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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22. Saying Sorry

Is today over yet?

Most people would be excited when that one time of year comes around where everyone is supposed to make you feel special and pay attention to you. Most people would be thrilled to be spending their birthday with friends and having a big party. Most people wouldn’t be lying in bed dreading everything that was to happen.

Then again, most people weren’t Kennedy Ross.

She could have lived with skipping her birthday this year. Hell, she hardly even celebrated it at home so why bother doing so in Barcelona? There was no point really. All she knew was that birthdays meant trouble and trouble meant disaster.

She really could have lived with skipping her birthday this year.

Was she going to be allowed to? Of course not.

So the best thing to do was force on a smile, act happy, and try not to struggle too much through the day. She could play it up; pretend to actually be enjoying herself. But on the inside? She’d definitely be counting down the minutes for the day to be over. – 

It was a shame time never moved as fast as anyone wanted it to.
 

–------------------------- ---------------------------


It was definitely not her kind of scene; people she didn’t know scattered everywhere, balloons left and right, and presents she really didn’t want stacked up. She honestly wanted to bail, but she knew if she tried Hannah would find out and drag her back before she could make a far enough getaway. 

Just a few hours. All you have to do is hang around for a few hours.

“Hey, Kennedy!” She glanced over towards the group of people passing by, smiles on their faces. “Happy Birthday!”

Thank you person I don’t know.

At least, that’s what she wanted to say. Instead she just politely smiled and thanked them before shuffling away so she didn’t have to interact with any more people she didn’t know. If anyone thought Kennedy was awkward on a normal day, then they definitely would think she’s certifiably unsocial today. 

Her ideal birthday would have been sitting at the hotel, maybe having Zayn over, and trying to figure out what the hell she’s even going to do about that situation. Big parties? People dancing and having a good time? This wasn’t her idea of fun. But, that’s when you get when your sister is Hannah and she knows everyone despite their location. 

At least one of her ideal birthday situations were coming true.

She couldn’t help but smile as she stared at the door, watching probably the most gorgeous person walk right in, his eyes scanning the room to obviously find her. For some reason she could feel the butterflies fluttering in the pit of her stomach and it made her even more nervous than she already was. 

Eventually Zayn’s eyes did land on her and that famous smile of his crossed his face as he headed in her direction. She noticed that he checked her out briefly and he realized he had been caught, blushing slightly as he neared her. 

“Hey.” He rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly as he stood in front of her.

“Hey.”

The tension was clear between them and she started to wonder if anyone else could feel it too. She just wanted to break it and act normally, but it was kind of hard to do that when one has this great guy in front of her and she’s not exactly sure on what to do with her feelings.

“Um, happy birthday.” Zayn pulled her into a one–armed hug as he took the first step to break their suffocating tension. When he pulled back he found himself looking her up and down again, the blush still on his cheeks. “You look beautiful.”

Well, he wasn’t the only one blushing cause that comment was definitely the trigger Kennedy needed for hers to start. On any other day she probably would have just awkwardly laughed or maybe joked around with him, but there was something else on her mind that was keeping her embarrassed.

Hannah.

Usually she wouldn’t be thinking about her sister while she’s supposed to be having this moment with Zayn, but she couldn’t help but hear those words she had told her this morning over and over again.

“Zayn likes you, Kennedy. He’s open and honest with how he feels about you so why can’t you be honest with your own feelings? Hell, you should have already lost your virginity to the guy because you and I both know that he’s the one for you.”

Sex. Everything always fell upon sex. No matter how hard she tried to avoid the subject and just not think about it, she just wasn’t trying hard enough. There was always going to be that big question up in the air.

Am I ready?

Sometimes she felt weird that she hadn’t lost her virginity yet. Hell, Hannah and almost every girl back in Seattle at her high school had lost it. So why was hers still intact and her fear keeping her from doing something about it? 

“You okay?” Zayn got a bit closer, his face only inches from hers now. “You kind of spaced out there for a bit.”

Well, the blush wasn’t going to go away any time soon now. “Sorry about that. I just–” She desperately searched for something to get her out of another awkwardly situation and was relieved when she found that something. “Niall!”

Saved by the bell? Nah, saved by the blond.

She rushed him over with quick hand gestures and greeted him with a relieved hug. “Thanks for coming.”

“No problem, this seems like a great party. Oh, and happy birthday. You having a good day?” 

Well, she could tell the truth about how she wished she wasn’t here right now.

Or she could just lie and fake having a good time.

“I’m having a great time, thanks. Best birthday ever.” She was just hoping that nobody would be able to detect her sarcasm.

Niall must have heard it because he just continued to smile, giving her a slight apologetic look as he held his hands out, extending a present out to her. She gave him a confused look, wishing that he really hadn’t gotten her anything.

“It’s not from me, it’s from Harry.”

She felt her stomach sink just at the mention of Harry’s name. It was something that she had thought about all night long, but had managed to slip her mind up until right now. She honestly didn’t want to think about him, but it wasn’t like her night could get any worse really.

She took the present, cradling it in her hands for a little while. She didn’t know why she felt so hesitant about opening it. She wondered if maybe he was mad about what happened and had some trick in the box. Or maybe it was his way of trying to get her to forgive him for all the rotten things he had done in the past. 

Or maybe he was just being kind.

The thought of him just being kind didn’t seem too far off, really. Hell, ever since their time in the cave she had noticed a change in him that she never thought was possible. He seemed like he was really trying to change and be a better person. And she actually liked the idea of a nicer Harry.

And then he almost got her sister pregnant and that was all shattered to pieces. 

Of course she had to listen to Hannah go on and on all night long about how she was too harsh on Harry the previous night. She tried to get Kennedy to go over there and apologize for being so rude to her boyfriend since they weren’t pregnant and nothing really happening. But that’s not how Kennedy saw it.

Really, the almost pregnancy kind of opened her eyes to what she already knew. 

Harry was never going to change. He was always going to be the same self-centered, arrogant guy that didn’t care who he hurt if they got in his way. He could have completely ruined Hannah’s life if they really had been pregnant and that wasn’t something Kennedy was going to just let happen. 

So why bother trying to fix something that could never really be fixed?

The voice in the back of her head was telling her otherwise. She could hear her Grandma Phyllis loud and clear and telling her that she shouldn’t think in such a horrible way. Her grandmother always tried to find the good in people and wished with all her heart that Kennedy would do the same as she grew up.

But Kennedy really didn’t know if she could ever be the kind of person her grandmother was. She would never be as kind and generous and sincere as that woman. And maybe that was the reason she couldn’t forgive Harry and let things be okay.

“I’ll open it later.” Kennedy really didn’t want to think about Harry anymore, or look at his present, so she tucked it under her jacket on the table and out of sight. She wondered if later on she would open it or not, and for some reason her mind was pointing more towards the ‘not’. 

“Kennedy,” Niall sighed and she knew where this was going. “Harry is really beating himself up about what happened. Is there any way you can just find it in yourself to talk to him sometime?”

She needed to find a distraction and she needed to find one fast. She knew she was wasting too much silence on Niall’s question and any second now he would be piping up again or maybe she would even crack under the pressure and answer him.

Zayn must have noticed her slight panic because he took her hand and turned towards Niall. “Can you give us a moment? I’d really love to steal Kennedy away for a little while so we could talk about something privately.”

Both her and Niall glanced at Zayn with confusion, but the glances were broken when he started to lead her away towards a back room and away from the loud party she was being forced to attend. 

That was definitely a knight in shining armor move.

“I’m not really into loud parties either, you know. I’d rather just hang out in a little group where I can actually hear what someone else is saying. Especially when what they’re trying to say is really important.”

One awkward situation diverted and she was right back into another.

“You have something important to say to me?”

Zayn led her to a booth in the corner and helped her sit down, taking a seat right next to her. He let go of her hand and looked down, fiddling with his fingers nervously. She couldn’t help but notice it and found it pretty cute, actually.

“Kind of, but I actually have something for you first.”

She tried to open her mouth to object to any present that he was trying to give her, but he shook his head, not wanting her to. Zayn reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a small, wrapped box and handed it to her.

“It’s not much. I found it in a shop in town and I thought you’d really like it.”

Kennedy held it in her hands, a little afraid to open it. But, she decided to go ahead and do so and unwrapped the box, opening it up and feeling her breath hitch in the back of her throat when she did so.

“I notice that you always wear that charm bracelet,” Zayn spoke softly as he took the box and pulled the shiny charm from it. “It’s a hummingbird. It symbolizes joy, beauty and love.” He pulled her hand towards him and softly messed with the bracelet, hooking the new charm onto it and smiling. “I wanted to get you something special and I really didn’t know what to get until I saw that.”

She held her hand up and watched the charms dangle below, the new one catching her full attention. It had been so long since she had a charm added to it; at least two years since her grandmother had passed. Every year for her birthday she would have another charm for Kennedy and it used to be the one thing she actually liked about her birthday.

And then it stopped.

Losing someone is always hard, but losing her grandma? Kennedy probably took it harder than anyone else she had ever lost. She was her best friend and always supported her even when nobody else did. She was always there when Kennedy needed her and she really wished that she was around now when she was having her biggest dilemma. 

“It’s beautiful.” She looked back up at him and gave a weak smile. “It’s really beautiful, thank you. Thank you so much.”

It was beautiful; really beautiful. It just made her wonder even more about what she was supposed to do with her feelings. Here Zayn was, giving her a really nice present and she was still in the dark about what she was supposed to do. She knew she had to figure this out soon.

“I know we haven’t talked much about, well, us.” Alarms were going off inside her head at this point and she knew there was no running away now. “I know I told you that I’d wait for you to figure out what you want, and I still will, don’t get me wrong. But I’m just really wondering if I’m waiting around for nothing.”

“Zayn–”

“I know that you were hurt in the past. I know that he hurt you and that’s something you don’t get over easily. I understand that you need time, but Kennedy I really need to know if I’m waiting around for this beautiful girl to accept my feelings or if I’m waiting around to be disappointed in the end.”

She had no idea that Zayn felt this way. All this time she had just been thinking about herself and about what she wanted, when Zayn was sitting around in the dark not getting any answers from her.

She felt really selfish.

She had been giving Harry a hard time about him being self-centered and selfish, when in reality she was doing the same thing. She was a hypocrite. 

“I’m crazy about you, Kennedy. I really am. You are beautiful and kind and an amazing girl. You are someone I never saw coming and I’m so glad to have met you.” Her heart was dropping farther and farther every time he spoke. “I want to be with you. I really want to be with you and I’m hoping that you want to be with me too. I think we could be really great together if we gave it a chance.”

Am I ready?

“Do you think you’ll ever be ready to give us a chance?”

She took a deep breath and searched deep within herself to find the answers that she need. She knew that there was something there, something between them. She knew that deep down inside she did have feelings for him. 

But there was still something that was trying to hold her back. And she didn’t know what it was. Something was telling her that this wasn’t what she wanted. That if she held out for a bit longer then maybe she’d find that something she was looking for.

But Kennedy knew she couldn’t wait any longer. She wasn’t going to make Zayn wait any longer. It wasn’t fair to him to keep dragging him on with no answers and no advancements in this thing. 

She had to make her decision and she had to make it now.

“I want to be with you.”

Zayn’s eyes filled with surprise as he stared at her, not sure if he had heard right. She was honestly surprised in herself that those words came out of her mouth. And she was sure that the thing that was trying to hold her back was just as surprised as she was.

But there was no taking it back now. She wasn’t quite sure if she wanted to take it back. Despite something that wanted her to wait, she felt okay with her decision. She felt okay with wanting to be with Zayn and accepting it. 

She really felt okay.

“Really?” Zayn couldn’t believe it and just wanted to hear it one more time she guessed. “You really want that?”

“I do. I want to try this and I want to give us a chance.”

That was exactly what Zayn wanted to hear. He placed his hands on her face and leaned in, kissing her just as he did the other times they had. It was still filled with that same passion like it always was and it made the butterflies act up in Kennedy’s stomach again. Every time they kissed she felt like she was on cloud nine.

Unfortunately her anxieties were going to pop that cloud. 

She pulled away after they kissed for a bit and tried to calm down. She gave him another weak smile and stood up. “I’ll be right back, okay? I need to use the bathroom.”

And, like always, she ran.

Not literally, but she definitely booked it out of there as fast as she could without looking like some insane person running away. It wasn’t that she was regretting her decision about finally being with Zayn, it was more the fact that she was freaking out that she was actually about to be in a relationship again. 

So a little air couldn’t hurt anyone. She just needed a moment to cool down and try not to freak out and make Zayn think she wasn’t really ready. She walked back over to where her jacket was and picked it up, Harry’s present appearing again once she did so.

Oh great.

She knew she couldn’t hide from it forever so she picked it up and ripped off the wrapping paper. And honestly once she did she really wished that she hadn’t.

Her eyes felt like they were going to pop right out of their sockets as she stared down at the book in her hands. Usually when someone got a book for their birthday they’d roll their eyes and sarcastically thank their old relative for a useless present. At least, that’s what happened at most of the birthday parties she went to growing up.

But this book made her heart race.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Sure, she owned the book already, but this was different. It wasn’t your ordinary copy of it. Instead, it was the first edition of the book. Thevery expensive first edition of the book.

“Is that what Harry got you?”

She couldn’t even respond to Niall as the shock consumed her. What was she supposed to do? Why would Harry get her this? None of it made sense.

And she really needed to find out.

“Niall, can you cover for me?” Kennedy looked at him quickly as she grabbed her bag and threw it over her shoulder. “There’s something I really need to take care of and I don’t want Hannah getting mad or Zayn worried that I ditched him.”

“Of course, but where are you going?”

She sighed. “To see an idiot.”
 

-------------------------------- --------------------------------  

The pacing was definitely not doing her any good. She walked back and forth in the elevator as she headed up to her floor. She didn’t know what she was doing or why she was even there. It was just a book. There was no reason to confront someone about a book.

Except it wasn’t just a book.

The doors opened and she nervously made her way down the hallway, both hers and Harry’s rooms coming up fast. She had no idea what she was going to say to him, or even if she was actually going to say anything at all.

Hell, she’d probably just throw the book at him and leave.

Kennedy stood outside of Harry’s door, the nerves stopping her from knocking. She wanted to turn back now and forget that she had even come here. But her feet wouldn’t move and she knew that she’d have to confront him one day. So why not now?

She didn’t get the chance to knock when the door opened and Harry stormed out into the hallway, bumping right into her. He glanced down at her, his eyes going a bit wide when he realized who it was.

“What?” He was obviously surprised. “What are you doing here?”

Kennedy held the book up in response, not sure what to say.

“Oh, so you got my present–”

“Why?” Kennedy didn’t give him the chance to finish as she pushed it towards him. “Why did you get me this? Why?”

He rolled his eyes, not seeing it as such a big deal. “It’s a book, Kennedy. It’s not like I bought you a car.”

“It’s not just a book. You and I both know that this wasn’t some cheap book you got in town.” She backed away from him a little as they got a few glanced from people walking down the hall. “I’ve looked up the first edition of this book, okay? This thing is thousands of dollars, Harry. It’s not just a book.”

Harry sighed and moved out of the way, letting her into his room and bringing his luggage back in and sitting it on the ground. She couldn’t help but noticed the packed bags and was a little confused about them.

“Look, it’s just a book. I know it’s your favorite and I thought you’d like it, okay? I’m sorry if you don’t. I can get you something different.”

She stared down at the book in her hands, shaking her head. “Of course I like it. I’ve always dreamed of having it. I just don’t understand why you would get it for me. You and I are obviously not friends.”

“You’re the one who says that we’re not friends. I never said that.” He crossed his arms and grumbled. “Look, I have other things to worry about than you hating me right now.”

She stepped away from all her thoughts about the present and looked at him, noticing the hurt look in his eyes. She obviously had arrived a bad time as he eyes moved to look at his packed bags again.

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing.”

Bullshit. 

Kennedy knew when people were lying since she was always one of those people. She knew when someone was upset about something, but she also knew that Harry didn’t want to talk about it. But that voice in the back of her head was telling her not to leave him alone when he obviously needed someone.

She was going to ignore that voice and just leave him be, but the look on his face told her not to. She noticed that he was holding something back and she noticed that he looked like he had been crying and he was about to start again.

“Harry, what’s wrong?”

He collapsed down onto the couch and dropped his head into his hands. She was a bit surprised by the sudden emotion and wasn’t sure what to do. The last time she had seen him this upset about something it was about his dad. 

“Did something happen?”

“Yeah,” Harry mumbled into his hands softly. “I was born.”

She made her way over to the couch and took a seat next to him, forgetting about all the drama and trouble that had happened between them. He was upset and he obviously needed someone right now.

“What do you mean?”

He finally pulled his head up and looked to her, the distraught look in his eyes worrying her. “I mean that my dad is an ass and I wish I was never born into this family.” He leaned back against the couch, resting his head against the cushion. “He showed up here a little bit ago and we got into a fight. He wants me to do all these things that I don’t want to do and he’s upset that I’m not taking responsibility.”

She touched his arm, trying to make him feel better. “If you don’t want to do it then you shouldn’t have to. Nobody can make you do something you don’t want to do.”

Harry let out a small laugh, looking back over at her. “You obviously don’t know my dad. What he says goes and I don’t have a choice. If I don’t do what he says then I’m practically out of the family.”

“He said that?” She couldn’t believe it. What kind of father talks to their son like that?

“He told me that if I don’t take over the company then I’m no longer part of this family.” He struggled to get the words out and Kennedy noticed. He looked so hurt by his father’s words and it made her heart ache for him. Nobody deserved to hear that. Nobody deserved to be treated like that.

What was she supposed to say? She never had to be in this kind of situation so she didn’t know how to make him feel better. Could anything make him feel better? She knew that if it happened to her then no words could ever help.

Harry closed his eyes and sighed. “It’s not fair.”

“I’m sorry.” She touched his knee and practically whispered. “I’m sorry that this is happening to you. I wish I knew what to say to help.”

“You don’t have to say anything. I know that you don’t want to be here right now so if you want you can go back to your party. I won’t mind.” He pulled away and stood up, walking back over to his bags. “I was actually thinking about leaving. Just going ahead and accepting what my dad wants me to do and going back home.”

Kennedy jumped up quickly and was even surprised in herself when she shouted, “No!”

What are you doing? Isn’t this what you’ve wanted? You have a chance to get Harry out of your life once and for all. You’ll never have to see him again so why are you stopping him?

The truth was, she didn’t know.

Kennedy didn’t know why she stopped him and why she didn’t want him to leave. It was true, she had dreamed of Harry leaving for a while now and never having to see him again. But the thought that it could actually happen? She wasn’t so sure anymore that it was what she wanted.

“Don’t go. You shouldn’t go just because you think it’s for the best. Harry, you have to do what’s best for you. If you’re not sure yet about what you want to do then you should take more time to think about it before making such a big decision.”

On the inside she was screaming at herself for stopping him, but for some reason she just ignored it. For some reason she couldn’t let Harry just leave. For some reason she didn’t want Harry to leave just yet.

For some reason she was losing her mind.

“You hate me so why are you stopping me?”

She sighed and walked towards him. She didn’t know why, but she wrapped her arms around him quickly and hugged him. Harry tensed at first, but eventually relaxed and hugged her back, resting his head on top of hers.

“I don’t hate you, okay? You frustrate me a lot, but I don’t hate you.”

She knew she was telling the truth now. Harry may piss her off and make her incredibly mad a lot of the time, but she knew deep down that she didn’t hate him. Actually, she liked having him around. He challenged her. If he were to leave then things would get boring. She hated to admit it, but she was sure that it was the truth.

Harry pulled away and looked down at her, surprise still on his face. Their eyes locked for what seemed like forever before he did something that shocked the both of them.

Kennedy’s heart raced as Harry pushed his lips against hers, kissing her out of the blue. It had been a long time since she kissed Harry, since the time he forced it on her when he was trying to piss her off. But this kiss wasn’t like that at all. No, this was like a kiss she thought she would share with Zayn.

And maybe that’s why she didn’t pull away at first. Curiosity took control and it made her wonder and want more. But the longer the kiss went on, the more she started to realize that it couldn’t happen. Which resulted in her pushing him away fast and her eyes going wide.

“Harry, I’m with Zayn. I’m sorry.”

Harry’s face flushed and he took a step back, shaking his head. “No, don’t be sorry. I don’t even know where that came from. I think I was just lost in the moment, I’m sorry.” He coughed, trying to get rid of his nerves. “You’re with Zayn?”

“Yeah, it kind of happened tonight before I came to see you.”

Harry looked down and Kennedy wasn’t sure but she thought she saw a little disappointment in his eyes. “Well, good for you. You should probably head back to your party. Don’t worry about me, I’ll be fine.”

The thought of going back to her party now didn’t really seem fun at all. It was already late and people probably left already. Hell, Zayn probably figured out that she left and left himself. So why go back now? 

“Actually, I don’t mind hanging out.”

A small smile grew on Harry’s face as he bit his lip and looked up at her. It was at that moment that Kennedy felt her heart sink as she stared at him. She didn’t see the Harry that she had seen all this time before. She was seeing the same Harry from the cave. The Harry that she actually didn’t mind being around.

The Harry that for some reason was making her heart race.

“Does that make us friends then?” Harry seemed a bit hopeful and she couldn’t help but smile a little.

“Yeah, that makes us friends.”

He pulled her in for another hug, this one a little tighter than the last. Her heart continued to race as she rested her head against him, smiling to herself.

“Happy Birthday, Kennedy. And thank you.”

Harry, I think we’re actually going to be okay. I guess birthdays aren’t always that bad.

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