Once In A Lifetime (Harry Styles)

THIS IS BOOK 3 OF MY SERIES


"I'm sorry for letting you do this. Remember, I love you, forever and always," He says as he wipes every ounce of tears that were constantly falling with his thumb as he cups my face.

“No! Please!” I begged as they pulled Harry even faster, my grip slowly tugging away, but I managed to hold on. “It wasn’t his fault! I-It was mine!” I plead one more time, hoping this would enlighten them to take me instead of him.

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11. Chapter 11

Claire’s POV

I cannot believe I’m seeing Harold again. It seemed like I’ve told him that he hasn’t convinced me yet but deep down, he has already did, just with our first few hours in the carnival yesterday. Yeah, he can be arrogant, that’s his nature, but he also accepts defeat, he mostly loses in games, and he tries, and I like that in a person. He even lets me break his ego a bit and it’s alright with him. He doesn’t fight back like what I thought he’d do, he just laughs along.

And he never runs out of stories to tell, their adventures as One Direction and way back in his life in Cheshire, but it felt unfair that he tells me everything about him and I never talked once about myself, because that involved my secret. He gave so much of himself and I gave nothing in return.

He has already convinced me, I just didn’t want to say it to him because I don’t want him to be boastful again. I could get used to Harry and I being like this, close to each other, either physically or socially, we could laugh at each other for no reason, but there was something at the back of my head, telling me this ain’t good, you know, starting to grow a bit fond of him.

What if I told him my secret then end up taking advantage of me, using me for publicity? You’ll never know, you know? I haven’t known him that much, apart from the countless research I made.

But he might be the only friend you’ll make outside of the palace. I need to know if I can trust enough to be my friend and open to him whenever. You’ll never know if you won’t try.

 ---

 The next morning I slipped myself in a pair of shorts and a simple shirt because Harry told me to get ready because –at last- he’s got an idea on where we’re going today. I heard my phone buzz from across the room just as I finished combing my hair, letting it hang loose on my back.

 

From: Harold Styles

I’m already here xx

 

I didn’t reply, just peeked through the curtains and I can see him in a white v neck and jeans. I immediately got in an incredibly fast pace. What can I do? I missed his presence. I know it’s weird, but I did. Was it even possible for me to feel this way? Am I growing fond of him? Maybe I am. Maybe even more than what I expected myself to be.

“Hi,” He says getting out of the car. “Harold,” I grin happily at him and he looked somewhat annoyed, which made me laugh. “Harry. Har-ry,” He pronounced his name slowly and I laugh even more. “It won’t work,” I plainly told him and he stopped and also bursted in fits of laughter. “Come on, let’s go,” He takes my wrist and drags me to the car.

“Where to, anyway?” I questioned him, a quizzical look on my face once we get in the car. “You’ll see,” He smiled and I gladly follow.

Throughout the whole car ride, I’ve been wanting to ask him a question that can probably change the way I look at him, or something like that.

“Harry…” I trailed off my voice, waiting for his response so I could have his attention. “Yeah babe?” He turned to me and by my use of the name he’s usually called; he knew that I wasn’t messing around this time.

Just ask him Claire, you can’t lose anything.

“Harry… Do you trust me?” I asked shyly, not awaiting for an answer. It feels like the noise going on inside my head went off when Harry stopped the car at a red light and looked at me intently with the most beautiful emerald green eyes I’ve ever seen.

“Of course I trust you Claire, that’s why this is happening, because I trust you and your opinions,” He paused for a bit and I feel myself sweat at the way he’s boring into my soul. “The question is, do you trust me?” He finished his statement as he turned back to face the road as the green light went on. I know I do trust him, but do I trust him enough for my secret?

Can he handle taking care of my secret?

We stopped in front of a complex, I turned to Harry with a puzzled look but he didn’t acknowledge. He just opened the passenger door for me and quickly went for my hand as I went out. The whole time his hand caressed mine when we get to the lift and everything, I felt nothing, nothing at all.

Aw who am I kidding? I can’t stop grinning like an idiot and my cheeks being flushed red are giving it away. It gives me goose bumps and I don’t know why, maybe it was him who caused this. Of course it’s him, duh! Why do I respond like this to his touch, not like I’m feeling anything towards him? Right?

I barely noticed that we were standing in front of a door –Harry barely letting go- and a few seconds later a blond with stunning blue eyes opened it. It was Niall, like what I remembered from Jen.

“We’re at Niall’s place?” I shot a confused look at Harry and he just nodded with a cute smile on his lovely face. “Hi, you must be Claire,” Niall turned to me, giving in for a hug. At first I was reluctant, but  I gave in. “Hazza!” Louis came and hugged him the biggest and I chuckled. “I see you have company,” Louis turned to me as soon as he heard me chuckling.

“I’m-“ I introduced myself till I was interrupted by a sassy Louis, his finger over my lips. “Don’t worry, I know you pretty well,” He winked at me and I shot a look on Harry who was already looking at me. “Cut the chatter, let’s go in,” Niall says as they escort us to the living room.

Soon, I saw the other boys, Eleanor, Danielle, and Candace. The three girls went immediately to me, knowing they have another girl in the group. “Oh my gosh, you look even prettier than what I ever imagined!” Eleanor complimented and I can’t help but turned a light shade of pink. The other girls nodded in agreement. I then sat beside the girls on the couch while the boys were seated on the floor.

“You do not wanna know the countless times we’ve heard Harry say your name,” Liam turned to me, trying to start a conversation, and again, I blushed. I looked down at Harry and it was also evident that he was also blushing, but he was hiding it by glaring daggers at Liam. “Dani, stop your boyfriend, please,” He begged her. “Trust us, he has been talking about you 24/7,” Danielle said and I was laughing like crazy. He really talked about me to them? Wow.

"Oi! That's not helping!" And the group laughs like crazy, well not Harry, he was pouting like a baby.

A few minutes of talking and I already like them all, like I’ve known them all my life. I mean, who wouldn’t? They were famous people yet they act so normal between each other. Not to mention the boys who were randomly idiots.

“He always updated us, anything and everything that happened between you two. Like this ‘We went to the carnival yesterday and it was a hell of a time and we rode almost all the rides!’” Louis tried successfully to imitate Harry, jumping up and down in a low voice and I crack up at the thought of him really doing that, but there was something wrong about what he said.

“Wait, we rode all the rides,” I corrected Lou and I felt as if Harry gulped below me on the floor. “Even the roller coaster?” Zayn finally spoke up, and I nod, like it was a big deal. Was it? Was it wrong for me to take him there? “Harry! You rode that roller coaster?! What did you do?” El stared at me and with everyone’s astonished faces, it seems like I have done something wrong.

“What did I do?” I looked at everyone and lastly Harry who was avoiding my gaze for the moment. A few seconds of major silence as I was awaiting an answer but then random screams were heard and I absolutely don’t know why.

“He’d never ride a roller coaster and for all we know, he rode one with you!” I managed to hear Liam through the screams and cheers. That was a weird fear. Who would fear roller coasters? For all I know, Harry. “What did you do, now tell me Claire,” Candace scooted closer to me.

”I swear you are a special to him, more than special to be exact,” She whispered lightly in my ear and I wouldn’t believe her words. I shot another look at Harry and he was already looking back, a light shade of crimson form on his cheeks along with that cute dimple. He looks so adorable.

---

“Let’s all go grab lunch,” Niall says, standing up. “I say Nandos!” Candace shrieks out before anyone could suggest. Niall then grabs her by the waist and kisses her temple. Those two are really meant for each other, I could tell perfectly. Pretty soon, everyone was standing up, grabbing their jackets and I don’t know why until I looked out the window, frost was formed on the edges of the window, cold weather we’re having and I was stupid enough not t bring a jacket. I began already warming myself up, because all people who know me knows that I can’t stand the cold.

“Here,” I looked behind and saw harry lending me a purple jacket. I actually never saw him bring one in the first place. “You’ll be cold then,” I thought of him at that time and maybe he can’t stand the cold, like me. “Trust me, I can handle it,” He says as he comes close, giving a hug and I was sure, this was more than enough to keep me warm. “His Jack Wills,” Eleanor whispered softly as she summoned Danielle and Candace and pointed to me. “Seriously, Claire is more than special to Harry,” Niall says as loud as he could, getting our attention and he did as both of us break the hug and blood shot up to both our cheeks.

“Let’s just go,” We both said in unison as I wore his jacket, taking in his scent that made my heart pump, just his scent making me react like this. Seriously, this jacket is special to him too? Were they right? Was I more than special to him and he did these thing to me?

 

Harry’s POV

They were right. She is more than special to me.

And about her asking me if I trust her? Maybe she was already thinking about telling her secret. I for one don’t care anymore, as long as we’re together, I can live with that.

We get inside Nandos, at walking distance, not letting go of Claire’s cold hand settling over my warm one. I never lost my distance on her even if we were seated, I sat closely beside her. And the best part was, she wasn’t avoiding, maybe she likes this as much as I do. Niall and Candace was at the counter, making out usual orders while us here on the table are making small talk.

“So Claire, how’d you meet Harry?” Liam asked her as she looked at me and I nodded because maybe they wanted to know her side of the story. “Well-“ She started, obviously tensed at the way they all looked at her and they way she squeezed my hand tighter and tighter under the table.

“We obviously don’t need to hear the story for the millionth time again. The last time Harry told us this, I fell fast asleep,”Niall exclaimed, coming back with Candace and seated beside us. “I have to go to the loo,” I say excusing myself from the group. I went directly to the mirror to check on myself. Since when have I become Zayn? Oh, never mind. I checked on my face, and I’ve been very happy lately. Was it Claire or something else? Definitely Claire. She’s been all the fuss in my head, and the good kind of fuss of course. It just feels so good and right when I’m around her and I can’t stand not being close to her in any form. I think-

“Hey Hazza,” I sprung out hearing a voice in the quiet restroom. “Oh, hi Boo,” I finally made composure and looked at Louis with a fresh look on my face. “What has gotten into you? Who are you thinking of? Oh- I get it,” He faces me with a cheeky smile, answering his own question just by looking at me.

“Harreh, tell me,”He started and he looked at me with his serious face. “Are you trying to make her trust you, or like you?” He finished and I paused for a moment, deep in my se of thoughts. I almost forgot about that. “I like her, mate,” I confessed to him first and somehow he already expected the answer. “Then go tell her before someone sweeps her off her feet before you do,” He turned his heel, ready to walk away.

“Food’s here,” He says as he went out and I follow seconds later.

“Yo!” Liam says as all of them turned to face me.

 ---

“That was one heck of a meal!” Niall exclaims as he rubs his overly full stomach. “That’s because you and Candy practically ate the whole restaurant!” Danielle shrieks which made us all laugh in hysterics.

“Lads, you all go back. Me and Claire have something to do,” I managed to speak despite the unbearable laughs made by my friends. “Ohh, alone time,” Louis cheekily to the others. “Ha-ha Lou,” I say, sarcasm filling my mouth before grabbing Claire’s hand, going the opposite direction of the group.

“Where are you taking me, Harold?” She asks reluctantly, trying to get out of my grasp. “Back to your place,” I smiled, turning my head at her who had a surprised look on her face before turning to her task: still trying to get my hand off hers. “Harry,” She croaks as I look back at her, a pleading look in her face. “It hurts,” She points her hand locked uncomfortably in mine and I quickly let go. It completely slipped my mind that I was holding her this tight, she was hurting and it was my fault.

“I’m so sorry Claire; I didn’t mean to-“ I was cut off by her. “It’ll be fine, d-don’t worry,” She says while caressing her slightly numb, and reddish hand with her other one. I quickly took her right hand and started forming small circles with my thumb while walking to somehow soothe it. “You can trust me,” I say looking into her eyes, a bit of hesitation and a bit of acceptance in those beautiful chocolate brown eyes. We then hailed a cab to go back to her apartment, never letting go of her hurt hand.

 

Claire’s POV

“What now?” I say as he goes for the couch and I went for the kitchen to prepare hot chocolate for the two of us. “You’ve got a nice place here,” He says, his voice echoing through the walls, taking in my simple flat. I walked over to him, walking in slowly careful not to spill the two mugs of steaming hot chocolate. “Let me help you with that,” He then hurries to get the other mug for him and sit on the couch.

“So,” He starts. “So.,” I imitate him, a playful smile growing on my lips. “Here’s the thing,” He puts the mug down as I took my first sip and it was piping hot, burning my delicate tongue. He then looks at me, happiness evident in his eyes and I felt electricity run into my whole system as he strikes his smile on me. Again, why did he have this effect on me? Just by small gestures of him makes my heart almost pound out of my chest. I can’t look back up, I just can’t take his boring stare.

God! My shoe, it’s showing under the couch. I kicked it further under the couch immediately and thank God he won’t probably see it. I have realized that I can fully trust him now; I’m just not ready to tell him. Not now. I’ll find the perfect time. “Hey,” I hear him and I almost forgot he was in the same room as me because I was in deep thought. “Oh, sorry what was that?” I ask him, was he even saying anything, I barely heard him.

“No, it’s just- I could really pass the time just looking into your eyes. They’re beautiful,” He says cheesily, and I finally took the courage and look back into his eyes, evidence of sincerity in them. “Harry,” I call out softly as he snaps back to reality as he was in some sort of trance just by looking into my eyes.

“Hmm?”

“I- I trust you now,”

I managed to say to him without stuttering too much caused by the nerves of staring back into his eyes. I felt a sudden pause after my statement and I almost felt Harry’s heart stop beating –he was close enough so I could hear his heart pounding over the silence- and I felt worried. Is he dead? Did my unexpected words struck him too much?

“Harry? Are you there?” I waved my hand in front of his face as he froze there.

“Thank you Claire! Thank you so much!” Shock went through me at his abrupt jumping movement, making me scared as hell. I had almost thought that I had really killed him. I chuckle at his victory moment, like he won another Brit award or something. “Harold?” I mutter out despite his triumph screeches and my intolerable fits of laughter. “Aren’t you going home? It’s getting colder outside. And you don’t have your car,” I look outside as frost is forming rapidly on the edges of the window.

“I can stay here, right?” He looks at me, a cute pleading look making me give in on his antics. I finally nod and again he cheers for joy. “Up for TV?” I ask him, turning on the telly. We both sit comfortably on the couch with only the television giving us light. I wonder why he doesn’t comment on what we’re watching or why he lets me pick the channel. I mean, food network? They’d always ask me why I always watch that. Well, merely because I like how amazing food are made, and not once have I tried to do whatever they do on TV because I know for a fact that they never turn out to be those on the telly. I looked at Harry who was just facing the television. He’s really interested in this kind of stuff.

“I can cook those up for you if you want,” He offers as he sees me drool over the food. “Oh, you don’t have to,” I laugh at his silly joke which I guess wasn’t really a joke. “But I want to try it on someone sometime,” He pleads again and again, I give in and nod and he cheers for joy, again. "I'm a good cook, if you don't know," He winks and I laughs. "I'll be the judge of that," I reply to him and we face back on the telly.

I go through the channels and stop by MTV. I see a familiar looking face and turn to see Harry already smiling. “Hey that’s you. You’re on TV,” I smile childishly as if my friend over here wasn’t 1/5 of the biggest boyband in the world. “I’ve heard,” He chuckles, sarcasm dripping in his voice. We’re watching their music video for One Thing and he looks younger here and their voices are just incredible.

I lend Harry the remote as he changes the channel again, because there is nothing to watch anymore and we’ve been watching for over an hour and he still hasn’t complained about going home. It makes my eyes droop the way the dark room around us –except the telly- takes over my eyes. I made a loud yawn and almost fell asleep on Harry’s shoulder while he was holding onto me for comfort and I, for one didn’t mind. Harry then turns off the telly and sings softly next to me, feeling the vibration of his chest against my head which makes me even more tired and I breathe out another yawn and finally let myself drift into sleep on Harry’s shoulder.

 

Isn’t Claire lovely

Isn’t Claire wonderful

Isn’t Claire precious

Less than one minute old

And I never thought through love we’d be

Making one s lovely as she

But isn’t Claire lovely made from love

 

“You really have a thing with lyric change, huh?” I ask softly laughing. “Yup,” He says, popping the ‘p’. I can feel his chest vibrating close as I feel him chuckle and I went in and slept again hearing those sweet words over and over again.

So far, I’m the happiest girl in the world and there are no problems that can stop me from being with Harry. I really like him, no argument needed.

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