2. Perfection's Child

It's been thirteen years since Harry and Maisey have welcomed their first daughter to the world: Hazel Lillianne Styles. Her life starts out rough when Maisey experiences complications in labor, but takes a turn for the best when a big-time modeling agent sees her photo on Twitter.
Suddenly, she becomes the "It-Girl" for the younger generation-- at only thirteen years old. Harry firmly pushes away the spotlight on her beautiful daughter, but Maisey encourages it. Will it cause tensions in their marriage?
Society is rocked by the sudden upbringing of this unique child and all they want is to see Hazel continue on to become something big (like her father). Can she handle the spotlight? Or will life become suddenly ordinary for this little girl and her family...? For Perfection's Child.
***Sequel to Close to Nothing***
(Ages 13+ recommended) [A One Direction Fanfiction]

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12. Down the Dark Alley

I jumped at every droplet of water that hit my skin, the sky spitting cool flecks on the city. The clouds were turned a light grey, barely any sunlight peeking from between them. Each step I took sloshed on the puddles set in the wet concrete. I tried to follow his muddy footprints in front of me as I continued down the alley. When I reached the end, I turned and looked in both ways for a guy in a leather jacket, and could faintly see a figure disappear into a building a hundred or so feet away. 

Quickly, I sprinted down the sidewalk until I reached the building I figured he had entered. It was a lot more grand than I expected after the gloomy walk down the alley, but for someone like Ashton, it seemed to fit the bill. It towered high, many apartments on each floor. I entered a marble-based lobby, gaping at the gold enhancements everywhere. I approached the receptionist, glancing around at the others in the lobby in sign of Ashton.

"Does someone named Ashton live here?" I asked. The lady raised a perfectly manicured eyebrow, puckering her red lips.

"Are you a friend of his?" her voice was cold as ice.

"I guess you could say that," I said slowly, looking away. "Where does he live?"

"Third floor," she glanced at the elevator. "Room 116."

"Thanks," I muttered, stalking off towards the elevator. 

As the elevator rose, my gut wrenched, just wondering what exactly he wanted to "show me". Was it just him being his perverted self, or was it something else? Something more... extreme. I wrung my hands, picking at my stubby nails. When the bell rang out, I jumped, quickly exiting the elevator. They always creeped me out anyways.

I made my way down the hall, scanning the number on each door. 110, 111, 112, 113...

My pace sped up as I ascended in numbers. ...114, 115...

116. I stopped abruptly, scanning the door up and down. Hesitantly, I knocked on it, withdrawing my hand quickly. He opened it after a few minutes, right before I was fixing to turn and leave.

"Thought you'd never come," he smirked.

"I did," I shrugged.

"Come in," he gestured sarcastically, wavering his arm like a doorman. I rolled my eyes, walking into the room. I noticed he had changed clothes into a loose-fitted and low-cut muscle tee, showing his pecs and his sides. For someone who must've been about a year older than me, he was so much more muscular than normal. I walked further into his apartment, quite shocked at how tidy it was-- square leather furniture set in a bright living room, a flat screen mounted on the wall. The kitchen was bright and shining, dark granite counters sparkling in the low light. I was shocked. Ashton didn't seem like the "neat" type.

"You clean?" I guffawed.

"Eh, I have a maid," he shrugged.

"I didn't realize you were so..."

"Rich?"

"Yeah," I admitted.

"I'm pretty sure Harry Styles' daughter is richer," he chuckled.

"Mm, I guess I take it for granted," I nodded. "So... what did you want to show me?"

"Oh, that?" he snorted. "Nothing. I was just thinking of an excuse to get you to come here."

"Where are your parents?"

"Traveling," he replied. "I'm usually on my own over the summer, anyways. They're lawyers, so they travel quite a lot."

"Nice," I observed the rest of the room. It was stunning. "Can I leave now?"

"Nope," he plopped on one of the couches, clicking on the flat screen. "Just stay a while."

"Do I have to?"

"Unless you want to be swarmed by thugs when you step outside," he said matter-of-factly.

"What?"

"It happens all the time," he shrugged. "I'll walk you to your hotel later."

"Er..." I chewed my lower lip. "I have to be back by eleven."

"It's only nine,"

"Fine," I groaned. "I bet Tommy is worried sick..." I muttered under my breath.

"Of course he is," Ashton laughed, eyes fixed on the TV. "So what did you think of modeling in America?"

I sat down next to him on the couch awkwardly, folding my hands in my lap.

"You people are a lot more... intense," I pursed my lips. "In Britain, the modeling is a little more modest."

"Psh," he chuckled. "You haven't seen the worst of it."

"How much worse could it get?"

"A lot more," his eyes widened for a moment.

"How so?" I asked.

"You don't wanna know,"

I decided not ask any further.

"Kissing a total stranger seems pretty extreme to me," I said, sitting back on the couch. "I'd never felt so humiliated in my life."

Ashton didn't reply at first, instead he clicked off the TV, turning to me. He seemed to think for a moment, staring down at his hands. Did I say something rude?

"That's the thing," he licked his lips. "There is a reason I wanted you to come here, Hazel."

"Wow, that's the first time you've called me something besides 'babe'," I snorted.

"I'm serious," his bright eyes grew liquid-like, staring straight into me. "When we kissed... I didn't feel like it was 'set up' just for a photo. It felt... for real. It felt like we weren't strangers. I just didn't know if I was being stupid, but when you broke away, I felt like it was real."

"Ashton..." I widened my eyes a little, not knowing what to say. "I-I... I don't know what to say."

"Don't say anything, then," he smiled a little. "Let your lips do the talking."

"Isn't that what you usually do when you talk?" I laughed.

"I meant, kiss me," he replied, staring at my lips. 

I sat there, frozen. I had originally intended for Tommy to get jealous... but would it be wrong to kiss a guy intentionally? Thoughts buzzed through my mind, making me dizzy. I rubbed my right temple, glancing away from Ashton's icy-blue stare. I felt him come closer, his hot breath warming a spot on my neck.

"I can't," I whispered, still facing away.

"He doesn't have to know," he replied quietly. "I just need to know if what I felt is real. Please."

"Ashton..." I shook my head, looking down at my knees. I turned slowly, his face inches from mine. The thoughts continued. What would Tommy do if he found out? What would my dad do? Maybe we were all a little too stereotypical of Americans. Maybe it'd lessen his skeptic-ness about all of it. 

My thoughts were interrupted abruptly by a pair of warm lips meeting mine-- at first lightly grazing each other  then more firmly. I tried... Oh, I tried so hard not to kiss him back. I held my lips into place, refusing to grasp at his. I couldn't help myself. My heart fluttered like crazy when I kissed him back, making my face grow heated and pink. I felt his fingertips graze my waist  as I turned my torso toward him. It felt so... so... so much like reality. Maybe he was right. Maybe I was just being a stubborn girl.

The kiss lasted longer than I expected, but when I finally pulled away, I realized what I had just done. I had captured Ashton. The way he looked at me was different-- the way he smiled was different... Everything about him seemed different; more relaxed. I'd just created a monster.

A monster in love with me.

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