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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2. Peace Sign

Morning already.

Kennedy groaned as she covered her face with the pillow to block the agonizingly bright sun from giving her even more of a headache. It was already her second day in Barcelona and she was completely done. She was convinced by this point that sunshine was her enemy.

“Out of bed, lazy bones!”

Another, more aggravated, groan came from her pillow-smushed face. Her older sister had a habit of making her angry in the early morning hours. They were supposed to be on vacation, right? So what was the point of getting up at any time before noon?

“Kennedy!” Another yell came from the front room of their suite.

“I’m up!” She pulled her face away from the pillow and yelled back at her sister. Here we go.

Kennedy managed to push herself off the bed and swing her legs over the side. She stretched out and her shirt lifted slighting with her arms and she let the sun that shone through the window hit the revealing skin. It warmed her skin and she couldn’t help but smile a little as she relaxed. But when the sunlight crept up to her eyes and caused her momentary blindness, her smile soon faded and she was leaning back against the mattress, scrunching her eyes together and trying to shield herself.

This perfect, “much needed” vacation (as her sister called it) wasn’t exactly what she pictured as perfect. After spending a good chunk of her junior year hauled up in her dark bedroom doing absolutely nothing, she hadn’t quite adjusted to what it felt like to be on vacation. Or, if it wasn’t obvious, the sun. 

“Are you seriously going to waste this day away in bed?”

Kennedy made a face, mocking her sister in the slightest, and pushed off the bed quickly to avoid any more contact with the sun. She dragged herself lazily from the bedroom and out into the living area. Her sister, Hannah, faced the mirror attached to the closet door and fiddled with putting her earrings in. Kennedy plopped herself down on the couch and watched her closely.

Kennedy stared at her sister as she finished getting ready. It honestly bothered Kennedy just how envious she was of her sister. She didn’t think she was ugly by any means, but she couldn’t get over just how flawed she was when she compared herself to Hannah. 

Hannah’s hair had this silky sheen to it, and it flowed perfectly down her back. Kennedy, on the other hand, struggled with her hair on a daily basis. It never laid right. She always had fly-aways and split ends. Hats had become her best friends in her later years. 

Kennedy also wore hats because no matter how hard she tried, she never tanned. Within a short time in the sun, she would burn to a crisp, the golden glow always evading her. Hannah had no trouble with her skin. She kept a perpetual tan, even in the winter months. Kennedy was sure it was some sort of witchcraft but she never could convince her parents.

All through school, Hannah had been the athlete. The cheerleader. The “fit” one. Kennedy couldn’t keep a bit of muscle on her bones. She had a lanky body-type with chicken legs and tiny arms that drove her absolutely crazy. Her sister, on the other hand, had the irresistible abs and a healthy looking body.

All her life, Kennedy had yearned to look like Hannah, and now, even after all these years, that twinge of jealousy was always popping back up.

“What do you have planned for today?” Hannah glanced at Kennedy in the reflection of the mirror and sighed. “Please tell me you’re not going to lay about all day.”

“Of course not,” well, it was the plan. “There’s lots of things to do.”

“Why don’t you go make some friends? I don’t think hanging around Uncle Raymond was on mom and dad’s agenda when they sent us.”

Kennedy had to give Hannah that one. Their mother had made it a point for Kennedy to get out of the house for the summer and not spend it cooped up in her bedroom.“Sunshine will be good for you, lovebug.” Was it really that important?

Her parents figured spending some time at their uncle’s hotel in Barcelona was the best idea. Sunshine and communication? Kennedy wouldn’t be able to avoid it then. 

“I was always told not to talk to strangers.” Kennedy smirked a little, knowing that her sister would either laugh or ticked by her smart mouth. 

To her fortune, Hannah laughed. “Well, I won’t tell if you won’t. Just go mingle. I’m sure you’ll find someone to keep you occupied,” Hannah finished readying herself and took one last look in the mirror before grabbing her bag. “I have a date with the cute bartender downstairs. Don’t wait up?”

“Got it.”

Kennedy let out an aggravated groan as she collapsed dramatically back against the couch. Even with only being in Barcelona for two days, her perfect sister still managed to get enough attention to get a date. 

She thought back to all those nights she would watch Hannah prepare herself for date after date. The envy was always seething off of her. Of course, Kennedy got her chance to date a lot throughout high school. There were nice guys, great guys even, but once he would walk her back to her door the first words that would come out of his mouth would be along the lines of, “Hey Kenny, is Hannah home? I’d love to say hi.”

And, almost always, this ended with a hard slam of the door in his face. She lived in her sister’s shadows. She couldn’t escape them at home and she couldn’t escape them at school either. It was a never ending cycle.

So Kennedy gave up. She gave up trying to please boys and gave up, ultimately, trying to date them. What was the point? High school boys were immature and only knew and referred to her as “Hannah Ross’ kid sister”. That’s who she always was and that’s who she always was going to be. 

Kennedy pulled herself off the couch and grabbed a book from her bag. Her family wanted her to go outside, right? They didn’t say she couldn’t bury herself in a book. Score one, Kennedy!

She walked out on the balcony and leaned against the railing. She had to admit, it did feel nice out. She wondered if she could adapt to Barcelona and be able to go back to gloomy Seattle by the end of summer. 

Kennedy sunk down into a chair and put her feet up on the table before digging back into the spot she had left off in The Great Gatsby. She ran her eyes down the page to where she had left off. Daisy had just arrived for tea and had an awkward reunion with Gatsby. She wondered to herself how she would react in their shoes. If she had been reunited with someone, who was in love with her, and remembered how long it had been since they last met. Would she be embarrassed?

Just as she was getting right back into it, the sound of the balcony next to hers made her jump and she pulled herself away from her book. She felt a little anxious as she stared at the attractive guy leaning against his own balcony and staring out at the city. He seemed so lost in thought and she was afraid to disturb him.

She racked her brain, trying to remember his name. It was on the tip of her tongue. So many things had happened when they met the day before, that his name was the least. But it suddenly came to her.

“Harry?” She felt her heart speed up as she slapped her hand over her mouth. She had meant for it to be an inner recollection, but somehow it had slipped out her mouth and she was now staring wide eyed in his direction. 

Harry turned around towards her, and slowly, that smile was stretching across his lips. His eyes got a bit wider as he stared at her, completely dumbfounded. Kennedy couldn’t help but let her eyes trail over him. He was absolutely too good looking for his own good, and he knew it. 

His hair was pushed back with a dark blue headscarf. On anybody else, it would probably look ridiculous, but he was able to somehow pull it off. The rest of his outfit was simple. A plain white t-shirt, paired with some dark skinny jeans and that damn near perfect smile. 

It wasn’t fair just how good he looked. It was completely disarming to Kennedy. How could one guy wear such a simple outfit and be able to take the breath of any girl that passed by?
She wasn’t sure, but he done it well.

However, she couldn’t get over their first encounter the day before. She had a feeling he played the game a few more times than he was willing to let on, and he had every line memorized. Probably by now, Kennedy realized, he expected that she should have already been in his bed just like the others. But she wasn’t going to give up without a fight

He would have to do a lot more work to get to that point. That was one thing she was sure of.

“It’s you,” He continued to smile as he kept that same look on his face. “Hat girl.”

Hat girl? She couldn’t help but chuckle to herself and look away quickly. She was sure she was blushing at the point. He had given her a nickname already? She slightly glanced back in his direction and felt her stomach drop. 

She had never been looked at that way. For so many years she watched Hannah get all the attention and all the boys, but this time there was one staring right at her as if she were the only person around. As if she was the most beautiful person in the world.

But, mostly, as if she was something to eat. 

She couldn’t help but feel that same anxiousness again. Something about this strange guy had given her this eerie feeling. She was sure it was because of that look, but it could have easily been anything else about this gorgeous guy. 

She tried to push the awkward feelings away and returned his smile. “I did say I would tell you my name if we met again, didn’t I?” She grabbed her book and headed back towards her room. Should she tell him? She had barely known the guy after all.

But, out of the corner of her eye, she saw him stumble closer and grip the railing opposite of hers. He stared at her wide the widest eyes, as if he were waiting for her to spill the beans. She couldn’t leave him hanging, right?

She looked over her shoulder in his direction and met his eyes. “It’s Kennedy.” She looked away quickly and retreated back into the room and shut the sliding door behind her. She knew what would happen next.

“5…4…” She kept her eyes on the front door, waiting for it. “3…2…” And as she opened her mouth to let out the last number, a quick, almost impatient, knock came to the door. She could tell exactly who it was. 

She tossed her book on the couch and walked cautiously to the door. She paused right against it as her hand held the doorknob. Should she open it? If she did, this could open to a summer she wasn’t sure she was ready for. This guy she didn’t know anything about, aside from his name, would now be a part of her life; no matter how big or small it may be. 

And another thought crossed her mind instantly. How could she know he wasn’t some maniac that wanted to kidnap her or kill her? She blamed her fascination of horror movies for her new paranoid feelings. He could be standing there with a hockey mask on and it could all be over for her in a second.

She stood on her tippy toes for a second and looked out the peephole. She mostly just saw a mess of curls, but breathed a sigh of relief when he was mask-less. There was noJason standing on the other side of the door. Unbeknownst to her, standing there was just going to be another horror to her. 

She took a deep breath and opened the door slowly, revealing those same green eyes she had met twice now. 

“Kennedy,” he smiled the instant he saw her and leaned against the door frame. “That’s a great name.” 

“Did you come over here just to tell me that?” She felt a little embarrassed.

“I came to talk mostly, but you’re just so beautiful that you made me forget my pickup line.”

“Smooth,” she couldn’t help but laugh just like she had yesterday at his stupid lines. He thought he was clever, didn’t he? “Is that how you pick everyone up?”

“Well,” he laughed, revealing with just that one word that he had. He looked past her and into the suite before meeting her eyes again. “Can I come in?”

Her smile faded and alarms went off in her head the moment he asked. Those same ideas of horror movie scenes played out in her mind and she knew for a fact that there was no way he was coming in. Yet

She bit down on her lip and walked farther out into the hallway, pulling the door closed behind her. “Why don’t we just talk out here? My sister’s inside and she’s got a headache.” A lie. Was she really already lying to him? Something in her felt it was necessary, though. 

“Of course, I’m sorry for being so rude and asking like that,” he motioned with his hands down the hallway, as if he were asking her to walk with him. “

She tried to hide her hesitation behind a smile, but it was still there. She couldn’t shake the feeling that this guy, this gorgeous guy in front of her, was trouble. Nothing but trouble. It wasn’t that he looked crazy and it wasn’t that he was creepy or rude.

But rather it was the fact that he seemed too good to be true. He was almost too perfect. He seemed like one of those guys you would see in underwear ads or maybe even on billboards in New York City. But he wasn’t doing any of those. He was standing there, with a charming smile on his face, and obviously not hiding the fact that he wanted to be around her.

She gave in and began walking with him, making sure to keep a good enough distance between the two. “So, Harry,” she looked up at him and wasn’t surprised when she found him still staring at her. “Do you live here or are you just staying for a few days?”

“I don’t live here and I’m not here for just a few days. I’m actually here for the summer.”

The summer? Freaking great… She felt rude thinking it, but at the same time she didn’t care. They were both here for the summer and, coincidentally, they would be living right next to each other. She supposed this would have to be something she got used to.

“So am I,” she piped out and decided to quickly change the subject when she saw his eyes light up again. But what was she supposed to say? She was never one to initiate conversations, especially with good looking guys. At this point, she would have either said something she shouldn’t have or possibly even tripped and fallen right on her face. “So…”

“I may be jumping the gun here, but would you like to get some coffee? I would love to get to know you some more.” The way he spoke couldn’t help but send butterflies through Kennedy’s stomach. Nobody had ever wanted to actually know things about her. Those little dates she would go on back home always ended in talk about Hannah.

A part of her wished she could refuse, but somehow she managed to say, “sure, that sounds like fun.” Where did that come from? You’re losing it, Kennedy. She had no idea why she was feeling like she had a shield up. Harry seemed nice enough. So he was a little more forward than she was used to. So what? Did that give her the right to act so distant?

The two rode the elevator at the end of the hallway down to the lobby and headed out into the beautiful city before them. She instantly covered her eyes to shield them from the blinding sun. Harry took notice and grabbed the sunglasses that were hanging from his shirt and placed them sweetly over her eyes. She looked up and couldn’t help but smile. 

This was the guy she was so nervous about? She felt a little more relieved as he smiled right back at her.

“Thanks,” she reached up to take the glasses off, “but you should wear them.”

“Come on,” he laughed as he reached over to push them back against her face. “They look better on you.” 

Kennedy couldn’t help but notice his laugh. It was the kind of laugh that could bring a smile right to your face, and for Kennedy it did. She started laughing with him and accidentally leaned in and knocked into his shoulder. 

Harry just stared at her, the look on his face showing that he was completely mesmerized by her. “What are you laughing at?”

Kennedy shook her head and for some reason couldn’t stop laughing. “I have no idea!” She laughed louder and held her stomach. She just kept laughing and laughing, which caused Harry to join in too. 

Any normal person walking down the street was definitely giving them weird looks as they headed inside the coffee shop after a short walk from the hotel. The laughing finally began to seize as she looked up and realized how close she had actually gotten to him during his moment of weakness. 

Harry reached over slowly and swiped a few stray hairs that had gotten out of place out of her face and tucked them behind her ear. “You have such a cute laugh.”

“And there you go with those cheesy lines again. Is that how you always get dates?” She placed her order with the barista behind the counter and moved to the side to wait.

Harry shook his head and she was sure he could see him roll his eyes. “Do you think I use these lines with just anyone?”

“You don’t?” She raised an eyebrow, not buying it one bit. Something about Harry made her know that he was a ladies man. And she didn’t find it appealing at all. 

Harry opened his mouth to answer, but found nothing coming out. Kennedy knew she had cornered him there and it made her feel a little better. “I thought so.”

“What about you?” He leaned against the counter and narrowed his eyes at her. “I’m sure you’ve got all the boys drooling over you.”

“That’s where you’re wrong, curly,” she pushed his arm aside, which caused him to stumble a little, and grabbed her cup from the counter. She turned quickly and walked over to an empty table in the corner. Once she was sitting she glanced back in his direction. “Are you coming?”

Harry didn’t hesitate a single second as he grabbed he coffee and hightailed it over to the table. He sunk smoothly into the seat and grinned widely at Kennedy. 

“So, tell me about yourself.” He leaned over the table slightly and stared right into her eyes. A part of her felt those same butterflies arriving back in her stomach. Was she falling into some trap? Was sitting here, having coffee with him, a mistake?

She thought back to what Gatsby had said in her book. “This is a terrible mistake. A terrible, terrible mistake.”

She tried to push past these awkward feelings and try to be normal. He was a guy. Just a normal guy, and she had to try to believe that. There was nothing dangerous about him. There was nothing about him that should make her this nervous. So why did she get the feeling that something was going to go terribly wrong?

“What would you like to know?” She pulled back, trying to distance herself from him. “There’s honestly nothing too interesting about me.”

“Well,” he smirked slightly, “do you have a boyfriend?”

Ding, ding, ding. There it was. The question she should have been waiting for. This guy didn’t want to get to know her. He didn’t want to her about her home life or her friends or what she likes to do. He wanted a date.

She held back all the frustration she wanted to just yell at Harry. She even wanted to pull her coffee back and throw it right at him. He was like all the guys at home. And if she were to start anything with this guy she didn’t even know, she was sure he would meet her sister and leave Kennedy hanging. 

She rose from her seat quickly and clutched her coffee cup in her hands. Don’t throw it at him, Kennedy. Keep calm. She listened to her inner thoughts and just gave the best smile she could, though she was obviously disappointed. 

“I have to go. This wasn’t a great idea. Thanks for the coffee.” She didn’t even give him the chance to reply right then as she retreated out of the shop. She should have known this guy who was obviously infatuated, from what she could tell, wouldn’t just leave it at that.

“Kennedy, wait!” He moved in front of her to stop her from walking, a seemingly sincere expression on his face. “I’m sorry, that was incredibly rude of me to ask. I’ve been told to think before I speak, and I guess I haven’t learned my lesson just yet.”

Kennedy stood there, feeling a little better. As much as she didn’t want to admit it, he was definitely different, in the slightest way, than the boys she knew. If she were back home with a local, she would have definitely made it home without any of them running after her and apologizing. Maybe he was worth it, despite her anxieties about him.

“I’m really sorry,” to Kennedy, he actually did look sincere. And that was good enough for her. “Can you let me make it up to you? There’s this party tomorrow night down at this club near the beach. Would you please accompany me as my plus one?”

He was asking her out? She didn’t know how to feel. This guy was so confusing and it was driving her insane. She was going back and forth with all these feelings about him since earlier and now she wasn’t sure. 

The only thing she was sure of was she wasn’t giving in completely just yet.

She laughed a bit and walked past him. Almost in unison to their meeting yesterday, she brushed up against his arm involuntarily and looked up into his eyes. She could tell but the look on his face that she was, also, driving him a little crazy.

“Maybe.”

She looked away instantly and continued walking, not bothering to give him a look back. She didn’t need to, right? She knew exactly what he was doing and it made her chuckle thinking of the anxious look on his face. 

She made her way back towards the hotel with a new feeling rushing over her. A feeling of satisfaction crossed her. She knew this guy was used to getting what he wanted. But she wasn’t going to give in that easy. Not this time.

Harry…you’re gonna have to try a hundred times harder than that.

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