get him close to Kennedy? It was starting to feel like it and he wondered if it was time to just call the whole thing off and move on with his life. Was Kennedy worth all this stress? He suffered enough from his father and this stupid decision that he really didn’t need any more to consume him.

So maybe it was time he gave up on Kennedy Ross once and for all. Give up on this idea of winning the unattainable girl. Give up on this stupid idea of trying to get her to fall for him so that he could just break her heart in the end.

He just wanted to give up.

Just as he was going over his decision, Hannah finally came out of the bathroom, looking like she was ready to go camping or something. For some reason, he had a bad feeling in his stomach that was telling him he wasn’t going to be doing anything he wanted to do today. 

“I have some fun plans for us today,” she grinned widely. “All of us.” This only made both Harry and Kennedy groan in response. They could only imagine what kind of things she would want the three of them to do together and neither of them were really sure they wanted to know.

“No thanks,” Kennedy mumbled. She opened her book back up and went back to her reading as if Hannah hadn’t said anything at all. Harry sighed and glanced over at her, wondering if her rejection was because of him. Of course it is, he thought and felt his stomach sink. This was only making his giving up thought seem more like the right decision.

Hannah wasn’t taking it that well and she stomped her foot down on the floor, pouting. “You haven’t even heard what I have planned, Kenny! I’m telling you that once you know you’ll be begging to come along with us!” Harry rolled his eyes, just choosing to stay silent while the two sister’s bickered back and forth. Also, he was starting to get a headache from Hannah. That wasn’t really unusual though; she always gave him one.

“Fine,” Kennedy sighed as she put her book back down, again, and turned her attention back to Hannah. “I’m listening.”

“The three of us–” Hannah paused for anticipation, but only received annoyed looks from the other two, “–are going hiking!”

Well…his guess from her outfit was sort of close.

“No.” Harry and Kennedy both replied in unison before glancing at each other. Great minds think alike? He gave her a smile, finding it a bit amusing, but only received another glare. He was starting to think that if she kept pulling that face around him then maybe it’ll get stuck that way. She’d still look cute.

Hiking? There was no way he was going along with this. He wasn’t very outdoorsy and he’d rather hang around a pool or even the beach rather than spend time in nature. No way was he agreeing to this.

But, after a few more moments of awkward silence, he started to wonder if maybe he should go after all. Could this be a way to show Kennedy that he was serious about Hannah? Or, well, pretending to be serious? He knew that deep down he wasn’t going to give up on this, nor would Luca ever let him, so he might as well go along with it. He had to get her to stop thinking that this was a ploy or else he would never be able to get her.

Sure, it was wrong. But when did Harry ever do the right thing? If he was going to be the bad guy, then he was going to act like it. Everyone though it, of course. His family, his friends, and Kennedy. Everyone was disappointed in him so why try to show them up now? Might as well play the part.

“Aw, come on you two! Don’t be like that!” Hannah seemed to revert back into a five year old that wasn’t getting their way. She quickly moved over to the couch and wrapped herself around Harry, pulling out that bottom lip and letting it quiver. He knew that she was seconds away from pouting. “Harry, please?” she whined. “It can be like some fun one month anniversary date.”

“Nobody celebrates monthly anniversaries, Hannah.”

Harry had to agree with Kennedy on this one. Even when he had been in relationships in the past he was never one to remember actual anniversaries. But he just decided to keep his thoughts to himself instead of upsetting Hannah even more.

“I think it sounds like a great idea.”

He honestly couldn’t believe the words came out of his mouth, but they did. He decided that he’d go along with Hannah’s little idea of “fun” in the end and just do his best to make it through it. It was the least he could do, right? He didn’t normally feel bad about the things he’s done, but lately…he’s felt like a real jerk.

He wondered if maybe this change in attitude had something to do with how close he had gotten to Kennedy at Niall’s welcome back party. For one night they had actually set their differences aside and, for the most part, they seemed like they were getting along. Hell, he even got so close as to almost kiss her, which has been something he’s been wanting to do again for so long now.

He’d definitely have to thank Niall again for ruining that moment.

Hannah quickly planted small kisses all over Harry’s face and Kennedy made gagging noises at the sight. “Yeah, well I’m definitely not going now.” Harry looked over at her as she got up from the couch and started to head towards his room. He wanted her to go, he really did. If he could get the chance to get away from Hannah on the trip then maybe he could figure out how to get Kennedy to tolerate him.

“Come on, Kenny! If you come with us you can bring Zayn.”

Harry’s stomach instantly dropped at Hannah’s suggestion. No way. No way in hell was that motorcycle riding, leather jacket wearing, girl stealing thug coming along with them. That guy was, almost, number one on his list of most hated people and he had no intention on spending any more amount of time with the dude.

“No way,” Harry piped in, much to the confusion of Hannah.

But Kennedy on the other hand? She slowly turned around, a smirk coming clear across her face. She eyed Harry for a few moments, almost like she was taunting him. He knew exactly what she was going to say and he hated it even more. A part of him was now regretting wanting her to ever come now.

“Well,” she crossed her arms, smiling, “if Zayn can come then I’m in.”

Great.

And that is exactly how Harry ended up in one of the worst situations of his life. Well, maybe he was being overdramatic, but it was definitely not one of his favorites. He regretted ever coming to the decision to come, forgetting all about his ‘least I can do’ and ‘feeling like a jerk’ ideas that had popped into his head earlier that morning.

But there he was, standing at the bottom of a trail just a bit outside of Barcelona. The mountain before him, which Harry had completely forgotten the name of, looked absolutely awful and he was not looking forward to this at all. He grumbled to himself and glanced around at his new company.

The only part of his company that he really wanted to focus on though? The beautiful girl standing a few feet away from him with her signature hat sitting perfectly on top of her head.

The only thing making her less appealing? The person who she was completely wrapped up in and that was Zayn. He may be Niall’s friend, but Harry wished nothing more than for the guy to just completely disappear. He thought back to their confrontation the night of the party and couldn’t help but laugh at the idea of this guy planning to fight for her. He could fight all he wanted, but Harry knew one thing for certain.

He would lose, because Harry wasn’t going down that easy.

Kennedy and Zayn weren’t the only company that had joined Hannah and himself. Luca had tagged along and even brought his friend, which is a word Harry used loosely, Carmen that has been the center of his attention during this game the two were playing. He was a little envious that he had already managed to rope the girl in and so far it was seeming like Harry might end up losing this little bet.

And then there was Niall, who insisted on coming because he had nothing better to do. Harry didn’t really complain; having Niall there might give him time to get away from Hannah at least for a little bit during this hike.

But the only person he was interested in was Kennedy. God, even when she looked absolutely miserable to be here he still thought she was beautiful. He couldn’t take his eyes off of her and he hoped this wouldn’t be a problem. If Luca caught the way he was looking at the girl he would definitely not be happy.

And if Luca wasn’t happy… Well, the thought was something Harry didn’t want to think about.

“Hannah, can I borrow Harry for a minute?” Niall came over and interrupted the two of them. “I think Carmen could use a break from Luca.” He scrunched up his face by just saying Luca’s name. It was obvious that Niall definitely didn’t like the guy.

Hannah didn’t seem as if she wanted to let go of Harry’s hand, but sighed and did so, going up to the front of the group as they continued up the trail. Niall couldn’t help but chuckle as he saw the relief cross Harry’s face.

“So do you want to talk about it?” 

Harry knew exactly by the tone Niall was using what he was talking about. And he reallydidn’t want to. He had a feeling Niall wasn’t going to let him get away with it though.

“If we’re talking about my phone call this morning then the answer is no. Now that we’re done with that why don’t we just head back down the path and ditch? I’m sure we wouldn’t be missed.” Harry was almost a pro at avoiding situations most of the time. Unfortunately, this was Niall he was dealing with.

“So what did your dad have to say now?” Niall frowned for his friend, knowing that the situation was upsetting him. Harry, on the other hand, just pushed those feelings away and put on a forced smile.

“Exactly what you’re thinking right now. So really, Niall we’re done talking about it. I don’t want to think about him, I don’t want to deal with him, and I sure as hell don’t want to talk about him. Okay? Okay.”

He didn’t mean to snap, but the situation always seemed to call for it. The call they were talking about was the one from his father. He may be missing his cell phone, but his dad still seemed to find him somehow. And he definitely seemed to say the same thing over and over again every time he talked to Harry.

“You’re always such a disappointment.” Yeah, he was. Harry knew that. Everyone knew that. Hell, someone who probably didn’t even know him knew that. It wasn’t a secret that Harry Styles managed to disappoint everyone he’s ever met. And he definitely wouldn’t be hearing the end of it as long as his father was still talking to him.

And Harry hated it. Oh, he hated it more than anything. He wanted nothing more than to make his father proud. He wanted to prove to him that he wasn’t such a screw up, but how? He couldn’t just do what his father wanted and accept all this responsibility right away. He wasn’t ready and he needed time. 

Harry was starting to think that he would never be able to please the man no matter what he did. Hell, he’d probably still be a disappointment even if he did take over the company. In his father’s eyes, Harry was a failure in every way possible.

Harry managed to get Niall to leave him alone and soon turned his attention back to Kennedy. She was, also, alone as Zayn had taken some time away from her to talk with Niall. Harry couldn’t help but smile, feeling like he finally had a chance to get some alone time with her.

So of course that had to be ruined.

He was about to head over to spark up a conversation with her, but missed his chance when Luca took the opportunity. He threw a look back at Harry and Harry couldn’t help but feel like he was taunting him in some way.

Harry watched them intensely, feeling his blood boil. What the hell did Luca think he doing? He had no idea what Luca was even saying to her and it worried him a little. For some reason, he felt like Luca was up to something. When wasn’t he? But by the way he placed his hand on Kennedy’s lower back, letting it run down and getting closer and closer towards her butt, Harry knew he had to step in.

He probably hadn’t jogged that fast in a while. When he neared the two he quickly grabbed Luca’s hand and squeezed it hard, lifting it above and away from Kennedy in any possible way. Luca looked a bit surprised, as did Kennedy.

“Problem, Harry?” Luca grinned, knowing the answer already. He tore his arm away from Harry’s grasp. 

“I think Carmen would probably like her boyfriend right now, don’t you think?” Harry spoke lowly, the intenseness coming strong from his voice. He had never reacted like this before in his life, and he assumed that Luca thought the same thing. This was definitely not helping his case with the whole “softness” debate.

“Well why don’t I go check on her then?” Luca narrowed his eyes as he smirked a tad. He turned back to face Kennedy and took her hand, pulling it up to her lips. “I had a lovely time talking to you. We should do it again soon.” He kissed it softly before dropping it and heading to catch up with the rest of the group.

Both Kennedy and Harry stood there awkwardly. They looked at each other for only a brief moment before Kennedy tried to walk around him and head towards the group. Well, Harry wasn’t going to let this go. He grabbed her hand quickly and stopped her from walking.

“What did Luca want?”

Kennedy made a face and yanked her arm away, a little frustrated. “It’s none of your damn business, Harry. Stay out of it.” She seemed more irritated with him than usual and he started to wonder if Luca had really said something about him to her.

He inhaled a deep breath and placed his hands on her shoulders before looking at her, completely serious. “Kennedy, listen to me okay? I want you to stay away from him, alright? Do not be alone with the guy.”

Kennedy raised an eyebrow at him and pulled away. “How about you butt out and stay out of my business?” She was definitely not up to dealing with Harry’s bullshit today. He didn’t really blame her; most of the time he didn’t want to deal with himself either. But why couldn’t she just understand him being sincere for once? He really didn’t want her anywhere near Luca.

Sure, Luca was his friend; maybe even one of his best friends. They had been through a lot over the past few years and he’s even gotten Harry through a lot of dark times. But he knows Luca better than anyone else…and that’s why he doesn’t want her near him. He was a bad guy and he didn’t care who he hurt. And even though the objective of their little game was to hurt people…a part of Harry really didn’t want to see her hurt ever. And he had no idea why.

“I mean it. Stay away from him.”

“I don’t think you have a say in who I hang around.” She crossed her arms. Why did she have to go against him? He was starting to just want her to figure out her mistake for herself.

He stared at her for a long time, trying to figure out what to do. She wouldn’t listen to him so what was the point? He tossed his hands up in the air and shook his head, stepping around her to rejoin their group. Unfortunately, that wouldn’t be happening any time soon. He stopped the moment he saw that the only two that were left on the trail was himself and Kennedy. Where had everyone gone? 

“I think we got left behind.” He reached up and ran a hand through his hair, a little nervous about where the group had gone. But, the more he thought about it, the more he was liking this. This is what he wanted, right? He wanted some alone time with her and now he had it. This could work to his advantage.

“Look what you did! You just had to go and butt into everyone else’s business and now we’re lost!” Kennedy grumbled and stormed off up the path, hoping that if she hurried she would be able to catch up to everyone.

Harry followed closely behind, not wanting to get left behind any farther. He quickly caught up to her side and laughed slightly. “Oh, this is not my fault. I was trying to be a nice guy and warn you about Luca, but you had to go and be a jerk. So I believe this is your fault.” He guessed that his jokes weren’t getting him any closer to having a reasonable conversation with her as she sent him a harsh glare.

He felt a little exasperated at this point. What more was he to do? He tried helping her out and warning her; failed. He’s tried joking with her and what not; failed. So what now?

You could be nice.

The voice at the back of his head sounded way too similar to Niall. Be nice? He’s always nice. Well, maybe not always nice. But he was being nice when he was trying to help her out and she still was angry with him.

Maybe if you weren’t using her sister.

Yeah, it was definitely sounding like Niall. Even when he wasn’t around he was still there trying to make him see through his awful mistakes. But this time…a part of Harry actually felt like the voice, his Niall conscience or whatever, was right.

This whole thing has become nothing but a mess and it was all his fault. Could he really blame Kennedy for not wanting to talk to him or be around him? No, he couldn’t. He’s fucked up any chance of her being able to tolerate him and it honestly sucked. He didn’t want that. He wanted to get to know her and he wanted to spend time with her.

So why was he constantly fucking it all up?

The two of them came upon, what seemed like, a fork in the road. One path led to the left and the other led straight up the mountain. He stood there, a little stumped and not sure which way they should take.

“They probably went up the mountain. Knowing Hannah she’d want to do something nobody else would want.”

Harry wasn’t too sure. He glanced to the other path, wondering if maybe they went that way instead. “Are you sure? The other path looks safer.”

“Don’t be a baby. I know they went this way,” she argued, ignoring anything Harry had to say and continuing up the path she wanted to go. Harry bit his lip, having an inner battle on whether he should follow her or not. He eventually sighed and jogged up to follow her, continuing up the mountain.

He was exhausted at this point. He couldn’t remember the last time he had really walked this much and he was starting to realize that he definitely needed to work out soon. But there were better things he needed to do and that was getting the chance to finally talk to Kennedy now that they were alone.

But what was he going to say? For the first time in a long time, he was completely out silent. He didn’t know what to say to her anymore. No matter what came out of his mouth it seemed to just piss her off. He seemed to just piss her off.

He didn’t want that. He wasn’t sure when it changed, but for a while now he has wanted nothing more than for her to not hate him. He wants to get along and just, as weird as it is to say, be friends. This girl had come into his life and completely changed everything up. He didn’t know who he was anymore. He felt like the Harry he was when he came to Barcelona wasn’t the Harry he is now.

And it’s because of this girl. This confusing and aggravating and alarming girl. Why couldn’t he just let her go? Why couldn’t he just forget about her? All he wanted to do this summer was have fun before he was supposed to make the biggest decision of his life. He wanted to sleep with beautiful women and mess things up and, to put it simple, be a complete jackass. That was the plan and now it seemed like the plan had changed.

And it was all because of this girl.

“Stop looking at me,” she divulged, looking over at him and catching his eye. His eyes opened a bit wider and he went completely red before coughing and trying to cover it up by looking away.

“Sorry,” he sighed. 

He had to get rid of these feelings. He had to remember the goal. If Luca found out that he was rethinking this whole thing again it wouldn’t be good. He had to forget about any idea of actually caring for Kennedy Ross.

Harry felt a little uneasy as the path became a bit more ragged and they were walking on part of the actual mountain. He looked over the edge and quickly backed up to the wall, his heart racing. If there was one thing Harry hated more than being out in nature it was definitely heights. He didn’t do good around them and he really just wanted to turn back and head down the trail again.

“M–Maybe we should go back down,” he swallowed, barely being able to make the words out. He really didn’t want to move from the spot, as the fear of falling right off the mountain consumed all of his thoughts.

“You are such a baby,” Kennedy laughed, surprising Harry a bit. So the terror he expressed was something that made her happy? He could work with that, but he reallydidn’t want to.

“Come on, let’s just head back down. You were wrong and they didn’t go this way.” Harry just wanted to get off this mountain as fast as they could and he didn’t care what he had to say to do so. If he wasn’t trying to be nice he probably would have just left her up there and went down himself.

Kennedy let out a long sigh as she peeked inside a small cavern in the wall. “Maybe you’re right.” Harry felt a little relieved and turned quickly to head back down the mountain. He turned back once to make sure Kennedy was coming, but his eyes immediately shot open.

It was like every single thing had suddenly slowed down in that instance. Well, all except his heart; that was racing so fast that he thought it might beat right out of his chest. Nothing would ever top how terrified he was in that single moment. 

He glanced up quickly at the shaking rocks from the ridge above where Kennedy was standing and watched as they started to slip right over the edge. His breathing started to catch up with him and he felt his feet moving towards her.

“Kennedy, watch out!” He reached forward as he neared her and wrapped his arms around her, letting his chest slam into hers and sending them both tumbling backwards into the cavern. He had never been so scared in his entire life as he threw himself over top of her once they hit the ground and the smoke started to crowd around them once the rocks hit the ground.

Once the silence started to hang over them he rolled off of her quickly and started coughing hard, the dust choking him a bit. He pulled his hand up to wave the rest away, but quickly winced and shot his free hand to that arm, holding it.

“Fuck,” he winced, a sharp pain shooting through his body. He could hardly see, the only light for them coming from a small hole from somewhere close. He came to the conclusion that he must have either hit his arm too hard on the ground or one of the rocks had hit him in the process. Either or, he wasn’t enjoying the pain all too well.

He sucked in a sharp breath and tried to ignore the pain as he glanced back towards where they came from. His breath fell from his lips in ragged strides as he felt his heart stop. The rocks that had almost completely crushed Kennedy had stacked up at the entrance and were blocking them from getting out of there.

“Oh, fuck,” he groaned again. They were in for it now. He swallowed hard as he rubbed his arm once more, trying to ease the pain just a little bit. And that’s when it hit him. “Kennedy!”

He forgot about everything he was worrying about at that moment and hurried over to where he had left Kennedy. He leaned over her and waved his hand, trying to see if she was alright.

“Kennedy? Kennedy, say something. Are you okay?” Harry was almost in panic as he reached down and picked her hand up, resting it under his hand as he tapped her face lightly with his free one. “Kennedy, come on. Wake up.”

She laid still and he quickly checked to see if she was breathing. He let out a relieved sigh when he realized she was and came to the conclusion that she must have knocked herself out when she hit the ground. Thank God, he thought as he sat down on the ground and pulled her head onto her lap, trying to make her more comfortable.

“You’re gonna be okay,” he promised, even though she wasn’t conscious to hear it. He caressed the side of her face, trying to convince himself of that as well. 

She had to be okay. He had seen so many people walk out of his life and just leave him high and dry, but he wasn’t going to let Kennedy be one of them. She just knocked herself out. That’s it. She would be okay.

“I’m gonna figure this out, okay?” Harry looked around, trying to find a way to get them out of there, but coming up short. With Kennedy out and his arm killing him he was running out of options. He couldn’t move all the rocks by himself and it didn’t seem like anyone was coming and looking for them anytime soon. But he had to have hope. “I’m gonna figure this out.”

He had to figure this out.

Kennedy, please be okay. There’s so much I still want to do with you and I need you to be okay.

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