'Okay, so that night....' Zayn began and all eyes were fixated on him.
Same night 2013
'Hey Zayn man, go check on Harry' Louis asked, who was too preoccupied with his girlfriend to spare a glance.
'Do it yourself' Zayn bit back, for some reason he was pissed. This whole night he was just in the worst mood. Probably the fact that he will soon inevitably be the only eligible bachelor of the group. Harry was the best and worst partner in crime. He was so much fun and knew how to party and he also had killer game play with the ladies. But he was easily susceptible for falling in love too quickly. The way he looked at this girl, it was going to end in another heartbreak.
'I would! But I'm busy man' Louis glared, tearing his face away from Eleanor. Zayn rolled his eyes and sulkily got up. He wondered to the bar in order to scope out the club for Harry. He was to be found by the jukebox; in a dress, which was splitting at the seams. His meager attempts at alluring girls were evident and he sat alone drinking, calculating his next move. Zayn swiftly made a headway in his direction before stopping before a booth of ladies. They were all beautiful and model thin.
'Hey ladies, how would you like to make fifty bucks?' Zayn asked. He ran a hand through his hair and worked his smoldering eyes against them but to his dismay it had little effect. They acknowledged his presence with a condescending sneer. It was obvious from their behavior; they were the snooty, rich, upper class snobs.
'Don't waste your breathe, he's already done the rounds but he offered us $100. We wouldn't waste our beauty on such trivial things as a bet' the blonde replied, motioning towards Harry. She tossed her hair over her shoulder and shooed Zayn away. If only he could tell her he was in one direction then maybe she would listen, but the boys didn't want anyone to know they were here.
'Ill double whatever he gives you!' Zayn bargained, leaning towards a pretty brunette. He had examined each of their faces and found she looked the most likely to give in. 'what do you say, pretty lady?'
Her eyes went wide. She definitely wasn't immune to Zayn's charms.
'Fine, but triple his money' she agreed and a greedy expression appeared on her face. For a second, Zayn had thought she was different to the others but money managed to show her true colours.
'This is what I need you to do, walk over to our table with him but, as soon as he says anything about a bet you just react. Like cry, or faint or rough him up. Anything' Zayn whispered in her ear and she smiled in agreement. Zayn shook her hand and clasped it, pulling her to her feet. He pointed her in the direction of Harry and off she went. He sauntered back to the table and watched the show unravel.
'So let me get this straight. You had paid that girl to give me a black eye!' Harry exclaimed, biting back his anger since children were present.
'Not to give you a black eye, just you know cry or something but turns out she was an aspiring actress and so she improvised. Ten out of ten for the acting, should have got a Grammy' Zayn teased from across the sofa.
'That picture of me, knocked out with a dress on circulated everywhere for at least three weeks! How am I only hearing about this now?' Harry fumed.
'When was I supposed to tell you Harry, we kind of haven't spoken in what... 21 years' Zayn replied, his playful teasing dropped and replaced with defensive anger. All progress that was being made had been destroyed and an awkward silence fell over the group, reminding them that the situation they are in was so utterly fragile.
'Did you ever see her again, uncle Harry?’ Wilco asked curious.
‘You think Uncle Harry would give up that easy? You guys remember the purple giraffe?’ Niall offered, his accent had returned its thickness over the last years of him returning to Ireland. The boys looked at each other grins lighting their faces. The purple giraffe.
‘You see kids, the purple giraffe is an icon for one direction and this is how it came about…’
Friday 25th January
‘I can’t believe it’s still going’ Harry says incredulous, screwing up a magazine with his drunken body writhing in pain clad in a red sequin dress.
‘How could it not still be going? It bloody genius’ Zayn laughed and Harry cut him a glare.
‘The worst part is, I didn’t even get her number. There isn’t even a way to catch up with her. I don’t even know her name!’ Harry moaned, chugging the last dregs of his drink and catching the bartender’s eye for another. An awkward humming rang from beside him and the whole group stared at Eleanor.
‘That’s your thing you do when you know something that we don’t’ Harry gasped and the others all nodded in confirmation. Guilt ran across her face but she denied it.
‘Do what? I don’t do anything. I mean, why would I not tell you if I knew how to contact Skye?’ Eleanor coughed awkwardly, averting all eye contact and staring into her wine glass.
‘Skye? Her name is Skye? And for you to know this you must have met up with her’ Harry gushed excitedly. ‘El, what the hell! Why didn’t you tell me?’
‘Hey guys, what’s up?’ Maddy asked, as her and Liam slipped into the booth next to Niall.
‘Oh nothing much, just turns out El has been seeing the girl from last Friday and didn’t tell me about it, when she knew I was looking for her’ Harry relayed the information for them. Liam looked shocked but Maddy laughed.
‘Good god El, you had one job! All you had to do was keep your trap shut’ She laughed, taking a sip of her drink.
‘Wait a second, you knew too?’ Harry asked, glaring at her.
‘Yeah, we had coffee with her yesterday. Really nice girl. Doesn’t particularly like you very much’ Maddy answered, not fazed by this new information.
‘Wait what?’ Harry said a tone of dejection in his voice. Maddy was lovely but sensitivity wasn’t always her strong suit. That’s why El is better with the comforting situations.
‘Honey, it’s not that she didn’t like you, it’s just she knows you’re a player and she doesn’t want to get mixed up in that’ El reassured Harry, placing her hand gently on his arm, but he pushed it off.
‘Challenge accepted’ Harry announced, climbing over El and Louis to get out of the bar.
‘Dude, no-one challenged you!’ Zayn told him but Harry often took things as a personal challenge he must complete.
‘I will win her over!’ Harry said. ‘And you will help me’
He pointed at both El and Maddy. Maddy rolled her eyes disinterested.
‘Sorry buddy, she told us not to give you any information’ Maddy told him, smirking at his annoyance. At this point, Harry had launched himself across the table at the same time as Maddy but he came out victorious. He had took her phone and found Skye’s number.
‘Want to catch up for drinks? Send’ Harry laughed giving running commentary of his texts, while holding the phone out of reach of the girls.
‘She won’t agree to it’ Niall pointed out.
‘Of course she will! She thinks its Maddy’ Harry laughed an evil laugh. The phone made a sound to show a received message and Harry set out the door smiling. She had sent him the address of a coffee shop near by and he took off at a sprint. He took the longest route, taking unnecessary roads to make sure the gang wasn’t following him. They would only try and stop him.
The coffee shop stood before him, a fluorescent sign shone with the words “the intersection”. Harry checked the text for confirmation that this was the shop. He crossed the road and in the corner booth at the back, her saw her. She sipped at her coffee while reading a book. Harry stood for a moment thinking of how to start the conversation. He decided to just roll with the punches and think of something on the spot.
‘Hi is this seat taken?’ Harry asked, sliding into the chair opposite. Smooth start, until she looked up from her book. She looked shocked before gathering her things and started to leave. Not really the reaction Harry had planned. He had thought more along the lines of jumping into his arms but he could work with this.
‘No, please, just hear me out’ Harry pleaded, catching her arm. She looked at him before sitting back in her chair.
‘You have 5 minutes, starting now’ she replied.
‘You’re a hard girl to track down’ Harry started.
‘Only if I don’t want to be found’ Skye replied, rolling her eyes.
‘And why is it that you are so reluctant to see me?’ Harry asked. Her eyes narrowed at him and he smiled smugly. ‘I mean, look at me. I’m so very hard to resist’
‘This is why. I know your type Harry and I don’t like it. You’re smug, conceited and self-centered. But you also know when to turn on the charm and act all sweet and innocent. It’s an exhausting relationship and I’m the one who will end up hurt’ she answered, keeping her eyes trained on stirring her coffee.
Harry’s smile sobered and his face took that of general concern. Her moved his hand over to her and gently squeezed. His usual motives would be to get her into bed but this time was different. This girl made him feel different and it scared him. He wasn’t used to just wanting to talk to her.
‘You’ve been hurt before; I get it. But that can’t stop you from trying again. Take a chance on me. I promise you won’t regret it’ Harry begged, letting her hand drop from his. ‘I mean, I’m not asking marriage just one date’
She looked at him doubtfully but was willing to compromise. ‘Just one date? And after that you will leave me alone?’
‘Don’t worry, one date if all it takes to fall head over heels in love with me’ Harry confirmed. ‘But yes, I won’t bother you anymore’
‘Alright, If you win me a purple giraffe I’ll accept! Not red or green or blue! Purple’ she smirked, nodding behind him at a claw machine. He smiled at her astounded.
‘You like to play games don’t you?’ he laughed.
‘It’s what I do best!’ she said, hoping up and striding over to the Claw machine. Harry followed and looked into the class window. There was dozens of every color except purple. There was only one purple giraffe.
‘This is impossible’ Harry whined.
‘Oh, you obviously don’t want a date that bad’ She said, slowly picking up her things and turning around.
‘Wait, No. Let me try’ Harry asked and she turned around to watch him. Harry checked his wallet, which was void of coins; he couldn’t even afford to play the game. He looked around in every direction. The coffee shop was pretty dead and the coffee barista was out the back. This was his chance. He rolled up his sleeves and dropped to his knees.
‘Harry, what are you doing?’ Skye asked confused and then a small shriek erupted from her as Harry plunged his arm into the machine. He had shoved his arm in the slot where the prize usually falls.
‘You said I had to play the game but not by the rules’ he laughed trying to be cocky but failing miserably, as his arm was shoved in a claw machine. He stretched as far as he could until he could feel the squishy teddies. He could only just peek over the top of the glass, in order to see which animal he was grabbing. His hands closed around the purple giraffes neck and his yelled in triumph.
‘I can’t believe it! You actually did it!’ Skye cried in disbelief. He may have managed to get the animal but removing his hand was another story. He pulled it to the bottom and let the giraffe fall through the slot. Skye picked it up and hugged it to her chest. Harry went to get up but found he couldn’t move his arm. The latch inside the machine has clicked back into place after the teddy had been won and now he was stuck.
‘You’re stuck aren’t you’ Skye laughed and Harry just hit his head against the machine.
‘Hey this still counts, I earned my date fair and square’ he demanded but she couldn’t stop laughing.
‘Goodbye Harry’ she smiled, kissing his cheek before leaving him stuck in a claw machine.
‘Oh My God! You’re an actual idiot’ a very distinct Irish accent said behind him.
‘Niall, what the hell are you doing here?’ Harry replied, embarrassed at his current predicament. At least the whole group wasn’t there. He spoke to soon because everyone’s laughter chorused behind him. ‘How long have you all been here?’
‘Since the very start’ Maddy answered while laughing hysterically.
‘My arm is stuck in a bloody claw machine for her and she just walked off without even giving me her number’ Harry sighed, rejected again.
‘Oh Skye told me to give you this’ El replied, still giggling, placing a piece of torn paper in his hand. On it was her phone number and a message:
Thanks for the giraffe. Looking forward to our date.
‘How did you get out of the machine, Uncle Harry?’ asked Carter, Liam’s Daughter.
‘Let’s just say it took four fire men to get me out and then I was in hospital for a couple of days’ Harry replied and the boys all laughed, recalling their past shenanigans. ‘But that’s a story for a whole other time’
**** A/N For all those who just started reading this novella then this message won't apply to you but if you have been waiting for an update here it is. I didn't like the previous chapter so i deleted it and changed it too this. Sorry i having updated but I'm back and ready to post! xx ****