211 days after
My head still hurts as fuck from yesterday, my mouth goes dry every time I imagine a big glass of water and my hair smells of cigarette´s smoke. But it was fun. I met bunch of new people who were actually really nice. It has been a long time since I had this fun I had with them. I should focus on work though. My only big issue I am dedicated to solve is the problem we have with Coleman and Co. The differences in numbers between each month are tremendous and I need to find out why. The thing is, the values fell when I left work to Bennet. It was the time when James did this thing and I didn’t care about some stupid enterprise. The number after that month is surprisingly high and one after is lower than ever before. It doesn’t look like an outcome of bad investments. It has been changing in such a short time, it can´t be due to investments. It´s not like I am saying Bennet was deliberately changing the numbers to hide something from me but I just can´t let go of that thought. Why would he call to Coleman that we have problems and then call for Harry and then arranged the meeting with him for me? That would be irrational and stupid. He would know I would find out. A knock interrupts my chain of thoughts.
“Ms. Newman, Mr. Styles is on the line 4. May I connect him with you?” Becca announces and my body reacts after words Harry Styles. I should be more professional.
“Yes, Thank you” I add and rise the phone to my ear.
“Noel? Hi, it´s Harry Styles” a husky voice echoes through the room. I smile at the fact.
“Hey Harry, what´s happening?” I reply and doodle something on the paper in front of me.
“Can we meet up for lunch or something? His voice is straight, not that friendly as usual. I wonder what got into him.
“Yes, why not. After eleven, does it work for you?” I reply.
“Great. I´ll wait downstairs of your building. See you there” He adds and then goes off. Huh. I wonder what´s wrong with him.
I wait patiently till eleven and then go downstairs to meet Harry. When I step out of elevator, I notice him nervously walking around the lounge with sofas and chairs.
“Here you are” he smiles at me as he notices me. I smile back as he hurries me to get out of the building. When we are walking good 3 minutes, Harry stops me in the middle of the street.
“There is something wrong with the revenue” he states and I realise his both hands are squeezing my elbows.
“I know, that´s why we need your help to fix it” I reply still confused.
“No, I mean something really IS wrong with the numbers” he quickly adds and I sigh. I know it. I fucking know it.
“Bennet…” I tell him.
“Noel, these numbers were changing surprisingly fast. They weren´t changed by sales” he states and I just nod.
“He must have re-write them when you weren´t checking on it, that’s the only thing that comes to my mind” Harry´s eyes are filled with worries. He probably understand how disgusting this thing is, especially when an owner does it. And of course my friend.
“I didn’t want to tell you on the phone or coming to your office. I haven’t actually know if he would be there or something. That’s why I dragged you here with no explanation. I am sorry for that” Harry states and I feel a one single tear coming from the corner of my left eye.
“What am I supposed to do? Ask him about that? Leave it and wait?” I say desperately. Now I am walking around the street, actually considering all my options.
“Maybe we should wait and leave it for now. These re-writes look like one time opportunities. It won´t happen again. Bennet is aware of the fact that you and I are solving the problem now. He wouldn’t risk it.” Harry says and I calm down a little. He is right. We will wait and check the revenue of the next month.
“More importantly, why would he do that? What is he trying to hide? You think he took the money and tried to act like it was just a quick jump of numbers? And then wooalah, everything´s ok? Why would he call for you and your advice when he knew we aren’t that stupid? I just don’t get it Harry.” I exhale heavily.
“It looks like he was trying to get the advantage of you not leading the company for a while.” He adds for himself and I just burst in tears after that. That moron fucking knew I was having a hard time and he misused it.
“Can we go somewhere else please?” I tell him hoping he would say yes and I could get rid of this state of mind. I see his eyes pitying me a little but admiring me at the same time. I am a mess.
“Take my hand” he says enthusiastically and I obey. His hand is cold from the winter but I feel the warmth of his bare skin slowly coming under mine. It´s nice. I feel taken care of. I mean that I am not in this alone. I have never fully thought about Harry as a catch. But now I see how muscular his body is. His shoulders are wide and I can tell just by the look at him wearing a coat. His hair reminds me of a boy and his cheeks too. He has all these men but also boy features that I can´t decide which ones are winning. Maybe the combination of both. All I wanted to say is, that for the first time I find him literally attractive. I can´t tell if it´s a good thing or bad in my position. I am still engaged. And I will be. To the dead man though. And that’s the prologue of my story. And not even a desire of someone else can rewrite it.
“Where are we going?” I ask him as he leads us through the crowded street.
“To Niall´s” He replies with the smirk. I smile at his response. I actually don’t protest. Then I start to recognise the surrounding. We step in but I quickly realise there´s no one in there.
“It looks like it´s not open Harry” I tell him but we still walk straight to the bar. Then a familiar voice echoes from the back.
“Pour her whatever she wants. It´s all on me. I´ll be there in a minute” Niall voice shouts at us. I giggle at his statement. Harry takes it seriously and climbs behind the bar.
“So, what would Ms. Newman want to drink?” Harry´s arms lean against the counter and I just can´t take my eyes of his now more visible veins. I quickly shake my head off and look at him. My eyes our now meeting his.
“Whiskey. But only if Mr. Styles joins me” I reply and giggle at out little performance. He is still serious though.
“Irish or the Scotch one?” Harry asks me when Niall suddenly appears next to me.
“Irish of course” Niall answers instead of me and I laugh. Harry joins me and Niall takes a seat next to me.
“To fucking fraudsters” I look at Niall and suddenly I am glad I am with these two people. They both rise the glasses which Harry put in front of us and we all take a sip unison.
After good two hours my phone rings. I recognise the caller.
“What do you want, Josh?” I ask grumpily. Harry and Niall stiff next to me.
“Where the hell are you? You left for lunch and haven´t come back since then” he replies, surprisingly calm. I see Harry mouthing me to tell him he is a fucker. I giggle quietly.
“I felt sick so I went home. See you tomorrow” I add and cough a little.
“Ok. It´s just you didn’t even call Becca so I was worried about you” he responds worriedly.
“Bye Josh” I snap and hung up. What a douche.
“Niall, thank you for drinks and everything but I think it´s time to go home” I tell Niall and give him a smile. He shakes his head and return the smile.
“That´s nothing, really. You were a friend in need” he replies and hides empty glasses behind the bar.
“Where do you live?” Harry asks. His hair is messier than usual. I blame the whiskey. His buttoned up shirt is lose a bit, his rolled up sleeves reveal the tattoos and very expensive Rolex.
“Queensborough Terrace” I state and look at him. He looks as drunk as me.
“Shit. I thought we could split a cab. I live in West End” he replies and I laugh. I have to admit I am a little disappointed though. That ride would be interesting in deed. I just shrug and stand up. While trying to reach my coat I feel Harry´s hands already putting me into one. Oh.
“Gentleman” I add and giggle once more. I should shut up.
I see Harry struggling with his coat for change. I step to him and help his arms get to sleeves. We both laugh at the situation and walk outside. The air is so cold. I quickly put my hands to the sleeves on my coat.
“Call me when whatever changes, Noel” Harry adds seriously. I honestly forgot about the thing when Josh Bennet screwed me over. I suddenly realise I don’t have his number. Just his work cell.
“I don’t have your number” I reply and smile at him.
“Shit. Right” he murmurs.
“Give me your phone” Harry tells me and his large hand reach for my phone. I hesitantly put it in his hand.
“Here…” His fingers quickly typed in his number.
“Thanks then” I thank him and put the phone back to my purse. He nods and smile at me once more.
“This was nice. I had no idea that getting drunk with you twice in a week would be this fun” he tells me and I seriously think I blush. That´s because I enjoyed his company too.
“Maybe under other circumstances” I reply and realize a cab is already waiting for me. I am actually nervous what to do next. There is one part of me that just want to sit into a taxi and leave straight away. There is also a little urge to hug him or at least smile at him just to let him know how grateful I am that he is helping me. I just awkwardly wave at him and open a door to taxi.
“Thank you for today, Harry” I add and smile sincerely. He just steps form one feet to another from the cold. His eyes suddenly rise to me.
“Anytime” he waves at me and the cab pulls away from the side of the road. What an afternoon.