Secrets Long Kept

What would happen if Harry Styles fell for a Swiftie? How long could she keep her fandom a secret? What would happen if Harry and his bandmates found out?

Grace Woodhouse is happy with life. But then she crashes-quite literally-into Harry Styles. He makes it his mission to get her to date him, but Grace is torn since she's a diehard Swiftie. Will their love last?


2. She Plays Hard to Get

Thankfully, I’m only two minutes late so my boss isn’t too mad.  I just get a gentle warning and then I’m sent to meet a school group.  It’s a small one, probably about fifteen high schoolers.  They look about the age of my little sister, Amanda, who’s sixteen.

I check my clipboard and then I say, “All right, everyone.  I’m Grace Woodhouse, an interning docent here at the Art Institute of Chicago.  Just to give you a little background, I’m studying art history and photography at Columbia College Chicago, and as it says here in my notes, y’all are here to visit the photography exhibit, so let’s head there now.”

I can walk at a noticeably fast pace, so my boss often had to make sure I slowed down for my group when I began working as a docent.  Now I’m a pro at a normal walking speed.  I lead my group to the Grand Staircase and we head down to the lower level.  I pass the Thorne Miniature Rooms exhibit and smile softly.  If my tours end early, I often suggest that we go see them.  They’re one of my favorite parts of the museum.

When we reach the photography exhibit and I turn back to speak to my tour group, I notice some oddly familiar brown curls at the back of the group.  The boys in the back are pretty tall, so I can’t spot any faces.  Still, I have a good feeling Harry Styles tracked me down and hopped onto my tour.

“One of my favorites,” I say, ignoring Harry’s presence, “is Brig on Water over here.  We also have a photograph of Frederick Douglass and one of Georgia O’Keefe.  Y’all are free to roam the exhibit if it’s okay with your chaperones.  Just follow the usual museum rules and please stay within the photography exhibit.  If you have any questions, you’re welcome to find me and ask.”

The students turn to speak with the chaperones, and then they disperse in groups of two or three.  The adults follow a couple pairs, probably the troublemakers.  But someone remains.  Harry.

“Well it wasn’t hard to find you,” he remarks.

I raise an eyebrow.  “Oh?  And why did you need to find me?”

“Because you intrigue me,” Harry admits. “Your sense of style, the way you ran off, the fact that you didn’t freak out when you realized who I was.  Thankfully, I saw where you headed and then I found you after milling around in the entrance.  I simply joined your tour group after that.  What’s surprising is how I’ve gone virtually unrecognized since I entered the Art Institute.”

“Well you might want to be careful.  You look a bit like a suspicious character,” I remark.  I gesture to Harry’s sunglasses.

“I’m trying to stay undetected!” he complains. “Fans are going to know it’s me if I take them off.”

I chuckle.  “Trust me, they’ll recognize you from your hair alone.  But I’m serious—a security guard will probably ask you to remove your sunglasses.”

“Go out with me,” Harry says suddenly.

I finally turn to look at him completely.  “Excuse me?”

A pair of students comes over before he can respond.  The girl asks, “I heard you have a picture taken by Lewis Carroll.”

I nod.  “That’s right.  Would you like to see it?”

The girl nods eagerly.  “Yes, please.  Alice in Wonderland is one of my favorite books.”

I start to walk and beckon with my hand.  “Right this way then.”

The students follow me, and Harry trails along behind.  As soon as the teenagers have left my side, Harry’s next to me again.

“Well?” he asks.

“Right, like a worldwide superstar wants to go out with an average girl,” I scoff. “No thanks.  I’m not in the mood to be pranked.”  I pause, then scribble something on my clipboard and tear off the edge of the paper. “But here’s my number.”

I swiftly turn on my heel and head back to the main room to wait for my tour to regroup.

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