The Dangers of Falling. AU

Amelia Shades has been running from her past for awhile, and never looked back. But while running, she runs into the dashing Harry Styles. He's charming, arrogant, cheeky, and nosy; four of the things she hates. But she feels a certain tug towards him; one that makes her want to lose her nomad streak. Can Harry save her, or is she too far gone?

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1. Maybe I'll Get Drunk Again.

I breathed out a shaky breath, the air showing clearly in front of me as if it were smoke. The parking lot was quiet, the beat of the music from the bar not too far away leaking out. Drunken girls stumbled out of the doors with their closest friends and guys who only wanted them for unspeakable things, their laughter echoing loudly throughout the entire street. The bouncer paid no attention to them, not batting an eyelash. I flipped the hood of my jacket up, covering my choppy, freshly colored bright red hair. Maybe dyeing my hair was going a bit too far. I sighed, rather annoyed, at the wind biting at my face, whipping bright pieces of red hair into my face. The line to get into the club was long gone, surprisingly. The lack of people was possibly due to the new, exclusive club that opened down the road yesterday. The bouncer glanced up from his phone as I approached, my converse slapping the pavement with each step. He was a tall, broad-shouldered blonde guy with icy blue eyes and, from what I could see through his tight black shirt, a toned body. My shoulders tensed up, and I held my head a little higher automatically. Guys like him intimidated me, and even though I admitted it, I wasn’t going to show it. I met the age requirement for drinking, but I didn’t look it, so I’ve been told. Back in the States, I had to use a fake I.D. But here, I was legal.

"I.D., miss." His eyes flickered over me, boredom filled in beneath the ice barrier. He didn’t like his job, which was easy to see. I slid my wallet out from my jacket pocket, handing him the I.D.

"Huh, Amelia. Like Amelia Badelia?" the bouncer chuckled, his stomach caving in and out as he laughed. I rolled my eyes. That joke was getting old.

"Yeah, real cute." I glanced at his name tag. "Bob, is it? Like Bob the builder? Shouldn’t you be at a construction site or something?" The bouncer’s laugh stopped abruptly, his smile fading. I cracked a small grin, but it slowly fell once again as I snatched my I.D. back and entered the club. My mother had given me an old joke name.

The club was packed to the tip, the whole room overflowing with sweaty, dancing bodies that pushed up against one another. No one seemed to mind the atmosphere. They were all lost in the music, feeling the beat of the rhythm as they moved with one another. It must be nice to lose yourself. Being in reality than in your own world sucked. Sleazy girls were leading desperate men to corners, although I didn’t know why. No one cared what you did in a club. We were all here for practically the same reason; get drunk and not care. Lonely people sat at the bar, drinking away the pain. I soon was going to become one of those people, and I couldn’t help the rush that ran through me.

I approached the bar hesitantly, maneuvering through a few pressed together people. The bar was bright with electric lights and signs, stocked up with bottles of liquor and all other alcoholic beverages I couldn’t name. A girl with jet black hair stood behind the bar, her hair flowing down over one shoulder. Her outfit wasn’t in the least bit slutty like all the other girls I had seen. She was in plain black mostly, but that was probably uniform policy. She was serving a guy with the curliest hair I’d ever seen on a male. From behind, he seemed pretty dashing. Not that I was looking. The other bartender was a guy, his brown hair slicked up with hair gel and a bright smile on his face as he spoke to a girl on the corner of the bar. He was wearing a similar outfit to his partner, and his blue eyes met mine as I walked up. I quickly avoided eye contact, taking a seat on a swivel seat near the curly-haired fellow. His gaze turned on me, and I kept my eyes level with the bar. I could feel his stare as he measured me up.

"Hey!" a voice shouted, and I jumped in my seat, trying to regain balance as I slid over the side of the chair. A warm hand grasped my arm before I hit the ground, and the grip tightened as I was pulled upward and sat back down directly on my seat. I looked up, my brown eyes meeting bright green orbs. It was curly from a few seats over. He was stunning.

"You all right there, love?" his voice was deep, raspy even, and his British accent was thick and obvious. I fought for words, and my mouth shaped them, but my voice wouldn’t project them out loud. I was sure I looked like a gaping fish. I sighed, nodded, and regained my composure.

"Louis, you halfwit, you scared the mess out of her." Curly slid into the seat next to me, a small smile toying on his lips as he looked at me. I avoided his gaze, staring down at my fiddling thumbs.

"Oh, I’m sorry dear. I was trying to get Jayden’s attention, since she was supposed to serve you as soon as you sat down." Louis winked over at his partner in bar-tending. Jayden rolled her eyes, smiling a bit as she fluttered over to where we were.

"I’m sorry, ignore him." Jayden smiled, leaning on the bar table towards me, "What can I get you, darling?" My eyes roamed the bar shelf, most of the bottle names familiar. But tonight I wanted something different, something I’ve never tried. I bit my lip, daring to glance up at Jayden.

"What would you recommend?" I asked, my voice low.

"Ah, you’re an American. I guessed it." Jayden smiled, calling out to Louis- "She’s an American, Lou, I win."

"You win nothing, toad." Louis laughed, before looking at me, "I like your hair." I reached up to feel the wavy locks, and smiled grimly before murmuring a ‘thank you’.

"Go make her your specialty, evil wench." Jayden bit back, shooting him a glare.

"Yes sir, Godzilla." Louis replied cheekily, and I laughed a little at the playfulness between the two. Louis winked my way before moving down the bar. Jayden rolled her eyes, something I assumed to be a habit for her, muttering under her breath about how she hated Louis. I wasn’t one to judge, but it was obvious the two fancied one another.

I fidgeted with the end of my jacket sleeves, pulling them farther down over my hands. My jacket was my little barrier, my wall of protection. I wore it all the time, and I was surprised it had lasted this long. The burning gaze of Curly next to me was getting tiring. I wasn’t a prize to look at, and I wasn’t even that pretty. "Why are you staring at me?"

"Just wondering why you’re here." Harry replied, not missing a beat.

"Because I felt like getting drunk. Thought that was obvious." I muttered back, and he snickered.

"I meant what are you doing here in Europe? Guess you weren’t smart enough to pick that up." He smirked.

"I’m touring, not that it’s any of your business. And at least I was taught manners. Insulting people is rude." I retorted, returning my view to my hands. I didn’t like Curly that much. He was cocky, a flirt, and much too nosy for my tastes.

"I’m Harry." He smiled.

"Amelia." I didn’t return the facial expression, and looked off in the other direction.

"Amelia," I shuddered a little at how my name easily rolled off his tongue, "I like it." He murmured. I nodded, leaning my head on the back of my hand. I was exhausted. Driving all day and all night wasn’t the best move on my part. I was a bit of a wreck, but nothing alcohol couldn’t numb. Louis carefully placed my drink in front of me, waiting politely for me to taste his specialty. I knocked it down in five seconds flat. It burned as it went down, a tingling cold aftertaste staying behind. Louis’ right eyebrow arched up, and I could practically hear the thoughts running through his head. He was surprised I was able to choke down a drink. I was a girl. According to the stereotype, girls couldn’t compete or keep up with how much a man drinks. I could drink it down with the rest of them.

"Surprised, are we, Louis?" I leaned forward. "You’re quite a sexist arse. Just because I’m a girl doesn’t mean I can’t drink a few. Keep them coming, all right?" I snapped, fixing him with a glare. Humor danced in Louis’ eyes, but I wasn’t smiling.

"You know, I quite like you, for having just met you. You’ve got sass and attitude. Harry, you better not screw with this one. She's too good." Louis smiled as he leaned in slightly, his arms resting against the bar counter-top.

"Well for bloody sake's, Lou, you're making me sound like a slut." Harry groaned.

"Oh, Harry, you are a slut. But, you're my little slut." Jayden piped up as she swooshed past us, ruffling Harry's curls with her hand. Harry swatted her hands away, and I smiled grimly.

"What's your name?" Louis asked, leaning a little farther over the counter-top.

"Amelia."

"Amelia..." Louis hummed, before glancing around the room. "Pretty." He smiled briefly, before smoothly walking over to a guy in a business coat. Jayden slid a beer my way, winking. I chugged it down, the same familiar burning sensation soon fading as I continued my drunken fest. Harry sat quiet beside me, and I appreciated the silence. I didn’t like making small talk. Especially with strangers I didn’t want to know, but obviously wanted to know me. I felt the buzz I had gotten a few beers ago shoot higher, my movements becoming a bit klutzy and my mind turning to mush. I didn’t want to think about anything. All I wanted was the buzz. Jayden sat another glass down in front of me, concern written all over her face. From what I could tell, Jayden wasn’t good at hiding emotions. She was in open book. Little did she know that she’d pay for being so open later on. Being open to everyone wasn’t a good thing. All it does is tear you down, and you feel the pain and weight. Barriers were good, as were walls; ones no one could break through, no matter what.

"I think you've had enough, Amelia."

"You-You’re not the boss of me. You c-can’t tell me what to do." I slurred, raising my glass to my lips. I lost count of how many I had drunk so far. I didn’t care. I wanted to forget. I caught the whiff of a stench as a breeze from the fan blew past. I turned slightly, glancing around the club. My vision was blurry, and I rubbed my eyes, leaning forward in my seat. It couldn’t be her. She wasn’t supposed to be out yet. There was no way she could’ve found me this quickly. The lady in the corner of the club was staring directly back at me, her dark, empty eyes boring into mine. I held back a scream of horror, quickly slapping two 20 dollar bills on the counter.

"You’re leaving?" Harry asked, confusion in his emerald eyes.
            
        "I have to go." I stood up quickly, not helping my situation. I clung desperately to the counter, trying to control the rush of blood to my brain and my wobbly legs.
            
        "Let me help you." He stated, grasping my hand.
            
        "No, don’t touch me!" I yelped, flinching away from him. "I have to go." I stumbled out of the club, leaving Harry and his cries of protest behind me. I ran towards the parking lot, the wind giving me goose bumps. I had forgotten my jacket. I stopped abruptly, turning back to glance at the club. The door opened, and the lady stepped out, her eyes locking on mine as she smiled. I shrieked, stumbling backwards as I started running again. Screw my jacket. I slammed into my car door, grabbing my keys out of my pocket. I jammed the key into the lock, wiggling it.
            
        "Come on, come on." I swung the door back, jumping into the front seat. I slammed the door, pressing the lock button. I slid down in my seat, remaining completely still. She would see me pull out. She would know it was me. I had to stay where I was, and not make one move. I peered out over the steering wheel, and I could see the door of the club. She was still standing there, her eyes locked on my car. A smile lit up her broken face, the wind soon blowing her away. I gasped, blinking a few times. She was gone. She had blown away in bits. I grabbed my purse from the backseat, pulling out a pill bottle. I shakily poured a few into my hand, swallowing them dry. I was going crazy. She wasn’t real. I had imagined her. I had imagined my psychotic mom coming for me. I really was teetering on the verge of dreams and reality. I slid the front seat back into a laying position, pulling a blanket I had stashed in the back seat over me. Tonight, the car would be my bed. I was too drunk to drive, too tired to move, and too scared of myself to try going anywhere without having a panic attack.

I had barely drifted off when there was a loud knock on the window. I jumped, my hand immediately searching under the seat where I kept my knife. All I grasped was empty air. I gulped as I barely cracked the window. "Can I help you?" I asked, the male figure not familiar in the least.
            
        "You sure can. You can get out of the car." The panic was rising in my chest, and I gripped the side of the seat. 
            
        "I don’t think so." I said bravely, even though fear was coursing through my veins. I began searching for my car keys, tearing through my bag. No sign of the key. Where the hell was it? I frantically felt around on the floor board.
            
        "Get out of the damn car, lady. I’m trying to make this easy, but if you want to do it the hard way, that’s fine with me." I said nothing in response, waiting for his next move. The man reached down on to the ground, and before I had time to anticipate what he was going to do, the glass of the driver door shattered, flying all around me. I quickly scrambled back onto the passenger seat, the glass cutting into the palm of my hands. I bit my lip to hold back a cry. My heart accelerated as his hand reached inside the car and unlocked the door. I pressed my back against the passenger door, preparing myself for what came next. His eyes were wild as he snarled at me, reaching in to grab me. My foot swung out, kicking him directly in the face. Hard. I heard the snap of a bone in his nose, and a scream escaping the lips of the man.
            
        

"You bitch." The man snapped, holding his nose in his hand as the blood seeped out. I kicked again, sending him backwards out of the car. I hurried to open the passenger door. I hit the ground running, my feet carrying me down the alleyway. For being in my drunken state, I could run fairly well. I just had to make it to the club doors, and I’d be safe. His breath was heavy and gargled behind me, his feet pounding against the ground, unlike mine. I shrieked as I felt his hand grab the hem of my t-shirt, flinging me backwards. I hit the ground on my back, the wind knocked out of me. My head was pounding with alcohol and a bruise that would surely be there in the morning. The man towered over me, his face red and the blood already drying, even though there was more leaking out of his nose. The bruise would be there in the morning, but my spirit wouldn’t be around to feel it. He foot swung out, hitting the middle of my stomach. I doubled over in pain, feeling the alcohol making its way up already. I held my stomach, crying out as he lifted me up by my hair. He slammed me into the brick wall beside us, his hand clutching my throat. I gasped for air as he squeezed.

         

"You know, you’re really pretty. I might just keep you, and your car." He grinned, his smile covered in blood. I turned my head, struggling to get out of his grip. He dug around in his pocket for a minute, bringing out a cloth. I felt the dread weakening my body. Chloroform was covering the cloth in its stench. I struggled, letting out a gurgled noise as his grip on my throat tightened. I choked as he brought the cloth over my nose, his hand putting pressure onto it. I held my breath, kicking my legs out. It did no good, since I was weak and he was blocking every shot I took. My air supply was running out. I took a gasp of air, the drug entering my body already. I whipped my head back and forth, trying to shake it off, but the man’s hand followed, keeping the cloth pressed tightly to my nose. I stopped struggling, my legs becoming heavy weights and my eyelids drooping slowly. My vision was fading as he let me slip to the ground, the mud not bothering me a bit. A male voice with curly hair and two people behind him calling my name was the last thing I saw before the chloroform overtook me.

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