**A/N: will update after 10 favourites.
Ruby told herself she would never run from anything. She would never run from her problems, from love, from nothing. She would never be like him. But when she saw those emerald eyes staring down at her, the familiar smirk on his now handsome face, and the menacing looking tattoo on his wrist, instincts kicked in and she ran out of the coffee shop, not even bothering to get her order. She ignored the raspy voice calling after her, she ignored the curious stares of the people around her and she ran the three blocks back to her flat.
“Rubes?” Her roommate, Emily, was in the kitchen cooking up a storm. Ruby loved Emily for a lot of reasons, and one of them was definitely her cooking abilities. Usually Emily made simple but delicious meals, but today she was going all out. Emily had met a man a couple months ago while she was at a pub celebrating the end of her exams, and now she was finally letting Ruby meet the mystery man. Emily had warned her that he was a bit rough around the edges, but if you got to know him he was the most amazing guy. Ruby didn’t exactly trust Emily’s taste in men, but this was the first man she had let in since the incident, so she wasn’t about to complain.
“Ruby, did you get me the onions?” Emily’s voice carried through to the living room where Ruby was still standing, trying to catch her breath. Ruby let a loud groan fall out of her mouth as she remembered the reason she had left the flat in the first place.
“Shit! Sorry Em, I’ll be right back.” And she was out of the flat again, checking over her shoulders in hopes that there wasn’t a curly haired boy there.
She wasn’t oblivious. She read the news, she went out, and she had friends. And everyone in London knew who Harry Styles was. He was dangerous, ruthless, a monster. He was nothing like the boy she used to love. Sadly enough, finding out that he was the leader of a gang made sense. It made the fact that he left her behind hurt a little bit less, because it gave her the hopes that maybe he was just trying to protect her. But she had to push those thoughts out of her mind because in the end, he was the leader of a gang, and he could hurt her. He had hurt her. And she wasn’t about to let him do that to her again. Ruby was snapped out of her thoughts as she heard the front door to the flat open, the hushed voices of a couple in love greeting each other.
“Babe, it smells so good. You didn’t have to do this all for me.” A low and gravelly voice came from the kitchen.
“I know, but I wanted to.” Emily giggled, “Let me go get Ruby!” Ruby heard them kiss once more and Emily’s light footsteps make their way to her room.
“Don’t bother, I’m already here!” Ruby appeared in the living room, her eyes widened as she took in the appearance of her best friend’s boyfriend. The leather jacket, the hair, the smirk, and the familiar tattoo on his wrist.
“Ruby, this is my boyfriend Zayn.” Emily leaned her tiny frame against the rugged looking gang member. Ruby stood frozen in her place as she watched as a flash of recognition fell over the man’s face. Did he know her? Did Harry talk about her to his gang members?
“Does she know?” Ruby couldn’t stop the words from coming out of her mouth. The smirk fell off of Zayn’s face as he understood that she knew who he was, and his connection to Ruby. Emily was less than pleased that her best friend didn’t even try to greet Zayn and went straight to the accusations.
“Do I know what?” Emily’s frown deepened. She kept her fingers laced with Zayn’s.
“That he’s in a fucking gang, Emily! That he’s dangerous!” Ruby exploded; there was only so much she could take.
“He’s not—He’s not dangerous—I mean, he’s careful. And Zayn would never hurt me or anyone I care about.” Emily stumbled over her words, she didn’t know that Ruby would clue into what Zayn did with his life so quickly, she was planning on easing her into it. Zayn had told her that he was a part of One Direction on their third date. At first she had been furious. Furious that he almost roped her into being with him when he was a very dangerous man, second in command to Harry Styles, and furious that she had let herself open up to him so easily. She already really liked him, but she knew she had to walk away. But he wouldn’t give up. Soon there were always flowers being delivered to the fashion design office where the worked at, and then romantic notes and an endless amount of apology voicemails, and then she decided that maybe for once, someone who was rough around the edges, wasn’t trying to play her. So she let him in. And she didn’t regret it one bit. She was falling in love, hard and fast, and Zayn made sure he was worthy of it. Because he had already fallen.
“Is this a joke? Getting close to One Direction and then making me see Harry again? You knew!” She pointed at Zayn accusingly.
“Wait…Harry Styles is your Harry?” Emily knew that there was a Harry in Ruby’s life and that Ruby had been heartbroken when he left, but she had never known who he actually was.
“Whatever, it doesn’t matter. I need to get out of here.” Ruby waved off all of Emily’s attempts to calm her down. And for the second time in one day, all because of Harry Styles, Ruby ran.
She knew she really couldn’t blame Emily. But either way she was pissed off. When she had come home, the kitchen was clean, all but a plate of food left at her stop at the dining table, ready for Ruby to eat. When she finally collapsed into her bed, she could hear the muffled voices of Emily and Zayn arguing.
“Did you know about Ruby before we met?” Emily was confused. Tired, let down, and downright confused.
“Of course I did,” Zayn let out an exasperated groan, “Harry tells me everything. We have to have that level of trust.”
“Is that why you asked me out?” Emily’s voice was small and scared. She was terrified that it was all just part of some sick plan to get Harry into Ruby’s life again. That she was falling in love with a man that didn’t really want her.
“What? Baby, no!” Zayn took a step towards Emily, reaching for her small body, “I had no idea that there was any connection between you and Ruby. Sure, when you started telling me about your life, the name Ruby resonated in my memory, but I spend time with you because I want to. I want you.” Emily looked up into Zayn’s Hazel eye, searching them for any hint of a lie.
“Why don’t I believe you?” She stepped away from the mysterious man in front of her.
“Em, please, you have to believe me. I need you. I—I love you.” Never once in Zayn’s life had he said those three words to anyone outside of his immediate family. It was something he reserved for the people that he knew would be in his life until the day that he died, and far beyond.
“You what?” And suddenly all reservations were gone.
“I love you.” He took a cautionary step towards her, hoping she wouldn’t walk away.
“I believe you.”
Things were a lot quieter in the flat after that. Ruby spent as little time possible there just in case Zayn was hanging around, and Emily and Zayn were spending a lot more time together after his confession, and they did it out of the flat, as not to upset Ruby. Emily never failed to have a nice meal waiting on the dining table for Ruby though. Ruby almost felt a little bit guilty. But how could she accept that fact that her best friend was willingly dating a gang member? It’s her life, not yours… she reminded herself all the time. But it was Ruby’s life too, because where Harry Styles was concerned, whether the two of them liked it or not, it was her business.
“He told me he loves me.” Emily’s voice came softly from Ruby’s doorway. Ruby continued folding her laundry. Not because she wanted to ignore Emily, but because she honestly didn’t know what to say. “And I know you might not believe me, but he means it. He’s been nothing but good to me, Rubes. I’m happy.” And Ruby knew that she should be happy for Emily, but she just couldn’t.
“He told me he loved me too. He was always nice to me, but he still managed to break me in the end.” And with that she collapsed into her best friends arms and let herself feel all the things she thought she would never have to feel again.