Check, please.

“I knew it was your month to pay the bills, so I made sure to use a lot of hot water.” I watched as he used the towel to dry between his legs and his torso, admiring his cleanly shaven male parts when the towel flicked up just high enough. “And your hair looks fine, Miss Over-Dramatic.” I bit my lip as I looked up and down at the bare and glistening body in front of me. “Been working out?”


1. chapter 1

I reached down carefully and struggled with my freshly-painted nails to push the home button on my iPhone. The silver and sleek numbers of the digital clock read 9:33. I raised my fingers to my lips and blew air slowly on the red paint, hoping it would dry quickly. While blowing on the other hand, I sat down on the toilet next to the sink and tried to slip my leopard-print heels on with my foot. “We need to leave in six minutes, so I suggest you hurry,” I said, looking up at the shower curtain in front of me. I watched as steam from the water swirled around and billowed over the top of the curtain. I cocked an eyebrow. “You might want to think about taking colder showers too. The bill for the hot water was hella high last month. AND you’re messing up my hair. It just took me an hour to do.” I leaned back against the toilet and continued to blow on one hand while I lightly twisted a blonde curl around in my other. The water shut off. A large, tan hand reached out from the curtain and felt around for the towel hanging on the loose bar next to the shower. The screws that were supposed to be holding the bar on the wall wiggled as the hand snapped the towel off of the bar and whipped it into the curtain. Seconds later, the curtain flew open.

“I knew it was your month to pay the bills, so I made sure to use a lot of hot water.” I watched as he used the towel to dry between his legs and his torso, admiring his cleanly shaven male parts when the towel flicked up just high enough. “And your hair looks fine, Miss Over-Dramatic.”

I bit my lip as I looked up and down at the bare and glistening body in front of me. “Been working out?”

He shook his brown curls, flicking water at me. I frowned and stood up to leave the bathroom. My heels clicked on the tile floor. I pulled my black dress down just a tiny bit at my thighs. I don’t know why I bothered. The dress was short, but I liked to pull at it anyway. I leaned against the doorway to my room and looked at the heap of clothes hanging out of the closet, the comforter that was not even on my bed, and the makeup that was all over my small, white vanity. I groaned as I looked at the mess. “I should clean,” I mumbled to myself.

“Nice ass-“ I felt a hard slap on my bum as he passed me on the hallway. I peeked over my shoulder and watched as my apartment-mate’s naked body disappeared into his room across the hall from mine.

“You too…” I said, grinning after I managed to get a glimpse of his full moon.

“New dress?” He called. I hummed a “yes” as I stared down at my phone and scrolled through Instagram.

“SHIT,” I groaned halfway through my scrolling.

“What’s wrong?”

I rolled my eyes at myself. “I accidentally liked one of Travis’ pictures. Shitty shitty shit shit.”

His tall and lean figure appeared in the doorway across from mine, his damp curls hanging in his face as he looked down at the buttons on his black collared shirt. “Is that the lad you fucked last week?”

I grimaced. “No, that was Tyler. Travis was the one from last Tuesday that tried to make out with me right after he ate onion rings.” I shuddered at the memory.

“Tyler, Travis, whatever… If you didn’t ever want to see him again then why did you follow him on instagram?” He asked sassily. His green eyes flashed up at mine as he waited for an answer.

I cocked an eyebrow and shrugged. “He asked to follow me and it just seemed like a good idea for me to follow him right then too. I didn’t want to be rude.” My apartment-mate was smirking at me, his handsome eyes studying my face. I furrowed my brow at him. “Don’t you dare look at me like that, Harry.” I glanced at my phone. “Two minutes.”

Harry turned to walk back into his room. I could hear his sock drawer open and close, and his bed squeaked as he sat on it. “I’m just saying… if you don’t want him to bother you, unfollow him. Bye-bye accidental likes. That is nasty, by the way. Onion rings? Did you tell me about that one?”

I rolled my eyes. “Yes but we were watching a movie and I don’t think you were listening. That’s not bad though. Remember that one girl at the fair? You bought her a funnel cake and then took her on the ferris wheel. While you two were making out at the top, she got scared of the height and threw up in your mou-“

Harry appeared in the doorway, his eyes wide with horror. “Uhm, okay. Check, please? I’d prefer not to talk about that.”

I smiled smugly at him, mainly because his uneasy British accent was such a turn-on. I huffed at him as he struggled to fix his already-dry hair. I was always so jealous of how fast his stupid hair dried. He ran his fingers through his hair multiple times and glared at me when I made it known that I was impatient. “Well fuck it, you do it then,” he said, walking to me and squatting down an inch or two so I could help him fix his hair.

I ran my fingers through his curls a few times until they stood up and to the side on the top of his head. I pulled some of the curls on the side forward and brushed my hands on my thighs when I finished to get rid of some of the mousse. “We’re going to be late because you couldn’t fix your own damn hair.”

Harry raised an eyebrow at me over his shoulder as he walked down the hall to the living room. When we got to the kitchen, Harry grabbed two shot glasses out of the drainer next to the sink. He snatched a bottle of vodka from beside the fridge and poured into the glasses. “Relax, Scotlan. You’re not even the one with a date.” He slid my shot to me.

“Oh, who is the lucky lady of the night?” I asked, rolling the glass along my fingers.

Harry grinned and picked up his glass. “I saw her at the club we were at last night. She has brown hair-“


“NICE legs-“


“And I think she said something about Stanford-“

“Ohhh, a Stanford girl?? What the hell is she doing here in New York?”

Harry shrugged. “I didn’t ask.”

“What’s her name?”

Harry’s eyes widened and he puckered his lips as he thought. “Liii…”

“Linda?” I asked.

Harry shook his head.


He shook his head again.


He frowned at me. “What?”

I shrugged. “Just trying to guess…” I mumbled.

“You suck at guessing.”

I slapped my hand on the island. “You’re taking her out and YOU don’t know her name!”


“Are you sure?” I asked, lifting my glass.

Harry shook his head and lifted his glass too. “I hope so,” he muttered before throwing back the clear liquid. He tossed his glass into the sink, grabbed mine from me and did the same, kissed me on the cheek, and grabbed his keys. “Let’s boogie, baby.”

I knew that Harry was looking to get laid tonight. Any night that started out with “Let’s boogie, baby,” meant he was on a mission to find a girl to bone. I remember the first time he said that to me in high school. It always made me grin to think about it. We were both awkward and ugly 9th graders, alone and awkward at an awkward Halloween party for some of the most popular kids at school. I could never remember how in the world I ended up there in the first place, but I was there. Therese Dillard strutted around proudly in her Glenda the Good Witch costume, which I thought was three sizes too small, her perfect little black curls bouncing with her. She waved her wand at everyone cheerfully and asked them how they liked the party – well, HER party. After watching her for a moment, I sat down on the couch next to Harry… little, lanky, chubby-cheeked Harry. We had never talked before, but he was in many of my classes and well-known for being from out of the country. While I say he was well-known, I don’t mean popular. He was actually far from it. He decided to wear a Scooby-Doo outfit to this party, the fluffy head of the cartoon dog sticking way up off of his head. Noticing that I sat next to him – and I guess not knowing what else to say - he grabbed a bowl of cheese-puffs off of the table before us and stuck the bowl under my nose. “It isn’t a party without cheese-puffs.”

Right then a group of the popular kids surrounded us, Therese included. “Let’s play truth or dare!” As I leapt up to try and escape, Therese grabbed my wrist and tugged me back into the circle, smiling like the evil bitch she was. “Scotlan first!”

Unsure of what to do, I pulled the bottom of my witches’ dress down and sat back on the couch.

“I dare you to go play 7 Minutes of Heaven with… hmm…” She tapped her chin innocently with one of her perfectly manicured nails as she pretended to think, but I knew she already had it planned out. “Harry Styles!”

I frowned. To be completely honest I didn’t even know what Seven Minutes in Heaven was, but before I could ask anyone Harry grabbed my hand and was pulling me up the stairs of Therese’s house and into a bedroom. He sat down on the bed and smiled at me.

I stood against the closed door and looked around the room without moving my head. I saw pictures of Therese and her family, making me grimace. I don’t know when or why we started hating each other; it actually seemed like something that was just always there. When I looked back at Harry, he was still smiling at me. 
Getting nervous, I adjusted the pointy witch’s hat on my head and said the only thing I could think of: “What the fuck do you want?”

Harry shrugged and got more comfortable on the bed, his dorky smile still squished between his chubby cheeks. “I just didn’t want them to think we were weirdo’s for not playing.”

“I don’t even know what the game is.”

“You’re just supposed to kiss I think,” he said, blushing.

I frowned. “That’s it?”

He shook his head, his massive brown locks brushing around his face from under his costume. “Actually, I think you’re supposed to have sex.”

I felt my eyebrows raise so high on my forehead that I thought they became a part of my hairline. “I will not do… that. Not with… you.”

Harry pouted, looking offended. “Why not? Don’t you want to be cool?”

I struggled to find an explanation. “Well… you just… I- You smell bad. I can smell you in class. You sit in front of me in English and you stink.”

Harry pouted again, and I could see him struggling to find some sort of comeback. “Well, you straighten your hair every day. I know it’s really curly because you always miss the back.”

My face burned with embarrassment. I hated my natural curly hair. I reached back behind my witch hat and felt where I had missed with the straightener. He was right. “Well you’re like a little boy. You wore a Scooby-Doo outfit to this party,” I said, pointing to the stuffed dog clinging to his head. “If you’re trying to be cool, I seriously think you took a wrong turn with that one.”

I suddenly felt bad as Harry’s shoulders shrugged and he reached for the head piece, taking it off slowly. “I know,” he mumbled sadly. I wasn’t a very touchy-feely person, but I felt compelled to sit next to him and put my arm around his shoulders. I felt him jump slightly at my touch. We sat silently for a while until he sighed and then said, “By the way, you smell bad too.”

I stood abruptly and began to pace across the room angrily. “That’s not possible because I wear perfume. My MOM’S perfume, for your information.” I stopped in front of Harry and crossed my arms over my flat chest, tapping my foot as I waited for a reaction.

“Well, your mom’s perfume smells like shit,” he said, finally looking up at me. After taking in my pissed-off expression for a moment, he added, “Don’t be offended. I’m just trying to help you be cool.”

My face softened as I began to feel bad again. I looked at Harry on the bed; his hair, his face, his body… And he looked at me, I guess taking in all of the same things. As an idea suddenly came to him, he contorted his face, widened his eyes, and then grinned at me. “I know everything about you that makes you uncool.”

I thought I might cry. I swallowed the small lump in my throat. “Well I don’t want to hear it all…” I said quietly, looking down at my feet. This was the first time I was ever actually talking to him and all he wanted to do was point out my flaws.

“No, but you need to!” Harry said excitedly, jumping off of the bed and standing scarily close to me. My eyes widened. I had never been so close to a boy before. “I can help you fix those things and you can help me fix… well, me. We can give each other insight on how to be cool!”

I backed up slowly as I considered his proposition. I didn’t want to be friends with him. I already had a best friend – Molly, my dog. She always thought I smelled nice…

“C’mon, please? Please help me, Scotlan. I know you want this too. Please. We can be cool together. Please. I don’t want to be a loser for the rest of my high school years. Please.” I looked up for the first time into Harry’s green eyes. They were pleading with me. The light behind me seemed to reflect just perfectly off of them, making the green appear to dance almost as if it was dancing for me to say yes.

“O… kay,” I agreed slowly. “I’ll do it.”

Harry grinned and bounced up and down, pumping his fists in the air. I watched him for a moment and then grabbed one of his arms. “First bit of constructive criticism… don’t do that. At least not in public.”

Harry’s face fell and he nodded quickly.

Silence fell over us again as we stood and looked around the room. “Well, maybe we should go back downstairs?” I suggested. Harry chewed the inside of his lip.

“Well… I was thinking maybe we could… I mean…”

I frowned as he struggled with his words. I had seen him do this in class when the teacher called on him to answer a question and it constantly got on my nerves. I held up my hand to his lips. “Second word of advice, grow a backbone. Say it. Don’t stutter around like a-“

“Maybe we should have sex? I mean, actually play the game?” The words fell out of his mouth a little faster than I thought they might.

Once again, my eyebrows raised way up to my hairline. I blinked a few times and then shook my head. “No, not happening.”

I turned to walk to the door.

“Scotlan, they’re going to know we didn’t do it. Don’t you think we should just get it out of the way? They’ve all done it…”

I looked down at the door handle and watched it jiggle just slightly as someone ran by the door in the hallway. I heard laughter from downstairs, and I had no doubt in my mind that it was from the cool group playing truth or dare. I turned back to Harry. My mother had never really talked to me about sex. I knew that some of the girls in school were waiting until they got married, but I hadn’t really decided whether or not I would wait. I never thought I would have to decide so soon. I’m probably never getting married anyway, might as well get it over with now, I thought to myself. “I’ve never kissed anyone,” I admitted quietly. I was shocked at myself for saying that out loud. I was never just open about my personal life or my emotions, but here I was telling Harry Styles about the first kiss I had yet to have.

Harry covered his mouth as he tried to hide his smile. “Really?” He asked through his hand. I felt my cheeks flush with embarrassment.

“And YOU have?” I asked quickly.

Harry nodded. “You know Jenny Hill?” He sat on the bed.

My mouth fell open. “The girl in the wheelchair?”

Harry nodded. “I took her to homecoming this year and only thought it was appropriate to kiss her after.”

I frowned. “Homecoming was like, a week ago.”

Harry grinned and nodded.

The corners of my mouth turned down further. “You can’t make fun of me not having my first kiss when yours was only a week ago.”

Harry looked down, ashamed. “It just seemed like the cool thing to do…”

I groaned and looked at my flip-phone. It was 9:30 and my mom was coming to pick me up at ten. “Let’s just stop trying to be cool for each other and start doing… kissing or something, I don’t know.” I felt so flustered. This was hard for me because I had never had a boyfriend. I was so quiet and just kept to myself. I had always wanted to be “cool” like the kids in my classes and at this party, but I didn’t have it in me so I gave up early – or at least I thought I did. Harry’s idea of helping out each other didn’t have me convinced. There was no way that I was going to be “cool” in high school and neither was he, but I secretly wanted a new friend. After all, Molly never gave me her opinion on things and I guess Harry could do that for me.

He jumped off of the bed and stood close to me again, almost stepping on my toes. “Can I kiss you?”

I bit the inside of my cheek and nodded.

He lowered his head and placed his wet lips sloppily against mine.

One Mississippi.

Two Mississippi.

Three Mississippi.

Four Mississippi.

Five Mississippi.

I counted in my head.

“How was that?” He asked, pulling away.

I tried to smile, not something I usually did, and nodded. “That was nice.”
“Okay, let’s try sex now.”

I felt weird. I knew generally what to do from my mom and some movies and classes, but those were pictures flat screens that cut off what I needed to see in order to do this right. Harry was taking off his Scooby-Doo outfit, so I started to lift my witch dress over my head, knocking off my hat in the process. I quickly looked away when I saw that Harry was taking off his white underwear.

“I hate to be so picky tonight but another thing is your underwear,” I said, shielding Harry’s pale and skinny body from my view.

He looked at his whitey-tighties on the floor. “What about them?”

I huffed. “Well, Billy Rogers is a cool guy and he wears plaid boxers. Maybe you should try that.”

Harry startled me be grabbing my hand and looking ay my body. He took one finger and pulled at my elastic trainer bra. “I hate to be so picky but maybe you should grow some boobs.”

I gaped at him. “That’s not something I can change to be cool.”

“Stuff,” he said, sitting back on the bed. I took the opportunity to look at his pot-belly and the parts of a boy I had never actually seen before. It looked weird… and wiggly.

“Wh… wh-what?” I stuttered.

“Stuff. Stuff your bra with tissue.”

I looked down at my chest. Maybe I could give it a shot tomorrow. When I looked back at Harry, he was pulling a condom out of the wrapper.

“Where did you get that?” I asked, watching as he studied the foreign object. “Do you even know how to put it on?” I giggled as he looked down at his privates. I was pretty amazed at how comfortable he seemed with being naked in front of me and how comfortable I was becoming.

His face turned red. “I know how to do it! My brother told me how… You just…” He grunted and turned away from me as he struggled. When he finally got it on, he turned proudly and looked at me. “Ready?”

I looked back at his privates and up to his excited face. “I guess…”

I walked to the bed and laid down. Harry crawled on top of me, and as he reached for my pink underwear he said, “Let’s boogie, baby.”

I looked across the car at him as we drove through the town, still grinning from the memory. He had matured so much since then that I couldn’t stand it. His chubby cheeks had sunken in, but in the most handsome way ever, revealing small dimples that kept Harry from being TOO sexy. His jaw was so strong and perfectly shaped. He had learned to sweep his heavy curls out of his face instead of letting them grease up his forehead like they did in the ninth grade. I watched his green and excited eyes as they darted back and forth in the street ahead of us, watching the lights and cars pass as we cut through the city in his sleek black Celica. His dimples deepened as he glanced sideways and caught me studying him. “Can I help you with something?”

I shook my head and turned to face forward. “Just admiring your handsome self.”

He ran his hand up my thigh and patted it twice before removing his hand. “Really, that dress makes your body look ravishing.”

I rolled my eyes but looked out the window and grinned before grabbing the bottom of the dress and pulling it down as far as the material would stretch, which wasn’t anywhere close to my knees. Harry watched me out of the corner of his eye but didn’t say anything – it was a tick of mine that he had gotten used to.

When we finally arrived at the club of the night, Wet Seal, Harry pulled up on the fake red carpet in front of the doors. A young valet opened my door for me and offered me his hand to help me out of the car, which I gladly accepted. I watched Harry as he stepped out of the drivers seat and pulled a spare key out of the pocket of his lustrous black suit and handed it to the second valet. I could see him staring at my behind as he walked around the car and extended his arm for me to take.

We walked together up to the bouncer in the front of the line. The large man looked at Harry and waited for him to give his name, but I surprised him by speaking first. “Scotlan Ray.” The man nodded at me but then eyed Harry suspiciously. “And guest,” I clarified. On any normal night, we would just walk in. We were regulars here. But tonight they had a new bouncer blocking the doors.

“You’re in,” he said, holding the large silver door for us after checking my name on the list. I inhaled deeply as we passed from the cool outside into the dark club. I could smell the drinks and cigarette smoke before we even passed into the bar and dance-floor area.

“How is Natalie going to get in here? I had forgotten this place was exclusive,” Harry called to me over the music.



I shrugged. “Better find yourself a different date.”

“Already did,” Harry said, kissing me on the cheek before shaking my hand from his arm and walking to the bar. I watched as he approached a skinny blonde with huge fake breasts that stayed perfectly still with every movement she made. Her expression changed from bored to ecstatic as she saw the tall, dark, and handsome Harry Styles walking her direction, eyeing her up and down, no doubt. She snatched a shot off of the bar and tossed it back before grinning at him. I could hear him in my mind…

“There are a lot of beautiful women in this club but no one as radiant as you. Are you hear alone, Beautiful?”

I laughed at myself for reciting his line in my head with him and turned to the second bar across the dance floor. I pulled one of the silver stools out from under the bar and tried to get up on it without my dress coming up too high on my thighs. Once seated, I grabbed the bottom of my dress and pulled it downward.

“Just water in a shot glass,” I requested, tapping my red nail on the bar. Knowing that water was my usual drink of choice, the bartender filled a shot glass and placed it in front of me. As I tossed it back, I spotted a man approaching me from the left. I fixed my hair quickly and played with my glass until he spoke to me.

“That dress looks stunning on you. Hard to go wrong with black, but then again not everyone could pull off a dress like that.”

I batted my eyelashes at him and forced the blood to my cheeks. “Oh, stop,” I giggled.

“Are you hear alone?”

I turned back to him and pouted. “Yeah. I came here with some girlfriends but they’re all wasted.”

He sat down next to me and ordered himself a drink. “Well I’ll keep you company then. What’s your name?”

“Scotlan,” I said, tapping my finger for another shot. “Jager, please.”

“I’m Ryan. How old are you?”

“22,” I answered. “I just graduated from NYU last year.”

Ryan looked impressed as he nodded. He was cute with a little shaved head and light brown eyes. He was kind of short in relation to most men, but I ignored it. He was wearing a suit that was too big for him, a mistake many men made, and a plain light-blue v-neck underneath. I grimaced at the douche-bag combo.

“I’m 25. I went to NYU for a bit but then transferred. Not my favorite place to be,” he laughed, and I faked a laugh with him. “So, Scotlan, what do you do?”

I giggled. “Oh, nothing important. You?”

“Well,” he began, shifting in his seat and adjusting the collar of his suit. I waited patiently for the answer, knowing he was probably going to throw out some absurd title that didn’t really mean anything. “I’m the Assistant Head Manager of the Loans Department in the Northeast Region for Walshberg’s Bank.”

Told you.

I nodded and tried not to laugh. Some guys just try way too hard. “That’s impressive…” I said sarcastically, but Ryan, missing my mockery just nodded proudly and took another sip of his drink. I glanced nonchalantly at my phone. It was only 10:15 and I was so tired already. I slipped off of the stool and grabbed Ryan’s hand. “Want to dance?” Maybe dancing would wake me up.

“Are you gonna take your shot?” He said, pointing to the Jager Bomb I had left on the bar.

I shook my head. “You can have it.”

He grinned and grabbed the glass, taking down the liquid and nearly throwing the glass at the bartender before I dragged him to the floor. I turned and planted my hips against his groin, immediately swaying and bouncing to the beat. It took Ryan a minute to get acquainted, but before long he was grinding right back into me. Every few songs, we would go back to the bar and each take a shot, him of Jager, and me of water. He never noticed that I wasn’t actually drinking. During about our 5th song, I looked across the floor and spotted Harry, grinding hard against the voluptuous blonde. When his eyes met mine, he bit his lip and grinned before making a strange face. I giggled.

“What’s funny?” Ryan asked.

“Nothing, I just need another drink.” I looked back at Harry and closed my eyes, pretending to fall asleep. He looked at his watch and nodded toward the door. I gave him a thumbs up before turning back to the bar and watching Ryan take his 6th shot.

“Do you want to leave?” I asked quickly.

Ryan’s eyes had begun to glaze over but opened wide when I asked. He nodded a little too eagerly. I took his hand and walked to the door, escaping from the warmth of the club and into the cool air of the night. I had the valet call for a taxi and stood with Ryan as Harry and the blonde climbed into his Celica. Harry winked at me before he pulled off of the red carpet and drove away.

When the taxi finally came, I crawled in before Ryan. “Where to?” The driver asked.

I looked at Ryan.

“Oh, my place. Okay. 53 Eclipse Avenue?”

I grinned at him as he got settled and the driver pushed on the gas pedal. Ryan looked a little nervous. Probably didn’t do this often. It was okay though; I liked my men nervous.

We pulled into a small neighborhood just outside the city with tiny houses along the street. When the cab pulled into the driveway of the house numbered 53, I jumped out of the car and waited for Ryan to pay. He was silent and nervously fumbled with the keys as we approached the door. 
“Don’t mind the mess,” he said, chuckling as we entered. I never understood why people said that. His house was perfectly clean, except for a shirt on the counter. I placed my small handbag down on the couch and pulled my dress over my head as Ryan disappeared into the hallway. I clicked my heels on the ground as I followed him. “Do you want something to drink?” He called, but jumped when he saw I was standing in the hall with him. I cocked an eyebrow and slowly walked toward him. “You like to move quickly, don’t you?” He laughed, looking up and down at my red bra and matching underwear.

“I have work in the morning so I can’t be up late tonight.”

He nodded without looking at my face. I was expecting him to move but he didn’t.

I cleared my throat. “Um, your room?”

He snapped out of his trance and turned around. “This way.”

When we got to the room, I barely gave him time to turn on the light before I pushed him down on the bed. I slid his suit jacket off of his shoulders and took his shirt over his head. “Fast and hard good for you?” I asked as I reached for his pants. He chuckled uneasily and nodded shortly.

“Condom?” I asked after his pants were around his ankles.

“Oh, yeah,” he jumped, leaning across the bed and reaching into his bedside table. He opened the wrapper and handed the rubber to me. 
I frowned.

Ryan’s face flushed as he struggled to quickly get the condom on himself. When he finally did, I shoved him back onto the bed, pushed my thong aside and lowered myself onto him. I couldn’t help but giggle at the faces he made as I rode him. Only after a single minute, I saw his relief face as he finished. So soon?

I frowned again but climbed off of him. I left him laying on the bed as I walked into the living room and picked up my purse. I texted down Ryan’s address and hit send on the message as Ryan emerged from his room, pulling his pants back up. “Are… are you leaving?”

I grabbed my dress from the floor and pulled it over my head. “Yes, I told you I have work in the morning.”

He looked embarrassed. “Well did you just want to stay for a drink or two more? We can talk about… well, life? Our families or something?”

I shook my head. “Ooh. Check, please?” Ryan looked more confused. I straightened my dress as I explained. “It’s something I say when I don’t want to talk about a certain subject.”

He nodded.

“Can I ask you a serious question? I don’t mean to be offensive but have you ever done this before?” I pointed from me to him.

He leaned against the couch uncomfortably. “Like… taken a girl home?”

I nodded.

He looked down at his feet and shook his head.

I hummed. “I thought that might be the case.”

“My girlfriend just broke up with me and I just wanted to get out… you know?”

I inhaled deeply. “So I’m a rebound.”

“A what?”

I rolled my eyes. “Have you been with this girl for a while?”

Ryan nodded.

“I thought so. A rebound is when you break up with someone and go out to look for a hookup. Someone to help you bounce back and get over your breakup.”

The corners of Ryan’s mouth turned down, but in an understanding way. “Can I ask you a question now?” He asked.

“I suppose.”

Ryan looked down at his feet and shifted uncomfortably again. “Well, I just wanted to know… to get someone else’s opinion – my girlfriend just said… and I just wanted to see-“

“If you’re any good in bed?”

Ryan looked taken aback but nodded.

I shook my head. “Honestly, no. You lasted a minute, love. My best friend can go for like, two hours before finishing. But to be honest, two hours is a hell of a long time and after that long sex is just no longer fun. The average is probably like… I don’t know.” My phone buzzed in my hand, flashing a text on the screen: Here.

“But to be straightforward, you were horrible.” I pulled at the door handle and spotted a black limousine out front.

I could tell that Ryan was beyond confused as he watched me strut out of his house and to the long black car. My chauffer climbed out of the drivers seat and opened the door for me, and before I climbed in Ryan called to me.

“Hey, thanks… I guess.”

I smiled pleasantly and nodded once before letting the driver shut the door.

“Nice night for a hookup, Miss Ray?” the driver asked after a few minutes of driving. I loved him.

“Always, James.”

The old man smiled at me in the rear-view mirror. He was probably the least judgmental old man I had ever met.

“I know I’ve asked you before, James, but do you have grandkids?”

“I do indeed.”

I smiled as we pulled up to my apartment. “They’re a lucky bunch.”

“Well thank you, Miss Ray. Will you and Mr. Styles be needing a ride to work tomorrow?”

He walked around the car and opened the door for me. He offered me his hand to help me stand up, and I took it gratefully. “No, I think we will drive the Celica. Take the day off.”

James kissed my hand and thanked me before closing the door. I listened to the wheels crunch over some loose gravel as the limousine pulled away.

I immediately kicked off my shoes when I got to the apartment. I don’t know why I was as exhausted as I was. I pulled my dress over my head and tossed it on the ground in the bathroom. The cool makeup remover felt good as I swiped it across half of my face and one of my eyes. I studied my face, half made up and half bare. My eyes looked so much smaller when I didn’t have mascara and eyeliner on. I leaned into the mirror and rubbed my nail over a small blackhead until it came loose from my skin. Finally, I wiped the rest of the makeup off and left the room.

When I passed Harry’s room, I heard obnoxious moans coming from behind the door. I made a face as I pushed my door open and flopped down on the bed. I used my foot to kick the door closed and plugged my phone into the charger before covering myself up with my sheets. Before falling asleep, I grabbed my phone and sent Harry a text.

Work tomorrow. We need to leave at 10.

Within the minute, I received a text back.

Thank youuuu I love youuuuu xx

I laughed. The only guy to text me while he was having sex with another girl would be Harry Styles.

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