Somebody Else's Arms || Harry Styles AU

Harry Styles is smart, funny, rich and oh so handsome. He is also Hailey Breen’s neighbor and everything she could possibly think about from the day she met him. As their friendship deepens, things quickly go from zero to sixty and then subsequently stall on the side of the road, leaving Hailey wondering if things will ever go back to normal again.

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4. {Four}

Hailey and Harry didn’t necessarily see each other all the time in the year and a half they lived across the hall from each other. Sometimes there would be weeks when she wouldn’t even see his face. They did lead completely separate lives after all. And Harry was always busy, to no end. It was only in the past six months that they grew closer with each other. Before that they were really just passing faces in the hallway. A ‘hello’ here, a smile there. But from day one, Hailey had her eye on him.

She wasn’t going to pretend his natural attractiveness wasn’t the first thing that pulled her in, because it was. Dear god, it was. The first time she saw him he was shirtless and sweaty, having just come back from a run. She just about died when this perfectly chiseled tattooed creature stepped into the elevator with her. She lost herself in him from the first second.

 

“Hello,” he greeted, smiling politely at her. Her entire body tingled as she heard that beautiful British accent for the first time.

“Hi,” she said awkwardly as the two of them stood side-by-side on the ride up to the third floor.

When they both tried to get out of the elevator at the same time, Hailey just about died. She ran straight into his bare flesh.

“Oh! I’m sorry,” she told him, backing away quickly, completely flustered.

“Ladies first,” he said, smiling brightly at her.

“Uh…” Hailey stammered, hesitating slightly.

He just stood there smirking at her, so she took his invite and walked out of the elevator. And then he was following her… right after her. Except, he really wasn’t following her. He apparently lived right across the hall from her.

“Oh. You’re my neighbor,” she heard him say as she unlocked her door.

“Huh?” She asked, turning her head to look at him.

“I live… right here,” he said, knocking his knuckle on his door.

“That’s nice,” she said, smiling bashfully at him. ‘That’s nice?’ Her awkwardness was astounding.

“I’m Harry,” he said, holding out his hand to shake hers.

“Hailey,” she said, shaking his hand.

“Hailey and Harry holding hands,” Harry said cryptically as they continued to shake hands. Hailey sent him a very odd look.

“It was an alliteration. All H’s,” he said with a large smirk as she slowly pulled her hand back.

“Oh, yeah. Ha,” she said, feeling awkward. Oh, hell. At least he was cute. And British.

“Well, Hailey. It was nice to meet you,” he said, smiling at her.

“Likewise. And don’t be surprised if I come knocking at your door for a cup of sugar,” she said, using her whole years quota of lame jokes in that one sentence.

“Oh, yeah?” He chuckled, quirking his eyebrow at her. Okay, they were both big fucking dorks.

“Yeah… cause we’re neighbors. And that’s what neighbors do… apparently…” She stammered, trying to explain her horrific attempt at a joke.

“I got that,” he said, smirking at her.

“Alright. Well, I’m gonna go stick my head in the oven now,” she said, pushing open her apartment door.

“Sylvia Plath,” he chuckled.

“Yeah,” she said staring at him, completely perplexed that a man of his caliber of hotness knew anything about Sylvia Plath.

“I’ll see you later, Hailey,” he said, smirking at her.

“Yeah, see you,” she said quietly as she watched him disappeared inside his own apartment.

 

To that day, it wasn’t a regular occurrence, seeing Harry. It happened when it happened and they were both content with it. When they needed each other they were always there, just right across the hall. But right now, right now after the night they spent together, the entire universe was playing a fucking joke on her, she just knew it. She saw him everywhere.

They’d be leaving their houses at the same time. They’d meet in the hallway, unexpectedly. She’d be getting her mail and Harry would arrive back from walking Jagger and Bowie. And every time they saw each other, Harry smiled and joked around with her. He ensued in small talk, he told her little jokes or funny stories from his day. Nothing out of the ordinary. And that was the worst part. He completely disregarded what happened between them as if it never happened.

At first Hailey figured maybe he just didn’t remember. And in the beginning, she was completely okay with it. But lying awake at night over-analyzing everything made her realize that no matter how hard she pretended, or he pretended for that matter, they both remembered. There was no way in hell he didn’t remember or that he could ever forget. His movements were so fluid and so perfect that she knew he was thinking with a clear head, that the alcohol was not impairing his judgment. His indifference to what happened was eating her alive inside. And it was only getting worse day-by-day.

Five days passed since Matt’s bachelor party. Five agonizing days. Hailey wanted to forget it so badly. She tried everything. She threw herself into her work, taking on extra projects just to keep her mind occupied. But nothing worked. Her boss loved the extra effort, but other than that, it was getting her nowhere.

After working almost all through the night, getting very little sleep, Hailey stopped by Starbucks on her way into work. She felt like a zombie as she stood in line. She ordered her usual – an order in which Harry knew by heart and never needed to ask her – a venti vanilla bean Frappuccino blended crème.

After waiting what seemed like ages for her beverage, Hailey grabbed it and spun quickly to get out of the over-crowded coffee shop. That was of course when she ran straight into another person.

“Hailey?” She heard a sugary-sweet female’s voice.

When she looked up she saw the perfect blonde hair and blue eyes of Harry’s girlfriend, Emma.

“Oh my god. Emma!” Hailey gasped, wide-eyed and startled.

“Isn’t this funny? I’m just about to meet Harry here. Did you come here together?” She asked, looking around for him.

“What? No,” Hailey said, feeling her cheeks flush instantly.

“Oh. Well, how have you been?” Emma asked, smiling eagerly at Hailey.

“Uh, good. And you?” Hailey choked out.

“Never been better,” she said, smiling pleasantly.

Hailey watched as her eyes looked passed her and her smiled grew even larger. She knew just by her reaction that Harry just walked in and was probably walking straight toward them.

“Babe!” Emma cooed, beaming at him.

“Em… Hailey…” Harry said, looking rather uncomfortable as Hailey turned to look over at him.

“Look who I just ran into!” Emma giggled girlishly.

“I see that,” Harry said as Emma leaned up and kissed his cheek.

Hailey stared straight at him, narrowing her eyes at him to let him know she knew. She knew his awkwardness was an admission of guilt – that he in fact remembered everything that happened between them and chose to keep it from his girlfriend. Hailey shook her head, thoroughly disappointed in Harry – and herself. It should have never happened.

“Listen. I should go,” Hailey said, smiling as pleasantly as she could at Emma.

“Are you sure? You could join us,” Emma said cheerfully.

“Oh, no. I’ve got to get to work. But, thank you,” she told her.

“It was good to see you, Hailey,” Emma said, embracing her in a hug. And Hailey felt sickened by it.

She felt sickened that she ever let things go so far with Harry. Emma deserved better than that. She was so genuine it made Hailey look like a complete phony.

“Bye, Hailz,” Harry said quietly.

“Yeah. Bye,” she said, barely looking at him before she headed off toward the door.

Hailey couldn’t get it out of her mind for the rest of the day. Harry was contently living a charade. He slept with Hailey, but in order to keep his perfect little relationship, he didn’t come clean with Emma. Then she realized, it wasn’t her who was the phony, it was Harry.

After a horrible day at work, Hailey couldn’t wait to get home. And of course, just as she was checking her mailbox for that days post, Harry walked straight into the building. Jesus fucking Christ.

“Hailey!” He said, sounding startled.

She turned to look over at him, feeling startled as well. She was like a deer in headlights. She didn’t want to acknowledge his presence, but when he snuck up on her like that, she didn’t stand a chance of keeping up with the cold shoulder bit.

“Hey…” He said quietly.

“Hi,” she said, pursing her lips together, turning back to lock up her mailbox.

“Just getting home from work?” He asked, unlocking the main door with his key.

“Yep,” she said flatly.

He held the door open for her, letting her pass through it. She walked straight to the elevator and pushed the button to go up. Determined to ignore him as best she could, she stood facing the elevator watching the numbers as it moved floors. Harry came to stand right next to her, looking over at her. She continued to ignore him. The elevator dinged and the doors slid open. Hailey stepped inside and waited as he stepped inside himself. When the elevator door closed, he sighed.

“What’s going on, Hailey?” He asked quietly.

“Nothing,” she said, trying to act nonchalant.

“Yeah. Seems like it,” he scoffed.

Hailey rolled her eyes, feeling her blood start to boil. Of course he fucking knew what was going on. He was the one who chose to act so fucking oblivious to everything, not her. It was screaming at her – the big fucking elephant in the room. But she didn’t say anything. She let the elevator take them on their ride to the third floor. Hailey waited patiently as the doors slid open. And she didn’t even hesitate stepping out of it, knowing Harry learned his lesson and always let ‘ladies first’.

“Hailey,” he said under his breath as she stalked down the hallway to her door.

“You’re upset,” he pointed out as she began unlocking her door. It startled her how close he was to her.

“I’m not upset,” she said finally, pulling her key out of the lock.

“Why can’t you even look at me?” He asked and she made it a point to turn to face him, staring him in the eye – a blank expression and everything.

“Look…” He started.

Hailey sighed and ran her fingers through her hair, growing even more impatient by the second.

“What?” He asked, furrowing his brow.

“Nothing,” she said with a shrug, her attitude thick.

“Tell me again how you’re not upset,” he snapped, pursing his lips together impatiently.

“FINE! I’m upset!” She conceded, throwing her hands up, taking a step back from him.

“Hailey…” Harry sighed.

“We had sex, Harry! We had sex. And you’ve been completely ignoring that fact since it happened,” she said, unable to meet his eye.

“I wasn’t ignoring it,” he said quietly.

“Parading your perfect, oblivious girlfriend around Starbucks really shows me you aren’t completely disregarding the whole entire thing!” Hailey yelled sarcastically at him.

“Hailey…” Harry said evenly.

“It’s was you, Harry! YOU! You started it. I woke up and you… you…” Hailey stammered. She was angry. And when she got angry, she usually cried. But she was trying her god damn hardest not to cry.

“I know,” he said quietly.

“And I knew you remembered. I knew,” she continued, pointing her finger at him.

“I did,” he said with a nod.

“And, god! Emma! GOD!” Hailey growled.

“Hailey…”

“I should have never let you… I should have stopped you…” She said, completely losing herself in her own mind.

“Hailey…”

“I should have slept on the god damn couch,” she told him.

“Hailey…”

“This was so stupid. You’re with Emma. God! You suck, Harry! Why would you lie to her like that? Why wouldn’t you be honest with her!?” Hailey growled, narrowing her eyes at him.

“Hailey, just…” He said, but she cut him off again.

“You really, really suck!” She told him.

“Just shut up,” he snapped, his voice rising to cut her off. With his words, Hailey stopped, her eyes staring into his feeling absolutely dumbfounded.

“Just shut up,” he said quieter, calmer.

“God. Why do I even bother?” Hailey scoffed, turning to go into her apartment. What an ass.

“I told her,” Harry said, stopping her in her tracks.

“What?” Hailey asked, turning back to him.

“It was the first time I saw her all week – at Starbucks,” he explained.

“What?” Hailey asked again.

“I met her at Starbucks so we could talk. I told her what happened,” he told her.

“Oh,” Hailey said quietly, feeling sick to her stomach.

For some reason, all of a sudden it mattered to her what Emma thought of her and she didn’t want to be the girl who slept with another girl’s boyfriend – thus breaking the heart of possibly the sweetest girl in the world.

“She doesn’t know it was you,” Harry explained.

“What?” Hailey choked out.

“I just… I told her it was someone she didn’t know,” Harry said quietly, looking down at the floor.

“Why would you do that?” Hailey asked, her gaze focused on his long eyelashes.

“Because I thought it would be easier on her… and you. This way she can hate me instead of focusing on you,” Harry explained.

“It shouldn’t have happened, Harry,” Hailey cringed.

“I know,” he said softly.

“I just… I…” Hailey stammered.

“I tried to keep it from getting awkward between us, Hailz. I tried to show you we could still… you know, be friends. I mean, right? We can still be friends, can’t we?” He asked, looking hopeful.

She looked up into his pleading eyes and she knew it was something he was desperate for. And she was desperate for it too.

“Yeah… we can still be friends,” she told him with a nod.

“Do you mean that?” He asked.

“Yeah, Harry. Let’s just… let’s just put it behind us,” she told him, letting him take the easy way out, because she wanted it too.

“Good. Cause, Hailz…” He started.

“What?” She asked, looking up into his eyes.

“Now that Emma broke up with me, I need a date to Matt’s wedding,” he said with a devilish smirk.

“Oh my god,” Hailey said, smiling and shaking her head.

“Please, Hailey. Please,” he whined.

“You’re ridiculous,” she said, rolling her eyes.

“Oh, come on. Free road trip up to Lake Tahoe. I’ll pay for everything,” he told her.

“Harry, that’s this weekend. As in two days from now,” she pointed out.

“I know, but come on. It’ll be fun,” he whined.

Hailey stared at him contemplating just exactly what was being asked of her. And it wasn’t a good idea. Not with these stupid relentless feelings for him. No, it wasn’t a good idea at all.

“Fine,” she said, giving in completely.

“THANK YOU!” He yelped, quickly wrapping her into a hug.

For some reason, in the battle of head vs. heart, Hailey always choose the path of most destruction. And she only had herself to blame.

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