Invincible // H.S //

She was always trapped, seated in the dark with nothing but smoke and fine, powder-like sand surrounding her. When she ran her fingers through the grains, she felt alive...when she would take a deep breath, she became relaxed. After a few deep breaths, she would reach out and feel the soft hand of a savior guide her to a rabbit hole. He called it her way out but all she saw was the frightening reality of the world she hid from.

// hope you like it ;) //

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2. Wide Awake

II

 

“You forgot to call me,” James scolded.

 

She rolled her eyes and let out a heavy sigh. Running her hands through her synthetic, frosted grey hair, she began to jog her memory of last night. She’d woken up in a blur and couldn’t really comprehend the night prior.

 

“Jo, are you there?”

 

“Yeah… sorry,” she whispered.

 

She forced herself out from her bed and into the kitchen where she spent the night on the floor, but it wasn’t until the early morning when she got in her bed. It was now 3pm and she had slept the day away, as usual.

 

“You don’t sound too good… can I come by?” he asked. Johanna could hear how desperately he wanted to see her but she wasn’t really in the mood for interaction. “Please,” he whispered.

 

“Okay.” She said shortly and hung up and made her way to the bathroom.

 

Her eyes trailed up to the mirror and she moaned at the sight of the deep black circles underneath her crystal blue eyes. Although every other part of her appearance was cringe worthy, the only part she admired was her hair. Her newly dyed, short hair hung just above her shoulders in a beautiful wave, perfectly symmetrical… untouched. Dying her hair was a big step for her, she had always admired her chestnut brown locks but she was due for a change. She let her sister do it, which was unusual considering she doesn’t even like going to a hair salon to do her hair.

 

Yet, she put all of her faith in the hands of the one person she trusted most and the results were exactly what she wanted. Dark roots with a drastic ombre into a greyish blue color. She was afraid that the color would make her look dark and goth-like but it did the exact opposite. The frosty color made her already shocking eyes even bigger and brighter and her rosy cheeks became extremely prominent. And, most importantly, James loved it.

 

James, who also went by Jamie was the boy she had been best friends with practically since birth. Living across the street from each other growing up, they were constantly together. They were each others’ firsts just for fun, and they never felt a romantic connection between each other. Everyone had always thought they would end up together. With James being an athlete with a large stature, perfect brown hair and big eyes dark enough to be black, and Johanna, Jo for short, being the pretty girl that everyone admired, they were destined to be together. Yet, it never occurred to them. They were always just friends… with a few benefits on both ends.

 

Johanna touched up her face with a little bit of concealer and her favorite nude lipstick. She began to rummage through the medicine cabinet, forgetting where she kept her bottle of aspirin. She cursed under her breath as she sat on the floor and searched under the sink until she finally found it lying down behind the pipes. She opened the bottle and took out the small bag she had been hiding inside of it. There wasn’t much left but she knew she would have to deal with it until she got paid.

 

She leaned up against the wall and pried open the tiny seal. She spread open her legs and began to line up the finely ground powder along the caulking of her bathroom floor. Reaching her arms out in front of her, she leaned into a stretch and inhaled as if her life depended on it. Her head flew back as she shook her head, her nose was instantly numbed. She took a few deep breaths and stood up, losing her balance on the way. She held onto the sink for a few seconds until she noticed little read droplets on the cast iron surface. “Fuck,” she whispered to herself as she quickly grabbed the toilet paper besides her. After a few seconds, her nose stopped bleeding and she cleaned up.

 

A few moments passed by and it was as if someone had finally plugged her in. Her eyelids promptly opened and she felt an instant burst of energy. As she made her way into the living room, her front door opened and in came James.

 

“Hey Jamie, what are you doing here?” She briskly walked towards him and reached out for a hug. He slowly but curiously reciprocated.

 

“I told you I was coming, remember?”

 

Johanna leaned her head back and laughed a little, vaguely remembering the conversation that took place not even an hour prior. James looked into her eyes and immediately he knew. He took her hand and lead her to the couch, not bothered by his discovery at all. Johanna placed her head on his shoulder, staring straight in front of her, her leg slightly jittering. “How was last night?” he asked.

 

“Amazing,” she sighed, “Exactly what I needed.”

 

“You should go see a doctor about your insomnia. Once you go through those few that I gave you, I can only give you a few more. They’re pretty hard to come by.” Johanna turned and made eye contact with him.

 

“I can’t go to a doctor. They won’t do anything for me.” He sighed and shook his head understandingly.

 

“I’ll see what I can do but in the meantime, I promised my boss I would bring a date to his barbeque out in Mill Basin tonight,” James closed his eyes and waited for the response she usually gives him.

 

“Mill Basin? You’ve got to be shitting me,” she took a deep breath and ran her hands over her face a few times. “I’m gonna make us some breakfast, you hungry?” She jumped up and rushed to the kitchen, walking too fast for her own feet. James chuckled and followed after her.

.

“Come in early...big day in the office…” The text from her dad read.

 

“Fuck,” Johanna shouted as she shot out of her bed as quickly as possible.

 

Still hungover from the night before, she quickly straightened her hair, threw on some makeup and got dressed in what she calls her ‘look important’ outfit which in fact, was one of the nicest outfits she owned. A baby blue crop top with white high-waisted bell bottom dress pants and she topped it off with her favorite pointy, white heels with criss cross straps up to the ankle.

 

After gathering her stuff she quickly ran out of the apartment and hailed a cab to midtown to the office. The car stopped abruptly in front of the tall skyscraper she called hell. Johanna burst through the revolving doors, zooming past the reception desk. Being the daughter of the  CEO, everyone knew to steer clear when Johanna came in earlier than her nine to five shift looking tired.

 

“Good morning Ms--”

 

“Save it...please,” she snapped, abruptly cutting off one of her father’s secretaries.

 

Janet chuckled as they entered the elevator, knowing that Johanna meant no harm, “Long night?”

 

“I’d rather not. Not here, not now, not ever,” she warned.

 

“Suit yourself,” Janet shook her head as the elevator doors opened. “You know where I am when you need me.”

 

The two went their separate ways but as Johanna started down the hallway she quickly pivoted and briskly walked the opposite direction, diverting the one person she despised the most.

 

“You can’t run from me Johanna,” she stopped and hung her head. “Your father is at a conference today and he wants you to assist him.”

 

He handed her a file with all of his documents. She opened them up and acted as if she cared yet Michael knew damn well she didn’t.

 

“Wait what?” she questioned.

 

Michael shrugged his shoulders and lead her over to her office. He pulled the chair out for her and she plopped down, sprawling out her legs as he pushed her in.

 

“A potential client is coming in today and he wants you to take care of him. He’s gonna be here for a while,” and with that he walked away, leaving the door open behind him. Johanna opened the file again to actually look at what it said.

 

“Harry Styles… shit,” slamming the folder shut, she rested her head on the desk and took a few deep breaths as she felt a migraine coming on.

 

“Long night?” whispered a figure in the doorway. She swiftly looked up only to see James standing there with a coffee and a brown paper bag.

 

“Haha, very funny,” she mimicked and walked over to him. “For me? You shouldn’t have,” giving him a sappy smile, she took the paper bag and opened it to find a bagel and M&M’s.

 

“I’m only stopping by to thank you for last night, and to bring you something to cure the awful headache you seem to having,” James copied the pained face she had on and laughed. Johanna whispered a thank you and shut the door behind her. As she sat down, her phone buzzed.

 

There’s a nice surprise hidden under the bagel...be smart

 

Johanna turned the bag upside down and out fell two orange and white pills along with the bagel and M&M’s. Her mouth stretched into a smile as she examined the two. She pushed open the capsule and pushed the powder from inside the plastic together along the edge of her desk. Briskly, Johanna shut the blinds leading out to the main office and ran back to her desk. Just as her body hit the chair there was a knock on the door. Her eyes closed as she took a deep breath.

 

“One second,” she shouted as her nose met the cold black surface, dragging it along the crease of the desk. Her chest rose slowly as her head rested on the back of her chair. She hid the empty capsules in the top draw of the desk and told the person to enter.

 

Janet took a seat and placed a bunch of folders on Johanna’s desk. “Are you ready for today?”

 

“No? I don’t even know what I’m supposed to be doing.” As she finished her sentence, she felt the drugs kick in and immediately she felt like she could conquer anything. Her eyes began to scan the room for her textbooks that she kept from college and almost tripping over her wastebin, ran to grab them.

 

“A potential client is coming in and your father insisted that you talk to him and sell the company to him until your father’s conference is over. Then he will take over from there.” Janet took a deep breath, preparing for the usual outburst from Johanna about her father. Johanna plopped back down at the desk and made eye contact with her.

 

“Fine.” Johanna accepted the challenge and she could tell Janet was proud of her.

 

Johanna’s father’s management company was one of the most successful, with clients ranging from rock stars playing arenas as big as the Tokyo Dome to small starving artists waiting for their big break. Since birth, Johanna’s father has had her future planned out for her. Once it was time for him to retire, she would take over and continue the firm. He paid for her to attend NYU for Business with a concentration in Management and Entrepreneurship with a minor in Music Business, and has hired her to work as a Public Relations and Global Music Management Representative at his firm. Of course, he put her at the highest rank possible without creating upset in the office and he has her shadowing him on certain projects so she can learn as much as possible. Hence this new task he has presented her with. She usually does this kind of stuff but this potential client seemed to mean a lot to her dad and if she doesn’t make a good impression, it won’t end well.

 

“Johanna, look at me,” Janet demanded after watching her read up on her terms and law vocabulary. “Johanna Marie.” Her eyes shifted up to meet Janet’s, leaving her head positioned down toward the textbook.

 

She could tell this wasn’t going to be good.

 

“Are you high?” The room fell silent except for the faint sounds of Johanna’s breathing. She could feel the beads of sweat pushing through her skin and lining up along her hairline.

 

“What are you talking about?” she asked with a straight face, knowing that Janet saw through her.

 

“Your pupils?” Janet raised an eyebrows as Johanna broke her facade. “Johanna, are you serious?”

 

“Look, it’s nothing serious. I’m fine, I promise,” she stood up and gave Janet a sincere smile before exiting her office and making her way to the bathroom.

 

She slammed the door behind her and viciously locked it before running over to the mirror, her eyelids pried open further than before and she gasped.

 

“God damn it.” Her pupils were easily the size of a small button. The space between her irises and pupils were thinner than a penny and so obviously noticeable. “Fuck fuck fuck,” she whispered as she paced back and forth. There was nothing she could do and if anyone were to notice, she would be fucked. Johanna paused and took a few deep breaths before patting her forehead with a tissue and exiting the bathroom. Everything will be okay.

 

Johanna stopped at Janet’s desk and leaned down over the counter, but didn’t make eye contact. “I just needed a boost. I’m a bit tired from last night, please don’t be mad.” Johanna waited for her response with her eyes squeezed shut and her head hung but all she got was a hand over hers in a sincere gesture.

 

Janet cleared her throat, ripping her out of her thoughts. She spun around only to see the guest of the hour making his way over. He stopped to talk to someone passing by, who in result looked as if they just met god himself. They pointed towards Janet and Johanna and instantly, she felt the pressure.

 

“Jesus christ,” she whispered, semi star struck but more taken back by his looks.

 

“He is one attractive man,” Janet added. The two laughed together, and she wished Johanna good luck. Johanna took a deep breath, pushed her hair out of her face and confidently walked up to him.

.

“Excuse me, do you know where I can find Timothy Collins?” The woman looked at him intensely with wide eyes and he chuckled. She slowly pointed towards a desk in the middle of the room and he thanked her. Before he could walk any further, a girl about his age was standing in front of him and he was instantly mesmerized. His eyebrows furrowed as he took in her features, her eyes being the first to catch him. They were an icy blue, a color he has never seen before and her pupils were larger than normal which he didn’t think much of at the time. He trailed down to her nose which was small and dainty, then down to her lips coated in the perfect shade of pink. She was almost as tall as him in her heels and she had a body like a dancer, not too skinny but fit in all the right places.

 

Harry bit his lip and broke his gaze as Johanna shook his hand and lead him to her office. She had been talking but Harry wasn’t paying attention to a word she was saying which he realized wasn’t the best decision, he had no idea who she was and why she was speaking to him instead of the man he came to see. Harry sat down and cleared his throat and tried to focus on what she was saying.

 

“Okay so since my father won’t be back for another hour…” she began but his attention was quickly drawn away from what she was saying and back to her lips. He watched as the moved up and down and it was as if he was hypnotized. Her eyes were moving so rapidly and he could see the beginnings of sweat beads glimmering on her skin. His vision moved quickly between her eyes, her forehead and how fast she was talking and that’s when he figured it out, but he was in no position to judge. He’s been there and done that many times, experimenting with many different things but he never took it seriously. 

 

“I’ll give you a minute to look those over,” she instructed, swinging around the papers so he could read them. 

 

He broke his gaze to see a folder spread open in front of him. As he flipped through the pages, he began to put the pieces together. Her name was Johanna Collins, daughter of Timothy Collins. Timothy is at a meeting and she is holding him over until he arrives. All of the papers seemed correct so he closed the folder and looked back to her.

 

“Seems good,” he said, realizing that was the first time he had spoken since he got there. Johanna smiled and a warmth spread over Harry’s chest.

 

“Well that was easier than I thought!” Johanna exclaimed, she stood up and Harry followed suit. “Let me show you around and then maybe we can get coffee or something?”

 

A smile formed on his face as they exited the office and walked toward the large welcome desk.

.

Johanna let out a sigh of relief as she closed the door behind her. The fact that Harry was equally as attractive as he was famous didn’t make this any easier for her. She could tell that he was attracted to her as well considering his eyes never left her. Everytime she would look up, he would already be looking at her which isn’t something new to her. 

 

The two walked around the office, Harry following like a dog, as she introduced him to everyone he needed to know. As they were talking to Kerry, the accountant, Janet came up to Johanna and pulled her away for a second.

 

“Your father will be back shortly, he’s just leaving uptown.” she warned. Johanna nodded her head but before she could walk away Janet grabbed her by the arm. “I think he likes you,” she whispered causing Johanna to laugh obnoxiously. Janet walked away slowly and comically and Johanna waved her away before turning back to Harry.

 

“Hey, so the "man of the hour" will be back soon so how about that coffee,” Johanna suggested and raised her eyebrow. Harry smiled in response. “I’m taking lunch early!” Johanna shouted as the two entered the elevator and quickly exited within seconds.

 

“Wait,” Harry said as they were about to walk out of the building. “Take these.”He handed her a pair of sunglasses and chuckled a bit as she looked at him with a confused expression.

 

That’s when she realized how truly breathtaking he was. His eyes were emerald and filled with concern and the longer she stared, the more his jaw clenched, showing the protruding bones on either side of his face. His lips were slightly pursed and as a piece of his long curly hair fell in front of his face, she grabbed the glasses. They both laughed a little.

 

Johanna brought her attention back to the glasses and twirled them around in her hands, Versace sunglasses that probably were worth more than her entire outfit put together. They were a bit masculine looking but quite nice.

 

“I’m confused, why do I need these?” Johanna asked and Harry let out a sigh.

 

“They followed me here, they’re probably still outside. Just do it,” he demanded which shocked Johanna, yet she felt kind of turned on by it. She did as he asked and as the two exited, she spotted a man waiting by a car with a camera. Harry placed a hand between her shoulders, his fingers stretching from one shoulder blade to the other, slightly pushing her along.

 

“Just look straight ahead, don’t say anything,” Harry whispered, his cool breath trailing down her neck, leaving goosebumps along the way. She did as she was told and lead him to a small cafe a few blocks down.

 

“Harry, who’s the friend?” The man asked, yet he kept his head down and continued walking. “Is it true that you’re signing with new management? Can you tell us anything about Louis’s baby?” Harry stopped walking and gave them a friendly smile.

 

“Have a nice day,” he said dismissively and the man gave up and left just as they turned the corner. Johanna lifted her glasses and raised her eyebrow as the two now walked side by side. “Don’t be surprised if the entire world thinks we are dating tomorrow.” The two laughed together and Johanna shook her head.

 

“It must be hard.” Johanna gave him a sincere look and he just shrugged his shoulders, causing his satin button up to shift, showing off his tattoos.

 

“I can’t complain,” he said as the two stopped walking and made eye contact again.

 

“This is it,” she said. He nodded slowly and she bit her lip as her cheeks turned pink. Cafe Dante, where her and her father usually had brunch on sundays.

 

The two walked and were seated by Nico, the usual host.

 

“Your dad looks a bit different today, Jo.” Nico joked. Johanna scoffed but then quickly collected herself. “And a bit familiar.”

 

“I’m--”

 

“Harry Styles...I’d recognize you anywhere,” he interrupted and Harry nodded with a smitten look on his face. Nico turned to Johanna and wiggled his eyebrows causing her to blush even more. “What can I get you guys?”

 

“I’ll get my usual order with a Mimosa,” answered Johanna and Harry immediately looked up at her.

 

“And for you?” Nico asked Harry.

 

“I’ll just get a coffee,” he responded, not breaking his gaze. Nico trotted away and Harry inhaled and thought about what to say before he actually said it. “Are you sure about that drink?”

 

Johanna looked at him, taken back by his question.

 

“What do you me--”

 

“I’m not an idiot,” he responded. He tilted his head down a little, giving her that look. She knew exactly what he meant, yet she tried to play it off. After a few seconds, she leaned back in her chair and gave him the same look he gave her. He was right, Adderall and alcohol don’t mix...at all. He slid the same pair of sunglasses across the table.

 

“You might want to put these back on,” Harry suggested, referencing to her pupils. Johanna crossed her arms and furrowed her eyebrows. She was angry...no, beyond angry. Not because he noticed, but because he had the nerve to say something.

 

Nico placed the drink in front of Johanna and she quickly chugged the entire thing, slammed a twenty on the table and began to gather her stuff. Her face was at least ten times more red than before and she could feel her body temperature rising. She made her way out of the cafe and waited impatiently for Harry to follow her, which he did. She began down the street, not keeping up with him at all. Trailing closely behind her, Harry attempted to get her attention but to no avail. Once the two entered the office building, Johanna took a deep breath and got into the elevator with him. Harry, with his breathing hitched from basically running after her, couldn’t even tell what exactly he did wrong.

 

“Johanna I--”

 

“ Who do you think you are to tell me what I should and shouldn’t do?” She began just as the elevator doors began to open. “You know nothing about me,” she whispered before exiting and briskly walking through the office.

 

“Un-fucking believable,” Harry mumbled as he slowly came out of the elevator. Johanna waltzed passed her dad waiting outside his office.

 

“He’s all yours,” she said as she rudely waved him off. Her father grabbed her hand and stopped her from going into her office.

 

“Did you do what I said?” He said softly but angrily.

 

“Yes, calm down,” and with that she slammed the door behind her.

.

All Harry could think about was how hurt Johanna looked in the elevator. He had just met her, yet it seemed as if he blew every chance he had. Visions of her cold blue eyes flashed in his mind every few seconds and the sound of her laugh was all he could hear as he began to think of ways to fix what he had done. He meant no harm and was just trying to help and clearly didn’t think it would go the way it did. Every once in a while, he would look out through the glass windows leading out to the rest of the office to see if he could catch her once before he left but no luck. Harry felt his chest begin to tighten and a huge headache begin so he excused himself from the meeting to grab some water. As he made his way down the hall he noticed Johanna go into the bathroom. He quickly ditched the water and waited outside the bathroom for her to come out. The door began to open and he jumped at the chance to say something.

 

As she left the bathroom, she saw him and immediately rolled her eyes. Harry’s chest began to tighten even more at the sight of her.

 

“What? Are you here to tell me I shouldn’t use the bathroom too?” She snapped and Harry actually felt insulted.

 

“No, I’m here to apologize,” he whispered, trying not to draw attention. “Look, I’ve been down that road before and it didn’t end well. I was just looking out for you.”

 

Harry knew she felt bad as he watched her expression change. Her eyebrows relaxed and rested normally and she bit her lip as she crossed her arms.

 

“Thank you,” she said as if she was trying to hide her embarrassment. She slowly turned away and walked away. Harry could see her chest rising and falling as she looked straight ahead,walking in the opposite direction. A small smile drew across his face as he made his way back to the meeting room.





 

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