Eucatastrophe ~ h.s.

This isn't how I planned any aspect of my life to occur.

The plan was simple: Finish university with a 4.0 GPA, Get a well-paying corporate job that's more intense than the assistant job I've now, Find a man that loves me for me, Get married at a gorgeous ceremony, Have beautiful children, Grow old with the man of my dreams and watch our kids mature right before our eyes, and Then fall deeper and deeper in love with our time together.

That Night wasn't supposed to happen. My life wasn't supposed to turn out like this.

*Contains: Language, mild sexual content, and a bit of violence. Content could be triggering for some.*

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3. ✗ two ✗

SHAY

Ten Hours Prior ~ 21 April

"Whose bright idea was it to have a party on a Thursday?" Melissa complains, leaning up against one of the counters in Harry's kitchen.

Unlike her, I find that complaining doesn't get us anywhere in life so I'm focused on getting everything in order. Although I am sharing her question of the party being held on a Thursday, because in my eyes it doesn't make any sense. Sure these people mean business, but I also think that some of them enjoy getting hammered once and a while, so why not do that on a Friday night?

How about instead of complaining about every little thing, you get off your ass and go do some actual work?

"Melissa, how about you go review the guest list in the other room?" I ask, pulling the finalized list out of my bag, really all that it required was to be given back to me, but she didn't know that, "And make sure that all the staff know about the preparation meeting at five? Okay?" I say with a friendly smile. I need her on my side today, not in a snippy mood.

"Sure thing." She says, snatching the list out of my hands and scurrying out of the kitchen. I release a heavy breath of air that I have been holding all-day and turn to our caterers. "Wait!" I inhale sharply when she appears beside me again with a confused look on her face.

"Yes Melissa?" Hopefully she isn't questioning my superiority or whether the list I gave her is just something for her to do so she can get off my back.

"Do you have a pen?" I reach into my bag and toss her a pen without looking in her direction. "Thanks girl!" She coos before finally leaving the kitchen. I watch her through the glass that suffices as a wall to the right of the kitchen and wait until she's absolutely out of sight before exhaling again.

"Sorry about her, she's a fiery thing." I apologize to the people around me. "Shall we continue on with the menu?" They all nod their heads, staying silent. Their first language is French and I like to dabble in the language, but I'm not fluent. It's a good thing they can understand me if I speak slowly. "I was thinking that the first course comes out around six-fifteen. We don't want to bombard the guests once they get here, of course our operations will be moved to the basement prior to the start of the party-"

When I look up from my list of things to discuss with the caterers, I see them all staring back at me with wide eyes.

"Uh, Shay?" I spin around to see Harry, standing in his usual work attire with his phone pressing against his shoulder. Harry hardly deals first hand with the caterers, though they're the same people he hires for every party. I guess they never get used to seeing his face.

"Yes Mr. Styles?"

"Can I speak with you for a moment?" His eyes widen at the end of his question, making me believe this is more serious after first glance. I nod to him and follow his tall figure out of the kitchen and onto the back patio. He smiles inside at the people invading his home before sliding the glass door shut for some privacy and turning to me. "Do you know anything about the Francis appointment?" He asks right away, his tone sort of accusing. Francis appointment?

"Um, no I do not know anything about the appointment." I say, narrowing my eyes in a questioning way. This is the first I'm hearing of any appointment with the last name of Francis attached to it. "What about the Francis appointment?" Harry motions his head to the phone in his hand and then back at me.

"Mr. Daniel Francis said he spoke with my assistant about setting up a meeting with me today. A meeting that I didn't show up for because I had no knowledge of." His words sound more pissed than his actual tone does. He's only just hissing so that the person on the other line cannot hear him speak so "harshly".

"I have no idea about any of that." Harry nods and motions for me to hold on a moment whilst he brings his phone back up to his ear, before bringing it back down when I open my mouth. "When did they call to set up an appointment?"

"He says last week Monday." I think back to Monday, which isn't hard because I have my entire life scheduled out. That day we had four meetings to attend, one press conference downtown, and I believe there was a dinner that night that we attended. And then there was that hour of the day where I left Melissa in charge at the office.

"Shit." Harry's eyes grow wide at my words, having never heard me swear in front of him before. I clamp my mouth shut and place my hand over my big trap for getting me into possible trouble. "I'm so sorry. Melissa took over for me for an hour so that I could pick something up for you. I told her not to take any calls but she must have taken one."

"It's okay, just hold on a moment." I nod my head, feeling bad about everything now. I'm never letting Melissa take charge in my office again. "Yes, Mr. Francis I'm sorry about the hold." He pauses as if listening in to what the person has to say, "Why yes my assistant is right here. I'm sure she can shed some light in on the situation."

"No, I can't shed light on the situation." I hiss, shaking my head and taking a step away from him as he holds his phone out for me to take. He looks back at me in disbelief. It isn't like me to throw a fit about something he asks me to do. And usually I don't cower away from conflict, I strive for it.

"Well neither can I."

"I'm not doing it."

"Please, I'll owe you." I roll my eyes and stomp my foot lightly on the ground. I'm sure that this little argument looks amazing from the kitchen where the caterers are watching us. I can feel their eyes on us, though I don't bother to look. It probably looks like me stomping my foot like a little girl and hissing things up to Harry that they can't hear because there's a solid glass door separating us.

"I'm your assistant you don't owe me anything." I huff out, realizing I'm making this out to be a bigger deal than it really is. "What do I even say?" Harry shrugs and looks down at me with his pleading green eyes.

"Please." I roll my eyes and snatch the phone from his hands, bringing it up to my ear and placing a smile onto my lips as I try to ignore Harry's silent hooray for me actual speaking with this person.

"Hello this is Shay Nichols, Mr. Styles' personal assistant, how may I help you?"

"Yes, Miss Nichols, my assistant scheduled an meeting with you last week about a appointment with Mr. Styles and he was not made aware of it. Now my assistant assured me that it was done and in the books when she finished the conversation with you."

"I understand your complaint, sir, and I have nothing but sorry to say for it. It was careless not to put it on the calendar and there is no excuse for my behavior." I lie, looking up at Harry whilst I speak. He looks shocked at my words as if he expects me to say something entirely different. "I could make you another appointment if you would like, one that will surely land on the books. And again, I am very sorry."

"Well I suppose another day and time will work." I exhale deeply. His gruff words clearly showing that he is pissed but at least he doesn't yell at me. That's the last thing I need today is a moody man yelling at me.

"Mr. Styles and I are not currently in the office as we speak but how about I give you a call tomorrow and we can sort all of this out?" I suggest, looking down to the ground at my flats. I had opted out of wearing heels for the entire day for the sake of my poor feet.

"That sounds wonderful."

"I'm sorry again, sir."

"Yes, goodbye."

"Goodbye."

I hang up with Mr. Francis and hand Harry his phone back before finally looking at him. He still stands staring down at me with a surprised look on his face. I shrug my shoulders before crossing my arms over my chest.

"What are you staring at?"

"I just thought you were going to blame Melissa." I hold back the urge to roll my eyes and shake my head. "I mean it was her mistake, not yours."

"Yeah, well nothing ever gets done in life if you blame others for their stupid actions." I say with a hint of anger in my voice. I can't help the anger I feel towards Melissa. She deserves to be fired already, but I just cannot get myself to do it.

"You should fire Melissa."

"I can't do that."

"And why not?" Harry asks. "She's late to work all the time, barely does anything but sit on her phone and scroll through Pinterest, and acts like she doesn't even want to be here. If that were you, I'd fire you in a second." I raise my eyebrow at the thought of Harry firing me, but let's be honest that would never happen. He needs me too much.

"Then you fire her."

"She's not my intern."

"Yes, but I'm your assistant and she's my intern so technically doesn't that make her your intern?" Harry shrugs and looks over his shoulder into his beautiful home. I follow his gaze seeing Melissa standing in his open kitchen laughing about something one of the uncomfortable French caterers appeared to have said.

"I'll give her one more chance."

"You're a good person Shay, that's why I like you so much." I smile and shrug my shoulders, hoping that he just likes me in a professional manner because that will only make things more awkward if it wasn't. "I just have one thing to say before I send you back to work." I uncross my arms from my chest and stand tall, awaiting whatever it is he is going to ask me to do. "Please tell me you're not wearing that to the party tonight." He says, eyeing my outfit of choice. Apparently, my dress slacks, blouse, blazer, and flats aren't up to code for this party.

"Of course not!" I exclaim, laughing a little. It's funny to me that this is his only concern before the party. "My dress is hanging in your front closet. I will change prior to the party."

"Thank God."

"Hey!" Harry holds up his hands in defense and shrugs his shoulders. "This is nice." I say, motioning to my clothes. "Very professional and I quite like this outfit."

"Okay! But, there are important people coming tonight and so I need to have everyone looking their best. But you look great in anything so if you were to wear what you're wearing now it wouldn't be such a shame."

"I'm going to go back to work now." I say, turning from him and going over to the door. I pull it open and step one foot inside the house before Harry speaks again.

"Help me choose my outfit?" I laugh and gaze over my shoulder at him.

"And why would I do that?" Harry sends me one of those infamous smiles my way and shrugs.

"I don't know, maybe because you're my personal assistant and that's something that you do." Not often, but very true.

"Fine, come on then." Harry lights up like a kid in a candy shoppe before passing me and leading me to the spiral staircase. Melissa sends me a smile as I pass her in the kitchen and I merely try to send one back in return. Keyword there is try, it doesn't come across genuine at all. I loathe her at the moment. "What would you ever do without me, huh?" Harry shrugs his shoulders and leads me up the stairs and through the door to his bedroom.

"I'd probably dress horribly to parties and be stranded in Spain."

"For the last time, you were not stranded!" Now he's just saying it to get under my skin and make me laugh.

I suppose it's good having an easygoing boss so that I don't have to live especially up tight at work. We talk like we are old friends instead of him being my boss and I his assistant. He shares with me things about his personal life that normally he doesn't share with anyone. Plus, I often leave work with a smile on my face from something funny he says or just from having a good day.

"How about this one?" Harry asks, holding up a brown printed suit that will look horrible on anyone, maybe even him. Unfortunately, Harry looks good in anything so I really doubt this will be the one thing that he doesn't look good in. I slap my hand over my mouth to contain the laugh that wants so badly to escape and shake my head immediately. "What's wrong with it?"

"What isn't wrong with it?" I ask in disbelief. I wonder how much he could possibly have spent on a suit like that. From the look of the design and it probably being designer I can only guess it's in the thousands. I just can't quite get why he needs a suit like that. "Why would you even buy that?"

"I don't know," He starts, hanging it back up in his enormous closet, "maybe to wear." I laugh sarcastically and walk into his closet, peering through the perfectly tailored, custom suits that are hung neatly before me. "What do you suggest then?"

"Definitely not that." I mutter, pointing behind me to where he hung the suit. "Something simple, it is black tie, not whatever that was." Harry rolls his eyes and leans back against the wall to watch me while I work. "I'm thinking this." I hold up a black suit jacket. "This." I grab a white silky shirt. "And this." I say, reaching forward and taking out a skinny black tie.

"No pants? That's kind of inappropriate, don't you think?"

"Well do you have any that match this suit jacket and that do not look like what you showed me earlier?"

"I will have you know that that suit is a personalized Gucci suit."

"Ah."

"It's very expensive."

"Is it?" I question, turning up my nose a bit and shrugging my shoulders.

"Yes, and one of these days Shay I will put on that suit and make you come out with me." Come again? "You'll just have to stand next to me and watch as people admire the good taste that I have in clothes."

Okay, but when you say come out with you do you mean like a date or for strictly work purposes?

"Is that so?" Harry nods and takes the clothing items from my hands.

"Maybe I'll even get you something Gucci to wear."

Okay, now there's the buying you expensive things on top of the cheeky compliments and the fact that he talks about you in front of his parents. That's not weird at all.

"No thank you, I'll do with my reasonably priced Topshop work clothes."

"They're only reasonably priced because I pay you good money." With a happy smile on his lips he brings the clothing items out of his closet and chucks them onto his bed, leaving me standing in his closet shaking his head at him. "Shay?" I try to contain the groan that so badly wants to escape and shake my head.

"What?"

"What about shoes?" I laugh and make my way towards the door.

"I think you can figure that out for yourself, don't you?" I smirk and exit the room, Harry calling after me by saying thank you for helping him. With that, I return to the ground floor to prepare for the party that's going to take place in less than five hours.

 

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