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?

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5. She's a Little Runaway

Three days.

It was amazing how so many things changed in that short amount of time. My life had turned upside down. No friends. No family. Just Harry and me. Nothing much had happened, though. I hadn’t tried to escape any and Harry did his best, as usual, to please my every need. I found myself becoming rather calm and less frightened by the situation. My fears of Harry doing something drastic had faded somewhat. I figured that if he’d tried anything, he would’ve done it by now.

I spent my hours doing leisurely activity. Things like reading, listening to music, or watching TV. Presently, I was occupying my time reading the genius of F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, in my room. The novel was one of my absolute favorites. With gut wrenching irony and conflict, it was definitely not a book for the faint hearted.

Hours before I had started reading, I had found a room with bookshelves that were packed with books. From hardcover to paperback, or from romances to sci-fi, it was surely in there. I had searched thoroughly, trying to find a book to suit my mood, and The Great Gatsby seemed like the perfect fit.

Just as I was getting to the part where Nick was getting invited to one of Gatsby’s pretentious parties, I was startled by the sound of someone’s voice. It sounded like singing. Curious, I laid the book down gently, careful not to bed any pages, and began to enter the living room. As I listened closer, I realized the singing was coming from the bathroom. Then, the sound of running water followed.

I came to understand that Harry was the culprit, and he was taking a shower. His voice was astonishingly melodic. Who would’ve thought that my kidnapper sang so wonderfully? Maybe, if he wasn’t so crazy, I would’ve suggested him to try out for the X-Factor or something.

I smiled at my own thought, followed by a sudden question. What if Harry had left the front door unlocked? After all, he had left earlier this morning to stock up on supplies. I assumed he had just returned, but then thought that he wouldn’t have been so careless as to leave the door unlocked.

But what if he had?

I turned to the door and glared at the barricade for a moment. So many things were running through my head, but one in particular kept screaming what I needed myself to do. Try to open the door.

Before following my conscience, I listened to make sure Harry was still in the shower. He still hummed happily. My feet moved without my consent and headed towards the door. It was like something had taken over my body as my hand reached for the doorknob. I froze just as I was about to turn it. As if on cue, the sound of running water ceased.

Do it, Veronica. You don’t have much time.

Harry’s upbeat tune still flowed through the air. I gulped and squeezed my eyes shut tight. Deciding quickly, I turned the knob. And, it opened.

For a second, I was taken back. Harry had altered his plans. This was my chance to escape. Before running into the daylight, I turned back to the bathroom door. The humming had stopped.

I made a mad dash for my freedom, a burst of heat hitting my bare skin. Thankfully, I wore a loose fitting tank top and shorts that looked like something Ava and Laney would be wearing. Sadly, it was the only type of shorts Harry had stuffed in my closet.

I ran as fast as my legs would move, although I was having a hard time due to my bare feet. And exercise was never something I was good at, but I tried my best. The only thing on my mind right now was to find help. Every being inside me screamed escape. But what if Harry caught up to me? There would definitely be hell to pay.

My bare feet slammed against rough pavement each time I ran another step, sending jolts of pain up my leg. I used an image of Dad and my friends, which was engraved in my mind, for motivation. They were the only things fueling my energy.

“Veronica!” I heard a voice ring through the air and I continued to run faster.

I traveled down the street and no one was in sight. This neighborhood was seriously deserted. Deciding that I could do nothing else, I searched frantically for a hiding spot because I knew that Harry would catch up to me any minute.

I turned a sharp corner and spotted an alleyway. I practically dove into the dim place, skidding to a halt. Crouching down, I grabbed my knees and pulled them to my chest. My breathing was heavy, which would give me away so I tried to level it out, only failing.

From a distance, I heard faint footsteps, although they were getting louder. Tears started to stream down my face as my whole body trembled with fear. I was praying for him not to find me. I wanted more than anything to just go home and be with everyone again.

“Are you alright?” A sweet voice interrupted my wallowing.

I looked up through tear-blurred eyes to find a boy standing above me. He was young. He had blonde hair with streaks of brown and bright blue eyes to accompany it. A worried look beamed in his eyes.

I got up abruptly, catching my breath. “Please,” I spoke, tears going unwiped, “you have to help me. I’ve been-“

“Thank God. There you are, Veronica,” a seething voice interrupted me. It was an all too familiar voice.

I winced as he spun me around, squeezing my shoulder tightly. A mixture of fear and worry was apparent in his jade green eyes. Harry looked to the boy behind me and his expression softened.

“Thanks for stopping her, Niall.”

I was surprised by his words. Harry knew this guy? There really was no way that I could get away from him. I cried harder, staring down at my feet. Harry still gripped my shoulders.

“I didn’t do anything, mate. She was already here when I was coming through,” the boy named Niall said. His accent was different than Harry’s. Irish, maybe?

Harry nodded solemnly. “Thanks anyway.” He then looked to me. “Let’s go Veronica.”

If I hadn’t been so weak with exhaustion or felt defeated, I would’ve put up a fight.

“Bye, Niall.” Harry said, continuing to hold me tightly.

I saw the boy wave slightly as we turned the corner. I walked the whole way back with my head down. It wasn’t until we reached the house until I noticed that Harry was shirtless and his hair was soaking wet. I assumed it was from the shower.

He shoved me inside; this time making sure the door was locked. I didn’t bother to speak because I knew that I would cry again. I was so close, yet so far away from escaping.

Without thinking, I dropped to the floor, and was scared to see Harry’s shoe appear in front of my face seconds later. I was lifted to my feet harshly and I whimpered quietly. Harry took my chin in his hand, squeezing my cheeks together, turning my head to face him.

His eyes were dark, filling with anger. “I told you not to run away,” he spoke sternly, “and look what you do. Leave the first chance you get.”

Harry pulled me forward and his hot breath fanned over my face. “After all I do for you, this is how you repay me? I thought you finally knew that you could never leave. But I guess I was wrong.”

He then leaned in my ear. “It looks like I’m going to have to show you that you’ll be here forever.”

I emitted a long sigh as he let go of my cheeks, relaxing my shoulders. I sniffed and began to sob again.

What was he going to do? He could hurt me, or starve me, or worse…

As I was jerked towards my bedroom, I tried to toughen up. But terror overwhelmed me.







“This is for your own good,” Harry said as he placed the shining gray duct tape over my mouth. “As your punishment, you are to stay down here for a whole day. No talking. No TV. No music-“ he paused, eyes scanning the bed. He found my book and picked it up. “And no reading.”

I looked at my bind hands that were pinned together by rough, stringy rope. I was rethinking my escape plan and how I should’ve just stayed put. So much for determination.

I tried to speak, but I couldn’t move my lips. Defeat could barely explain the way I was feeling right now.

Harry stood, smiling down at me as I lay on my bed. He bent over and lightly kissed my forehead. “I’m going to miss your voice,” he stroked my cheek with his thumb.

Okay, well why don’t you take this tape off.

“I’ll check on you every hour, okay?” He raised one perfectly plucked eyebrow.

Harry was waiting for an answer, so I nodded my head. “Good girl.”

I hated those words. They made me feel like I was a dog returning a ball after a game of fetch.

Harry walked to the door; ready to leave when he turned. “While I’m gone, I want you to think about what you’ve done. And remember, I love you, Veronica.”

With those words, he left, leaving me to stare at the ceiling. And contemplate the mysterious boy back at the alley.

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