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.


25. Second Nature - PART I

(I love hearing what you guys think! Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts and how you're liking the fic! Also wanna say thank you to everyone who has filled out those tagged things and mentioned TC and me in them! You guys rock! I will be updating frequently again so see you in a week or so!)




Nobody ever said relationships were easy.


Hell, liking someone wasn’t easy. Liking someone that you can’t have? Well, you might as well set yourself up for massive heartache, because that was incredibly, one hundred percent not easy. For a guy like Harry who never had to deal with this kind of rejection before? Yeah, he wasn’t taking it too well. Of course nothing would compare to the threat of being kicked out of his family if he doesn’t accept the company, but that was another topic for another time. For now? For now it was all about how ridiculous it was to like someone.


Especially when that someone is Kennedy Ross.


Cliché, it may be, but she was different and she had her hooks in Harry without even trying. Harry had gone after so many girls this summer, and somehow he ended up trapped in her spell. But a part of him didn’t mind. Kennedy didn’t care about his money, his power, or even his looks. Actually, he was pretty sure that she had completely forgotten all about that and just focused on how much of an asshole he’s been all summer. He didn’t blame her, because he knew how much he had fucked up, but it was still new to him for someone to see past it all.


She only saw him; someone who was scared and alone, just like many other people. Someone who ached for anybody to just understand him; someone who he could be raw with and not have to worry about them disappointing him. Kennedy was that somebody, even if neither of them knew or wanted to accept it.


All he wanted to do was be better; be better for her. Doing questionable things came natural to him, like instinct, and he wanted to change that. Maybe it was wrong to want to change because of some girl, but if it was going to pull him out of the bullshit… then maybe it’s exactly what he needed.


She was what he needed.


“I told Alec I was going to be out of the office for a few weeks taking care of some much needed business with my son. You can fax over the files to my hotel and I’ll go over them with you as soon as I get back.”


Harry rolled his eyes and crossed his arms over his chest while waiting for his father to get off the phone, again, with another business associate. Somehow he had been talked into having lunch with the jerk, and yet the two of them hadn’t said one word to each other. He was sure that his father was just too busy to strike up a conversation with his son. But Harry? Harry was just giving him the silent treatment for everything that had gone down recently.


Thinking back to the other day was something Harry, unfortunately, couldn’t avoid. Everything his father said was stuck in his head and he couldn’t let it go. Nothing would ever compare to the disappointment Harry felt for how his father had treated him. Harry was his son, after all, and yet the man treated him as nothing but another employee.


But that wasn’t what he was. That was something that was yet to be determined. Ifever determined.


The only upside to having lunch with him was that he was able to talk Niall into joining the two of them. His father was usually on his best behavior whenever Niall was involved; he was the only friend in Harry’s life that he actually approved of. He was sure it was because, up until a few years ago, Niall was the only friend he did have. There was also the fact that nobody sane in the world was actually a big fan of Luca, so really Niall didn’t have any competition when it came to likeability.


It was just a shame that his father liked another kid more than his own.


“So.” Niall turned his chair and grabbed Harry’s attention so they could fall into their own little conversation; though it didn’t really matter since Harry’s father wasn’t paying much attention to them. “You and your dad seem to be getting along today.”


Harry made a face like he was ready to launch himself at his friend for the kill. He remained calm though and decided the sarcastic route would probably be the better one to travel. “Oh yeah, we’re having a grand time, Ni. Which part has been your favorite? The part where he demanded I change my outfit three times so I didn’t look like some ‘commoner’ or where he practically forgot me for ten minutes outside the hotel before having the driver turn around to come back and get me?”


If that was Niall’s idea of ‘getting along’, he wasn’t sure that he ever wanted to get along with his old man. Actually, that didn’t seem too far off from the truth since Harry hasn’t had a civil, non-arguing, conversation with his dad since he was thirteen.


“I’m sure he’s just under stress or something with the business, don’t take it personal. Once things cool down between you two then maybe you’ll start getting along–”


“News flash, Niall,” Harry grumbled just loud enough so that his father could hear, “to my dad, I am nothing but his property. And since I seem to have so many flaws, he’s not particularly fond of me at the moment so I don’t see us getting along anytime soon.” He let his eyes dart to his dad for the moment, a smirk rising on his lips when he saw those dark eyes staring back at him. So he decided to test the waters a little more, which probably wasn’t the best idea. “I’m just a little puppet for the puppet master, after all.”


Harry’s dad eyed him for a minute, as if he was challenging Harry to say something again, before getting off the phone and setting it down. Harry knew that the change in attitude, the smile that appeared on his father’s face, was just an act because Niall was there and he didn’t want to make a bad impression. If it were just the two of them, he was certain that the whole nice guy act would have been dropped and they would already be fighting.


He would give it about five minutes before an argument would start up, but nobody needed to know that.


“Sorry about that, boys. Just dealing with some business from back home. You know the job is never done until the boss says so.”


Nothing is ever done until the boss says so, Harry mused. Keeping quiet was probably best, so instead of piping up he decided to stuff his mouth full of bacon and let the two continue on with whatever they had to say.


Niall, being the good guy he was, tried to strike up a conversation before there was too much silence between all of them and Harry would get the itch to sneak in one of his snide remarks. It probably wouldn’t stop him in the long run, but it was a good effort for the time being. “Everything going well with the business?”


“As well as it can, Niall. We’re just waiting for some last minute details to be worked out in this new contact I’m signing with one of our new associates.” His eyes landed on Harry for a second and Harry knew that those details meant him getting forced into marrying their daughter just so his dad could please hers. He knew, though, that his dad wouldn’t bring it up now. That was a matter between the two of them, not a breakfast topic. “How’s school going? I remember your parents being so proud of you when I last talked to them, but it’s been so long that I haven’t gotten the chance to catch up with them.”


Well, that must have been one thing that didn’t make it to the homeland: Niall dropping out of college for the time being. Considering Niall’s parents were some of the biggest blabbermouths within the community, it was a bit shocking that they hadn’t said anything. Niall seemed as equally surprised, but Harry could see the little disappointment in his eyes.


“Oh, it’s going great,” he lied before looking over at Harry and giving him a look as if to say ‘please–change–the–topic–before–I–explode–or–it–gets–uncomfortable’. He guessed that was his cue to jump in and start a fight. Not purposely, of course, but somehow whenever he opened his mouth it only seemed to anger his father. So it was just something to expect.


Before Harry could take it back, he coughed and directed the attention away from Niall and onto himself. “How’s mom?” A sore subject, but the only thing he could come up with at the moment. He really wished that he had stuck with a better conversation started; maybe ‘How’s the weather’ or ‘Is your breakfast good’. Nope. He had to ask something that he was sure would start a fight.


Harry’s dad wasn’t the only one disappointed with the decisions he was making, that was for sure. Of course his mom wasn’t as brutal and aggravating as his dad was, but it definitely didn’t mean that she didn’t stick her nose into places that it didn’t belong. She always had to have the last word, just like his dad; which was probably why they were so perfect for each other.


When Harry decided to spend his summer away from London, his mom was the first person to comment on it and accuse him of trying to run away from his father. Technically, she wasn’t wrong there, but that was his own little secret. He wouldn’t have been surprised if she was the one who talked his father into coming to Barcelona on this trip to try and retrieve him and bring him back home so they could stick him in a suit and store him away in an office.


If there was one place Harry Styles didn’t think he belonged, it was definitely an office.


“Well, she’s quite devastated that her only son hasn’t called in weeks and refuses to stop being such an immature, spoiled brat and come home.”


And there it was. Harry was waiting for it, to be honest. They had been out together for almost an hour now and he hadn’t brought up anything about what he wanted Harry to do and how much of a problem Harry was. Still, it didn’t make it any better, but he definitely was expecting it to pop up soon.


“Gee, thanks Dad. Can we not go a single fucking day where you’re not being a complete dick?” Oops. “How many times do I have to say that I am thinking everything over and I’m not sure I’m ready for this kind of thing? You don’t give a damn about my feelings.” He snapped.


His dad glared in his direction, frustration clear across his face. Harry knew he was seconds away from blowing his top. “Language, Harry.” He replied angrily. A roll of the eyes was definitely not helping Harry’s case here, but he just couldn’t help it or hold it back. It always came natural to him, especially when his dad was involved. “You think this is all a big joke, don’t you?”


Harry groaned, “Of course I don’t. If you would just listen to me for once then maybe you’d understand that–”


“Oh, I understand clearly.” Harry should have known he wasn’t going to listen. “I understand that you want this company to go down in flames. You want the business, that your grandfather build for you, to be destroyed by not accepting your birth right and taking over when I step down. You’re acting foolish and I won’t tolerate this kind of behavior for much longer, Harry.”


And the award for Most Dramatic Father of the Year goes to…


Harrison Styles, everybody!


“Are you even listening to yourself right now? I am your child! I am not your puppet that you can control into doing whatever the fuck you want! You basically told me that you’re kicking me out of this family if I don’t accept your stupid offer, Dad! How fucked up is that?!” Harry was ten seconds away from having a complete meltdown, if it wasn’t happening already. His blood was boiling as he reached over the table quickly and swiped his father’s phone away when it began to ring, knowing that the older man would take any excuse not to have to do this right now. To make matters worse, Harry didn’t hesitate before throwing the phone to the concrete below and stomping his foot right down on it.


Harry’s dad was standing now as he slammed his hands down on the table, causing a bigger scene, than they already were, amongst the other diners in the area. Harry couldn’t help but blush, wishing that he hadn’t brought any of this up at this point so that he didn’t have to have this fight with his dad in public. Unfortunately, it was too late for that.


“Have you lost your damn mind? Harry, all I want is for you to have the same opportunities that I had when I was your age. When my father, your grandfather, stepped down as the head of this family, I was more than happy to accept my birth right. Taking over this company is everything me and your mother have ever wanted for you. Do you really want to disappoint your mother more than you already have?!” His nostrils flared as he got angrier by the second, showing no sign of stopping his tantrum. “She would be devastated if you didn’t return with me! All you’ve done is humiliate this family by running away from your responsibilities, so it’s time to grow up and stop being such an idiot!”


Harry shook his head as a small chuckle fell from his mouth. He honestly couldn’t believe how far his father had gone, but he was glad he did. He started clapping slowly as he stared right at the older man. “Great job, Dad. Your true colors have really shined bright today. I hope you’re really happy with yourself. You’re such a great father; a great role model, actually. Bravo.”


He was done with this breakfast, and he was truly to the point of being done with his father. He grabbed his things from the table and turned away, ready to walk away and end this conversation once and for all. Sadly, he didn’t get the chance to as his father grabbed his wrist, stopping him from leaving. Harry tried to tug his hand away, but his father only tightened his grip, causing Harry to wince.


“Don’t you dare walk away from me, Harry.”


Harry looked around for a moment, seeing all the stares from everyone looking at the two of them. Even Niall was standing at this point, trying to strike up the nerve to help Harry out. Did that make his father release his grip any? Of course not. It was like he didn’t even notice the looks, which was definitely something unusual for him.


It wasn’t the first time the two had ever caused an embarrassing scene like this before. There were many times in the past few years where they’d be having a family outing, a press thing more than likely, where Harry and his dad have gotten into heated arguments. But whenever his father would get physical with him, he would pull away immediately before he would have to suffer the wrath of the press.


But there was no press around now and his wrist was suffering the consequences because of that now.


“Dad,” Harry pleaded lowly as his eyes begged for his dad to let go so they wouldn’t attract any more attention than they already were. “Dad, you’re really hurting me. Please.” Harry honestly couldn’t believe what his dad was doing. The anger never left the older man’s eyes; they just stayed glued to Harry and his grip tightened harder. Harry let out a staggered breath as he tried to pull away, but it was no use. “Dad, I’m sorry, okay?” Nothing happened. Not a movement from his father, not a single word, nothing. Harry’s wrist was stinging at this point and he was sure that if his father squeezed anymore that he could really do some damage. He just couldn’t take it anymore. “Dad! You’re hurting me! You’re hurting me, Dad! Please stop!”


Harry was finally able to yank his arm free as he stared at his father with tears in his eyes. Harry was truly starting to believe that he was certifiably insane. He held onto his wrist while the shock ran through his body and he couldn’t help but feel a panic attack rising within him. Any minute now he would be right back to the state he was in when his father visited him at the hotel, and he wasn’t ready for that to happen in front of anyone.


He took a deep breath and turned away as he quickly retreated from the restaurant, ignoring Niall’s pleas for him to wait and his father’s angry demands for him to come back. There was nothing either of them could say to make him return to that disastrous event. If he did, there would be words that would fly out of his mouth that he knew he would never be able to take back or live down. Even if his father deserved them.


The best thing he could do was run away, no matter how cowardly that was.


He had no idea where he was supposed to go. If he went back to the hotel, he knew his father would be there waiting to confront him about everything. He would try to apologize for the “small matter”, but Harry knew that his throbbing wrist was no small matter. If he returned back there, things would only get worse and Harry wasn’t ready for that. Whatever his father wanted, his father would get. It’s always been that way and it always would be that way. No matter how badly Harry could get hurt, he was a literal puppet to the man; he would never be able to pull his own strings as long as Harrison Styles was in his life.


But the sad thing was that, as chicken as he was for being afraid to take over a massive company, he was even more afraid of losing his family. They may be horrible people, but he was the only family he had. You don’t get do-overs, especially not at nineteen. He was stuck with them until they were done with him. And he honestly didn’t know what he was going to do if they ever did decide they were done with him.


Harry tried to hide his face as he pushed past anyone that was in his way on the boardwalk. His feet just carried him, no certain destination in mind, as he tried to find the best place to calm down. But every time he had the chance, they just wouldn’t stop going. They weren’t the only things that didn’t want to stop, because as he reached up slowly to touch his face, he felt tears rolling down his cheeks without any plans on stopping.


He was crying.


Harry had never been one to cry, usually, but lately it seemed like the only thing he could do whenever it came to his family. He felt like such an outcast to these people and so unwanted. They were making their own child feel unwanted. It wasn’t right. No matter how horrible Harry had been over the past few years, nobody deserved to feel so used by their own family.


But Harry didn’t know that. He didn’t know if he deserved it or not. Maybe this was all a punishment for all the things he’s done. Maybe he did something so horrible when he was younger that his family was trying to punish him for it. Or maybe they were just a bunch of dicks. Either way, he wasn’t sure which the true answer was. All he knew was that he wasn’t sure how much more of this he could take.


He finally was able to stop running and he collapsed down onto a nearby step. He dropped his head into his hands and it was only seconds before he was sobbing quietly. Harry had put on a brave face for as long as he could, minus the hotel breakdown, but now he was at the point of no return.


Get it together, Styles. Don’t do this. You’re better than this.


But was he?


As usual, he ignored everything his conscience had to say. Instead, he continued his silent cries into his hands as everyone around him went on with their lives. For the first time in his life, he was completely invisible. It was a new feeling to him. Whenever he was upset in the past, he had nannies or friends comforting him, but now? Now he was on his own.


Except he actually wasn’t.


He felt a hand touch his shoulder and he quickly looked up, meeting the one face that he wanted to see more than anything. It only took a matter of seconds before he was wrapping his arms around her and digging his face into her shoulder, crying softly.


“Shhh,” Kennedy shushed him as she rubbed his back, trying to calm him down as best as she could. “Don’t cry, please. Whatever it is, it’ll be okay.”


He really, really wanted to believe that.



“Your dad is a horrible, horrible man.”


It took a little while, but Harry finally calmed down and the two of them sat side by side on the steps, talking about everything that had just happened. He glanced at her and gave her a weak smile. He had never been so happy to see somebody as he was to see Kennedy at that moment. It was like the moment he needed her most, there she was.


And it only made his heart race even faster.


Harry had been aching for the chance to spend a little time with Kennedy ever since the night of her eighteenth birthday. After she had forgiven him, and the awkward kiss, they actually had the chance to just hang out and talk. It was probably the most fun he had all summer and it was all thanks to her. She always made everything better.


“He didn’t always act like this, actually. When I was a lot younger he used to be around a lot and he and my mom would take me to amusement parks and to fairs and it was really fun.” Reminiscing of the old times only made Harry’s heart ache even more. “I think once my grandfather stepped down and passed away and my dad took over as the CEO then… the stress kind of just started to get to him. He had all these people counting on him, including his family, and he didn’t want to disappoint anyone.”


Harry honestly couldn’t believe that he was actually defending his father. It was all true, though. If thought about it, him and his dad were in the same boat. The old man didn’t want to disappoint anyone and neither did Harry. That still didn’t excuse him, though, for all the questionable things he’s done to his son. Nothing would ever excuse that, nor was Harry sure he could ever really forgive him. Not like his father would actually apologize, but still.


Just because he and his father had something in common, it didn’t mean that he was ready to take over a billion dollar company with the possibility or running it into the ground. He wasn’t sure he ever would be ready for that.


Kennedy sighed and gently grabbed Harry’s hand. Harry winced at the sudden contact and she quickly let go before looking up at him. Sadness grew in her eyes and he knew exactly what she was about to ask. And he really didn’t want to get into this conversation. He wasn’t going to be given the choice though. “Harry… Your dad didn’t hurt your wrist, did he?”


He avoided her stare. “No.”


“You’re such a liar. Harry.”


The uncomfortable tension wasn’t the best for how he was feeling right then. He held his wrist in his hand again and rubbed it gently. “He didn’t mean to, okay? He was pissed off at me and I just kept making him angrier. Don’t make a big deal about it, alright?” If he had a nickel for how many times he’s said that exact sentence to someone before, he probably wouldn’t have to worry about getting cut off.


Kennedy looked a bit worried. “Was this the first time he’s hurt you…? You can tell me, you know.”


“Kennedy,” Harry pleaded. His eyes were definitely telling a different story than anything that would come out of his mouth. He knew that she was starting to get that, but that didn’t stop him from trying to change the subject. “It’s no big deal so please leave it alone. Please.”


She seemed hesitant to just drop it, but she obviously didn’t want to upset him more than he already was so she decided to do what he wanted. The silence and tension grew between them fast and it only made Harry’s mind drift away from the girl that drove him crazy and into a place he didn’t want to enter.


His past was something he didn’t share with anybody. Not Niall, not Luca; not even Tera when she was around. Everything was his own secret and he wanted to keep it that way. He liked his privacy and he liked not sharing, even if it did get him into trouble now and again. These were things that he wasn’t ready to share with someone who hardly ever gave him the time of day; let alone someone he was definitely crazy about. He wasn’t ready to scare her away just yet with all his baggage.


“One time I fell asleep in math class after a huge test and I started snoring so loud that everyone told me I could shake the whole school with my snoring. I was so embarrassed about it that I started wearing those nose strips in class just in case I would fall asleep again.”


Harry glanced over at her like she was crazy. “What are you even talking about?”


She took a deep breath before making eye contact with him and smiling slightly. “I don’t know anything about you and you hardly know anything about me except for the things we’ve learned about each other this summer. And I really want to change that, okay? To get to know someone you don’t have to dig so deep and share all these meaningful things. Everyone has secrets that they’re not ready to talk about with people and that’s okay. For now, learning small things is okay too.” She gave him a smile and he felt his heart swell. Every time she smiled she made him want to drop dead, and it definitely didn’t help that she was being so sweet. “So I snore.”


He could help but finally chuckle as he shook his head. “Okay. Well, if we’re on the subject of things we do in our sleep then I guess I’ll share that I sleep talk.”


Kennedy rolled her eyes. “Really?” She challenged, as if she wasn’t sure he was telling the truth.


“Really. I talk about everything in my sleep. Sports. Girls. Money. Even pizza sometimes. I love pizza.”


He was lost in her smile for the longest time, just watching her laugh lightly at how dumb he was. It was a beautiful sight; one that he wanted to see a lot more than he usually did. It had taken a while, but they finally got to a place where they weren’t screaming or fighting or trying to see who could tick the other off more. They were just talking and it felt really good to just talk to her for once.


He had gotten so caught up in her at that moment that he didn’t even realize her shuffling to her feet until she was holding her hand out for him. He grabbed it without hesitation and got up to her level. Once on his feet, he tripped a little at the sudden movement of his legs and accidentally bumped right into her, ready to topple right to ground. She steadied him, though that only closed the gap between the two of them even more.


A lump formed in his throat as he stared at her and his heart sped up even faster than it already was. He was sure that if it were to go any faster that he might just die right then and there. His breath shortened as he locked eyes with her, and he debated on doing what his mind was screaming for him to do. To kiss her.


But when did he ever listen to what his mind had to say?


He knew kissing her now wasn’t what she would have wanted. She was with Zayn, unfortunately, and if he was going to prove to her that he was trying to change then he couldn’t just go around and kiss her whenever he wanted to. She deserved to be respected, even if he had done a lousy job of it in the past. Now he just wanted her happy and didn’t want to upset her by some stupid kiss that could wait.


“So, I guess I’ll go.” She spoke up after a few seconds of silence. “I told my mom I would go sightseeing for her while I’m here and take some pictures of old buildings and all that kind of stuff.” The awkwardness between them started to die down as they looked away from each other.


Harry pulled away finally, trying not to make it any more awkward, and he leaned against a nearby wall. He tried to hide the disappointment of her leaving in his voice. “Yeah, of course. I’ll see you later then?” He wanted to spend a little more time with her, but he didn’t want to force it on her. He kept telling himself that he had to start thinking of others for once and put them first. Even if he didn’t want to.


She gave him a small smile before letting go of his hand, finally, and turning away to walk off. Kennedy didn’t get too far before she turned back around suddenly with a look on her face as if she were trying to decide what to do. “Maybe,” she hesitated briefly, “you’d like to come with me? I mean, it’s just going to be really boring and stuff, but if you want to…”


“Yes!” He might have jumped at that offer a little too quickly. They both blushed in unison and Harry quickly looked to the ground to avoid eye contact. “I–I mean sure. Yeah. I mean, whatever. I have nothing better to do anyway, so why not?” So subtle. If Kennedy hadn’t caught on to his feelings by now, then she probably never would.


That actually might not be a bad thing, for Harry’s sake.


It didn’t take too much longer before the two were walking closely next to each other down the sidewalk, in silence as usual. Harry wasn’t exactly sure what she was thinking about, but his own mind was clouded with a mixture of thoughts on how he was going to damage control with his dad, but, mostly, they were filled with how he was ever going to prove to her that he was someone that was worthy of her trust and time. But, the truth was, he wasn’t exactly sure if he even thought that way just yet.


How do you show someone that you’re worth it when you’ve done nothing but drive them away for weeks? Harry had to face it sooner or later; Kennedy was never going to see him as anything more than an annoyance most likely. She could pity him and pretend that she tolerates him all she wants, but a part of him was always going to think that she still hasn’t forgiven him.


And if she knew the full truth… she never would.


“You know, I’m still a little surprised you’re even talking to me.”


Kennedy glanced over in his direction after she snapped a picture of one of the older buildings they passed and shrugged. “We’re friends now, Harry. Remember? Everything’s okay now.”


Friends. Friends. Friends.


Harry Styles was certain that he would forever be in the friend zone with Kennedy Ross. It never usually bothered him when he was just friends with the girls he went after. Actually, it was a relief most of the time since he hasn’t wanted a relationship for years. But now? Now all he wanted to do was be with her and he wasn’t getting the chance to.


And he had nobody to blame but himself.


“So, how’s Zayn?” He asked lowly, though he couldn’t mask his dislike for speaking the enemy’s name. It was extremely obvious to everybody that Harry and Zayn weren’t the best of friends and they probably would not and will not ever get along. At least when it came to Kennedy.


Zayn was lucky. Harry was sure that was one, of many, reason he wasn’t his biggest fan. He may not have the money or the power that he did, but Zayn had the one person that he wanted more than anybody. And if the guy was smart, he wouldn’t let her go for anything. If he was smarter, he wouldn’t hurt her either or he would be answering to Harry.


Kennedy must have noticed Harry’s tone, because she narrowed her eyes at him, obviously getting a little comfortable with him bringing Zayn up. It was a touchy subject; one that she didn’t want to talk to Harry about. “He’s great. We’re meeting up for dinner later after I send these pictures to my mom.”


“Well isn’t that just great.” Sarcasm; Harry really needed to work on his sarcasm. He couldn’t help but sigh when he realized how rude he was being. “I mean, that’s great, Kennedy… I’m really happy that you’re happy with him.” Better. At least he was trying to work on it. That had to count for something, right? “You deserve to be happy and if Zayn does that for you then I’m glad you’re with him.”


It wasn’t the full truth, but about 99.9% of it. He was happy that she was happy. He just honestly wished that he was the one doing so. He would give anything to be the one that made her laugh and smile. He wanted to be the one holding her hand and kissing her goodnight at the door.


“I am happy,” she reassured him, though there was a slight hesitation before so. He didn’t notice too much, deciding that it was nothing and just kept walking. As Kennedy snapped another picture, she glanced back over at him. “You know, when I met you I thought that you were this really nice guy… It’s good to see that guy again.”


Why did she always have to go and make things harder?


He just stayed silent, opting to keep his mouth shut rather than getting up the courage and actually telling her how he felt. There was one other person he had to consider before he went blabbing his big secret crush to the whole world.




Harry had been keeping a distance for the week after she told him that she was in love with him and he had a huge freak out. It wasn’t the first time someone had told him something along those lines, but it was the way she said it that got to him. They were the exact words that Harry had told Tera right before she broke things off with him and disappeared without a trace.


He was a mess after that and he wouldn’t wish that kind of pain on anybody. But he was still with Hannah, even if he didn’t want to be. She didn’t deserve to be led on anymore and he knew that he needed to be brave and step up for once.


“Want to go through this flea market?” Kennedy brought his attention back to the current situation and he looked in the direction she was pointing in. Booths lined up on the street with many merchants trying to sell their items to various people. “We can do some window shopping.”


“Window shopping?”


She grinned. “That’s right. You have money so you probably always buy something every time you go into a store,” she teased him, poking at his side which caused him to smile right back at her. “Well, it’s when you go through stores and you look at everything, but you don’t plan on buying anything.”


“How in the world is that any fun?” He sneered.


“Oh, just come on.” Kennedy didn’t give him much choice before she took his hand and pulled him into the flea market. He didn’t object; mostly because she was holding onto his hand now. He wondered if she just forgot she was pulling him along, but he definitely wasn’t going to say anything about it.


He marveled in how adorable she was while looking at all the different trinkets at different booths. She’s stop occasionally, picking something up and asking the shop keeper about where he got it. It took everything in Harry not to just buy whatever she put down and give it to her.


“How does this hat look?”


“Adorable, duh. Here, give me your camera.” He reached over and took the camera for her before bringing it up and snapping a picture. He smiled at the preview, getting a little overwhelmed with just how cute she was. “Is this the return of hat girl?” He finally looked back up after lingering on the picture for a bit too long.


She smirked and shook her head. “I haven’t heard that one in a while.” She removed the hat from her head and put it up, continuing her way with Harry following behind. “My grandmother used to collect hats when she was my age. She had so many and I would always go over and try them on when I went to visit.”


“Well, they suit you really well.” Harry bit his lip, trying not to overstep into the zone of no return. The more time he spent with Kennedy and falling for her, the more he felt even guiltier and confused on what to do about Hannah. This was Kennedy’s sister, after all. Sisters always take sister’s sides.


Kennedy continued to gush on the many things they passed and continued trying on different things and having Harry take her picture. It was times like these that he really wished he had his phone so he could have his own keepsake pictures of her. He had been so caught up in everything lately that he hadn’t had the time to order a new one.


“My mom is really going to love these pictures. I usually hate having mine done, but I guess since I’m on vacation it can’t hurt that much.” She looked through everything Harry had taken before grabbing his hand and pulling him closer. “Here, take one with me.”


Harry didn’t really have a choice before he was pressing his cheek against hers and smiling at the camera. Once the flash was over and the picture was taken, he couldn’t help but stay put, their closeness not drifting apart but even more together. Kennedy looked up at that point, noticing no change from Harry. She didn’t say anything, she just stared and the curiosity popped up on her face.


He lifted his hands up and touched her face, his eyes never leaving hers. Everything he was holding back was about to come out. He knew it was wrong; he knew he shouldn’t. But he just couldn’t help it. This was Kennedy, after all. The girl he was crazy about the girl he wanted nothing more than to be with.


With every inch he moved towards her, his heart dropped lower and lower. It was pounding so fast that he thought it was going to pop right out of his chest. With his mind screaming at him to stop, his heart was telling him to keep going.


He was surprised by the time he was so close to her lips that he could feel her breath that she hadn’t pulled away just yet. He figured it was from the shock of what was happening, but he hoped that it was something more. In a matter of seconds, he would be kissing the girl he had been aching to kiss all afternoon.


And it wouldn’t count.


His guilt managed to override his heart and he pulled away quickly, staring back at her with equally wide eyes. He knew this wasn’t right, as he had told himself all day. She was with Zayn; a good guy who she cared for. It wasn’t his place to jump in and ruin everything that they had just because he couldn’t control his own feelings.


And he especially didn’t need to make him question his commitment even more since he was ready to kiss her, again, even though he was dating her older sister. For days, Harry had been telling himself that all he wanted to do was prove to Kennedy that he was trying to be a better guy, when in reality he was still doing one of the most evilest things in the world: leading Hannah on.


Something had to be done about this.


“I–I have to go, I’m sorry.” He walked past her quickly, not even surprised that she didn’t try to stop him. Harry wished he knew what was going on in her mind, but at the same time he was afraid to find out what she really thought of him.


He wanted to stay. He wanted to hang out with Kennedy some more and forget about every other worry he had. But he knew he couldn’t. Things with Hannah couldn’t stay the way they were. It was time to end things once and for all so that he could figure out what he was going to do about Kennedy.


He took his time, though, as he made it back to the hotel and through the front doors. The first thing he saw inside was Luca hanging all over some girl as they headed for the exit. Harry wasn’t really in the mood for dealing with that situation so he quickly hid behind one of the giant plants and eyed the two as they walked by.


That was something he would have to take care of eventually. He and Luca had barely talked since Harry told him that he was done with the stupid game. He wanted nothing to do with it; all he wanted was to be a better guy, but Luca wasn’t having any of that. For some reason, Luca was set on turning Harry into something he didn’t want to be. And Harry had no idea why.


But that problem would have to be put on hold for the time being.


After getting off the elevators when he reached his floor, he slowly made his way down the hallway, almost rethinking even coming to talk to Hannah. This wasn’t going to end good, but he knew it was the right thing to do.


Harry held his breath as he reached forward and knocked lightly on the door. The sound of feet shuffling from the other side made him nauseous. He knew once that door opened that nothing good would come out of it. Someone was going to get hurt, and he knew that it wasn’t going to be him.


If someone had watched him a month ago break up with someone, it would have been a completely different story. He would have been harsh and brutal. He wouldn’t have cared about their feelings and he probably would have left without giving them the chance to get upset or beg him to stay.


No matter whether or not he felt something for Hannah, he wasn’t going to do that to her. Not just because she was Kennedy’s sister, but because she was a person. This was what his dad had been talking about all along; growing up. And this was party of the journey to that. He needed to face the things he’s done wrong.


He needed to tell the truth and nothing but the truth.


Hannah appeared in no time, the smile brightening on her face once she saw who was at the door. His stomach dropped and he tried his best to give her a smile, though it wasn’t as genuine as hers.


“Hey stranger,” she joked as she took his hand and pulled him into the room. “What are you doing here? I didn’t know you were coming over.”


He awkwardly replied with, “Came to see you.”


“I’m so glad you’re here. I haven’t really seen you around since before Kenny’s birthday so I was wondering if you were mad at me or something.” Hannah held onto his hand tightly, as if she were trying to hold on to him for dear life.


And he knew it was only going to get worse with what he had to say.


How do you explain to your girlfriend that you pretty much used her to get close to her younger sister so that you could use her sister in a game with your ex–friend to try and get her to sleep with you, but actually it all fell apart and you somehow found yourself falling head over heels for said girl?


This was way more complicated than he ever wanted it to get. Fuck.


“Hannah, I–” He didn’t even know how to start this. He was practically at a loss for words. But he got up the courage and finally figured it out. “Hannah, we need to talk.”


The four words nobody ever wants to hear from the person they’re dating. It was the phrase that leads to the beginning of the end for any couple, usually, and it the words that shot red alert signals throughout Hannah’s mind.


She turned around quickly, looking at him with sad eyes. “Harry,” she started, but stopped. She stood there in silence for a minute, looking like she was trying to come up with something clever to stop him from doing this. “Is this because of the pregnancy thing? Look, I swear I’m not pregnant; I even showed you the test. It’s okay.”


“Can you please just let me talk?”


“No.” Hannah stopped him, pressing her finger to his lips. “No, I don’t want to hear it. I am not letting you do this, okay? You and I are just fine and we are going to be fine and we are going to finish summer in a happy place. Okay?”


Harry had never seen her react like this. Sure, during his reign as “dick of the world” he was a pretty absentee boyfriend, but they still spent enough time together to know that she was about to lose it once the truth came out. He thought for a minute about maybe not telling her everything; keeping it a secret forever and burying it. What Hannah didn’t know wouldn’t hurt her, and it wouldn’t hurt his chances with Kennedy.


But it wasn’t right. Burying it wasn’t right and he couldn’t do it.


“Not okay,” he murmured before finally making eye contact with her. “Hannah, it’s not okay. We – I – can’t pretend that everything is okay.”


Her bottom lip quivered slightly, like she was on the verge of a breakdown. Crying definitely was expected, but not something Harry wanted to see. He knew that he wasn’t going to get off that easy though. “You’re just not thinking clearly, obviously. You’re lacking sleep or something, because you’re just being ridiculous. We are not breaking up.”


He took a deep breath and finally said it. “I’ve been lying to you.”


She gave him a confused look, not understanding what he meant. In Hannah’s world, everything had been going so right. In Harry’s, it’s been nothing but a big lie. A big lie that he had to fess up to; even if it hurt the people he didn’t mean to hurt.


“This isn’t going to be easy to say, so please let me say it without interruptions. When I first met you it was completely random. You were just attractive girl in the bar and I wanted a good fuck for the night. When I woke up, I found Kennedy standing there… and I had met Kennedy before I met you…” He tried to tread lightly, but he wasn’t exactly sure how to do so without either confusing Hannah or making her upset.


“Okay so you knew Kenny before me. So what? That’s not really a lie, Harry. I don’t see why that means we have to break up, unless you like her or something…” Hannah trailed off, but it was only a matter of seconds before he eyes widened a bit and she was back to focusing on Harry. “Wait,” she whispered. Harry sighed at that point and looked away, trying not to make eye contact with Hannah as she figured out part of what he was trying to say. “You don’t like Kennedy, do you?”


Well, at least Hannah wasn’t the last person to figure it out. Harry was still holding out hope that Kennedy was still clueless for the time being. “At first, she was just this girl, okay? But after a while… I found myself really wanting her. Like, it drives me crazy and I can’t stop thinking about her,” Harry revealed, much to Hannah’s disappointment.


Hannah covered her mouth, completely shocked over Harry’s admission. That was definitely not something she wanted to hear or expected. It took her a moment to calm herself down, and to not cry, but she managed and took in a breath. “Okay. You like my sister and that’s okay. I can deal with it. Nothing has to change.”


Harry wasn’t sure how much longer he could take Hannah trying to look past everything. He knew there was only one way he could get her to understand and that was to come clean. “I only went out with you to mess with Kennedy’s head.”


The room fell silent as the tension grew. Hannah stared at him with an expression that could kill. Disappointment, anger, frustration, and pure confusion crossed her face and he wasn’t exactly sure which he would really have at that point. No matter what, he was going to get it and he was ready for whatever she had.


The only thing he wasn’t ready for was Hannah telling Kennedy everything. He knew this was the risk; he knew that Kennedy would have to find out sooner or later. And Hannah would most definitely be the one telling her how horrible Harry was and how badly he screwed them both over. This was the point of no return. He was going to lose them both and it was his entire fault.


“You only went out with me to mess with my sister.” It was more a statement rather than a question. It was like she was trying to understand it herself by repeating it. But even saying it out loud it still made no sense. And yet, the anger grew more and more on her face as she took steps towards him. “You only went out with me to mess with my sister.”


Harry stepped back as far as he could until his back hit the wall. He had nowhere to run and now he was stuck with the wrath of Hannah. He knew that she would be mad, but he had no idea how mad since she was always so bubbly and happy. Little did he know that even Hannah had a lioness inside of her ready to attack when it needed to.


“Hannah, I never meant for any of this to happen… Okay, well technically I did, but after a while I didn’t, but then I was kind of stuck in all of it and I had no idea what to do and now I’m telling you the truth so please let me finish before you kill me.”


She crossed her arms and stopped walking, her glare never leaving her eyes. She was giving him the chance to finish what he started, even though he wasn’t sure he actually wanted to admit every, single horrible thing he had done since he met the Ross’. But this was the time to own up and there was no going back now.


He ran a hand through his hair and sighed, not exactly sure how to explain it all. “Okay, so… I had a really bad break up a long time ago and Luca came in and taught me all these different ways to get girls and then break their hearts like Tera did to me. And so when we came here that was the plan; I just wanted to have a good time and mess around with girls and not care about anything.” He stressed a little, trying not to get worked up over how everything in his life was going so wrong than how he wanted. “Then I met Kennedy and I couldn’t get her out of my head for some reason. I initially went after he, because she’s cute and I wanted to sleep with her, but then I messed up and ruined the chance.”


“So you decide to go out with me because she rejected you.”


“No,” he jumped back in and shook his head. “No, you weren’t even in the plan until Luca mentioned something about going after Kennedy himself. I had to do something so he and I came up with this stupid game where we go after one girl all summer and get her to fall for me and mess with her head… and then we break her heart really badly… And I chose Kennedy.”


Hannah clenched her jaw and Harry was almost certain that steam was about to roll right off of her from how angry she was. He didn’t blame her; this was her baby sister and he had crossed the line. He had crossed the line so much that he deserved a big punch in the face.


“I think I get it now. You start up this game and pick Kennedy, but she wouldn’t give you the time of day anymore. So you decide to fuck with my head so that you could get close to her again. Tell me if I’m getting warm or anything.”


Harry’s eyes pleaded for her to understand. He knew what he’s done was wrong and he was trying to fix everything the best he could. But how do you fix something you’ve fucked up so badly? How do you fix someone’s broken heart, because he knew Hannah’s had to be breaking. She had admitted to him that she loved him, and there he was taking a big knife and jamming it right in there.


“I know what I did is wrong and I can’t express to you how sorry I truly am. I’m an asshole; I’ve always been an asshole. And I shouldn’t have brought you into this, I know that. But things are different now. I’m trying to be better, because I am crazy about your sister, Hannah. I know this is hard to hear, but it’s the truth. I really care about Kennedy…”


Harry had never been so honest with someone in his life. Not even Niall probably understood how crazy he was about Kennedy. This was a place that Harry hadn’t crossed over into since Tera, and he was terrified. He was terrified of falling for someone, especially Kennedy. He didn’t deserve her and that’s what made it even more scary.


When did it become so complicated to like someone?


Hannah didn’t say anything for a while. Harry was certain that she was plotting his timely demise and he just closed his eyes and waited for it. So when she finally spoke up it was a little shocking that she wasn’t sending him flying off the balcony. “You’re a real dick. And what you did is not okay. My sister has been through a lot and she deserves a guy like Zayn who won’t mess with her head, unlike you.” Harsh. Brutal. Harry was waiting for more, because he knew there would be. “But I know what it’s like to like someone you can’t have.”


“What?” Harry peeked one eye open, making sure that she wasn’t standing there with a knife, before relaxing a bit and waiting for her to continue.


“You are not forgiven for what you’ve done, and I probably never will forgive you, because you’re a complete douche who needs to go get hit by a bus,” Harry wasn’t exactly sure where this was going and he questioned with his eyes for her to get to the point, “but I can tell you really care about Kenny.” She took a step towards him grabbed his shirt color before balling her hand into a fist. “If you do anything to hurt my sister again, I will make sure that I’m the one driving the bus.”


Hannah dropped her arms and turned away, the sound of sniffling coming as she began to walk away. Harry could only imagine how she truly felt having her heart ripped to pieces by someone she thought she loved. It wasn’t fair, he knew that. And he wished there was something he could do to make it better. But he knew the best thing he could do was to keep his distance.


“Are you going to tell Kennedy what I’ve done?”


Hannah turned back around and Harry’s heart sank as he stared at her tear-stained face. She sniffed again and tried her best to smirk at him. “If she finds out everything you’ve done, you can bet your ass that you’ll lose her forever. And I, for one, will not be the one to break my sister’s spirit. If you want my sister, then you better bury that secret as deep as you can.” She gave him a broken smile before retreating to her bedroom and slamming the door shut.


Harry finally released his breath and slunk his shoulders. He finally ended one of his biggest regrets. He didn’t feel better about any of this, but a part of him felt a little relieved that he was one step closer to trying to make things better.


He almost jumped when the front door opened and Kennedy walked in, almost as equally surprised to see him as he was to see her. Then again, this was her hotel room so it wasn’t that unusual for her to be here. Regardless, he was praying that she didn’t hear anything that just happened between him and Hannah.


“Hey, what are you doing here?”


He let out a sigh of relief. Thank God. “Hannah and I just broke up.”


“What? Why?” She sat her things down on the table and readied herself to hear all about this breakup from both parties.


Harry was ready to take the easy way out. Say something along the lines of ‘we just weren’t working out’ or ‘we weren’t right for each other’. But something in him snapped. He wasn’t caught up in Hannah drama anymore. He had come clean and was free to make his own choices now. He was free to come clean about the thing he’s been hiding for a while.


Well, half come clean. It was up to Kennedy to put the pieces together.


He walked towards her and gave her a quick smile before placing his hand on her cheek and giving her an intense stare. “Because I’m crazy about somebody else.” He leaned in a little closer, and he knew that she was expect him to kiss her. Instead of heading straight for his lips, he got closer to her ear. “And I hope one day soon she’ll figure out if she’s into me too.”


He didn’t even give her a chance to talk. He gave her a quick kiss on the cheek before chuckling softly and heading out the door. He could only imagine the look on her face on the other side, and really wished that he could.


But for now, he was ready to move on. He was ready for what was next. Things were about to change drastically for him and he was ready to put the past behind him and focus on nothing but the future; his possible future with Kennedy and a future where he was ready to grow up and figure out what he was going to do about his dad. He had wasted enough time and he was ready to finally consider all of his options.


Well, after a quick problem he needed to take care of.


He walked into his room and was immediately confronted by Niall and his worried look. He started throwing questions at him about his dad and if he was okay about what happened. To be honest, all of them pretty much flew right over his head as he headed straight for one of the drawers to pull something out.


“Ni, I don’t want to talk about any of that. But I do need to ask you for a favor.”


Niall came closer and patted him on the back. “Of course, anything. What do you need me to do and I’ll do it.”


Harry smirked as he pulled out a pair of scissors and held them up.


“I think it’s time for a new look.”


Harry Styles is back, ladies and gentlemen. And it’s time things start changing.



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