Taken (Harry Styles)

Veronica Bennett lives a normal life. She's your average seventeen-year-old. But on one very adrenaline-filled night partying with her best friends, things change. She's kidnapped by a boy she has never even met before, Harry Styles. Will she be able to escape or end up falling for the boy that took her independence away from her?


4. Hide & Seek

“Veronica?” Harry’s voice broke through my subliminal mind, bringing me back to this horrid reality. “Listen to me when I’m talking to you.”

His eyes searched mine, as if looking for a sign of love like what he experienced for me. I sat there, staring back, feeling numb and hopeless. Harry had lost the harshness of his tone and was now steady and calm. For some reason, I felt that if I didn’t respond to him that he would do something drastic, yet again.

A stray tear fell down my already wet cheeks. I felt broken and I had only been here, what? A day? Surely I was destined to go crazy.

Harry wiped the tear away with his thumb and carried me, bridal style, to the couch in the connected living room. “Don’t cry. It hurts me to see you upset,” he said, laying my head across his lap. He began stroking my blonde hair while his other hand rested on my stomach.

I wanted desperately to tell him not to touch me, to leave me alone. Sadly, I was too terrified to speak. This is what genuine fear felt like. It was true what people said about it. It was paralyzing.

Harry bent his head down, lightly kissing my forehead. I sighed, my breath shaking terribly. Out of all the girls in the world, this psychopath had to choose me. Me. The girl whose always been picked last, called ugly or fat. Maybe Harry was right; Ava and Laney had used me to feel better about themselves.

“Why me?” I throatily whispered, a sound barely forming. “Out of all the girls in the world? Why me?”

Harry looked down at me with a loving smile. This did nothing to help my feelings or emotions. I was still distant and numb.

“It was an instant connection. I thought you were the most beautiful girl I had ever laid eyes on. Everything about you was perfect, and it still is,” he said, pulling me closer to his body.

I suddenly felt extremely tired. I guess my action packed day was finally getting to me. “I’m not beautiful. I’m fat and anything but,” I retorted, looking away from Harry’s intense gaze as I did.

He picked me up, and now I was basically sitting in his lap. He turned me around so that I was facing him, forcing my legs around his torso. Harry’s expression was no longer soft, but angry, as if he was hurt by my criticism towards myself.

He placed my hands in his and gripped them tightly. “Don’t ever say that about yourself. You’re perfect. And fat? You call this fat?” Harry ran his hands down my torso, to my thighs, and finally rested on my back. I stiffened from his touch. There’s another first I can never get back.

“What I see and feel is a curvaceous girl. In fact, I prefer my women to be curvy. It gives me something to grab onto,” he smirked, changing his sentimental speech into a racy comment.

Harry’s hand drifted lower, reaching my butt. I gasped as he gave it a light squeeze. On instinct, I reached behind me and pulled his hand away. Harry only laughed and laid his removed hand on my thigh. I have to admit; his lecture had made me feel pretty. And wanted. That was a first, too.

My thoughts wandered to the boys at school. Perry never showed interest in me like this. Neither did any other guy. There must be something Harry sees in me that they didn't.

“I’m sleepy,” I said, rubbing my tired eyes. “Can I go to bed?”

Harry’s smile returned, revealing his dimples. Why did my kidnapper have to be so attractive? His smile was absolutely breathtaking. “Of course.”

I didn’t protest when Harry picked me up bridal style again, carrying me to my secluded room. He laid me on the bed and sat next to me as I pulled the covers close to my body. I rejoiced silently that he hadn’t made me sleep with him in his bed.

“Sleep well, Veronica. I love you,” Harry said, placing one last kiss on my cheek. He surveyed me one last time before leaving and turning off the light.

I heard the door lock behind him and I silently laid there. I was left alone in the darkness.

A sort of emptiness filled me as I lay there. My thoughts wandered back to Dad, his familiar appearance showing in my mind. Then came Ava and Laney. No matter what Harry told me, they would still be my best friends and I had the strongest feeling that I would never see them again. Or Dad.

I couldn’t cry. It seemed that I was out of tears. My life was being changed before my eyes and I needed to adjust quickly before I went crazy. My sanity was all I needed to get me through this. That, and the memories of my family and friends.

My mind was weighed down with thoughts that I just couldn’t seem to process. Eventually, I fell asleep.

I woke the next morning feeling sore. My mouth was parched and I desperately wanted water. I sat up in the bed, my eyes adjusting to the unfamiliar light I just now realized was there. I looked to my left to find a silver lamp sitting on my bedside table. What an unusual surprise.

“Good morning,” a voice spoke, startling me. My head instantly turned to the sound. I cringed to find Harry sitting in a chair close to my bed.

How had I not noticed he was there? More importantly, how long had he been watching me sleep? I found that to be extremely creepy.

“How are you feeling?” Harry asked, moving toward me so that he now sat on my bed.

“Thirsty,” I managed to choke out. As I spoke, I didn’t look him in the eye.

“I have some water right here,” he stated, retrieving the cup that was sitting beside his chair.

I gratefully took the drink from him and gulped it down without hesitation. For once, I was glad to have Harry here. At least he didn’t deprive me of my needs.

“Better?” He asked, looking concerned.

I slowly nodded. After that drink of water I was feeling much better. Harry grinned and stuck out his hand for me to take it. I gave him a puzzled look. What did he want me to do now?

“Come,” he started, “let’s have breakfast.”

I took his hand and Harry helped me out of bed effortlessly. His arm muscle flexed and I could tell that he had done his fair share of working out. Before we left, I grabbed some clothes to change into for the day. A pair of jeans and a tank top.

Harry held my hand the whole way to the kitchen like I was some fragile little kid. Honestly, I think I could’ve made it by myself. On the other hand, he could’ve done it for fear of me running away.

Harry began rummaging through the wooden cabinets, pulling out box after box of cereal. I patiently waited for him to finish. I found it ridiculous that he went to such lengths just to make me happy. Why would he try this hard for me?

“What would you like? I have lots of cereal. I was never really sure which was your favorite because you ate so many and-“ he rambled on before I interrupted him.

“I’ll take Cheerios,” I said plainly, showing no sign of emotion whatsoever.

Harry’s expression saddened as he watched me pour the cereal into a green bowl with no enthusiasm. I was literally broken. I had never felt such longing before. All I wanted was to see my dad and friends again. Just one last time.

“I know something that will cheer you up,” Harry stated, aiding in the pouring of my milk. The jug was full and I could barely lift it. I just didn’t have the energy.

“What?” I asked while taking my first bite. To me, it was tasteless.

Harry didn’t reply, but walked to the iPod dock sitting on the granite kitchen counter. I watched as he scrolled through the list of songs with such concentration. “I’ve got all your favorites,” he smiled, giving me a loving glance.

Harry sat the music player back on the dock. Instantly, I recognized the song that played. It was my absolute favorite. “Jukebox,” by The Summer Set blasted through the speakers and for a second, my foot began to tap without my consent. It’s amazing what one good beat from a song can do for you.

“Friday night at the bar where everybody knows my name,” I quietly sang along, swinging my dangling foot that hung from the chair.

Harry’s lips curled into a slight grin and he came over to my side of the counter. He leaned down to my ear and whispered, “Let’s dance.”

Before I could protest, he turned my chair around and pulled me to onto the floor. Harry twirled me around with my arm in the air. Surprisingly, he was a better dancer than I thought he would be. Every now and then, he would pull me close and dip me. I could feel my hair graze the floor when he did that, but I was having fun despite my not wanting to.

I was just getting into the song when it changed. A ballad came on and by the look on Harry’s face; I could tell that he had planned this all out. What a sneaky little psychopath. However, I have to admit, this song was great. It was, “Wanted,” by Hunter Hayes. I blushed at the thought of him. He was so cute and one of my celebrity crushes.

Harry pulled me close to him as the song reached the chorus, placing one hand on my waist and the other was holding onto my hand. “I love it when you blush. It’s absolutely adorable. One day, I’ll be making you do that.”

This only made me blush again, so I looked away from Harry’s romantic gaze. I guess he fulfilled his wish. As the song continued, I was completely and utterly calm. I had lost my edginess and numbness so I rested my head on Harry’s chest as we swayed back and forth soothingly. Who knew someone so crazy could actually make me feel better.

“Veronica, I can make you feel like a princess. I can make you feel like you belong. I can show you a whole new world.” His hand still rested on my waist firmly, lowering to my hip. His voice became deeper with every word he spoke. “I can make your life a lot better if you just open up to me.”

I raised my head to look at Harry. His expression was sincere and unfazed. I desperately hoped he wouldn’t try anything, if you know what I mean.

“How old are you?” I asked randomly. I couldn’t really guess his age because he was one of those people who could pull off the teenager and young adult looks.

“I’m twenty,” he confessed, adding a cheeky grin.

Honestly, I was surprised by our three-year age difference. “You know I’m seventeen, right?”

Harry nodded and dipped his head down to my neck. I could feel his hot breath fan over my bare skin as he began to speak. “That won’t matter when you turn eighteen, and by then, I expect you’ll be as in love with me as I am with you.”

His words took me by surprise. My birthday was in seven months. Was he really going to keep me that long? No, there was no way. I wouldn’t let him. I needed to get back home to Dad, Ava, and Laney.

I stayed completely still when he said that, for fear of retaliating. I jumped when Harry started kissing my neck lightly. Just when it got to the point where his teeth came into play, I slipped out of his grasp, ran across the room, and down the hall.

I reached a closed door and opened it quickly, finding it to be a bedroom. I suspected it to be Harry’s since the bed was messily made up. There were also clothes strewn in random spots on the floor.

I listened closely for the angry Harry to come back, but was shocked to hear him laugh. “Are you hiding from me, Veronica?”

I didn’t reply, but dove under the bed instead. I stayed as quiet and still as possible. I would not give myself away this time.

“I can always find you, you know,” he said in a flirty tone. I said nothing, knowing what he possibly had in mind.

To my horror, I faintly heard footsteps coming my way. Crap. This was not happening, again! The door opened and I cringed. I watched as Harry checked his closet, failing to find me in there. He stopped by his bed and began to lower his body towards the ground.

“There you are,” he said. I didn’t move. He grabbed my arm and began to slowly pull me from my hiding spot.

I was stood on my feet, only to be knocked back on the bed. Harry crawled on top of me, pinning my arms on either side of my head. My heart rate had sped up like a horse galloping in my chest, but my breathing remained calm and soft. Harry’s eyes scanned my body hungrily as he smirked.

As he lowered himself onto me, my entire body stiffened. His lips grazed my neck and I whimpered. "Stop," I spoke, becoming majorly uncomfortable.

My body was screaming for me to push him off of me, but I just couldn’t do it. I wanted him to desperately quit touching me. I never moved once, and Harry removed himself from me.

“Sorry,” Harry said, rubbing his forehead, “my hormones got the best of me.”

I sighed in relief, heartbeat calming. There was nothing in the world that could describe my happiness that he didn't take this any farther.

Harry looked at me with longing. I began to lift myself off the bed, legs dangling off the edge. I didn't speak a word as he continued to stare at me.

"Right," Harry cleared his throat, "we should get back to breakfast."

I nodded and followed him out the door. The song on the speaker had changed again. This time it was an upbeat song. I was glad of this for it made the awkwardness a little better.

Harry took my bowl to the sink and turned the volume down a little so that we were able to talk. But I had nothing to say.

"You know, you know all this stuff about me but I know nothing about you. Care to inform me?" I started, thinking that my inquisition would lighten the mood a little more.

Harry's expression beamed with happiness, like he was surprised I had asked this. I have to admit, I was surprised myself.

"What would you like to know?" He leaned across the bar, grasping my hands with his.

i stared at our jumble of fingers, feeling comforted. "What's your favorite food? Color? Music?"

He chuckled at my question after question, but I just couldn't help myself. All these things were a mystery to me and I wanted to know what they were.

"You're perfect, you know that right?" Harry looked into my eyes, brushing a thumb across my cheek.

I could feel the heat rising behind my cheeks. He's succeeded again. "Just answer the questions."

"I like tacos. My favorite color would either be orange or blue," he paused to place his hand on his chin, "I can't decide."

I smiled. "Music?"

"Queen. Definitely queen."

I gave him a thumbs up, showing my approval. I couldn't believe we were actually bonding with each other. I almost forgot that I had been kidnapped and that Harry was my captor. Almost.

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