The Bar Owner's Daughter

Clarke Stevenson is the daughter of the owner of the popular bar in London. Ever since she was 16 she would watch a local guy, Harry Styles get drunk and get into bar fights. One night after a violent bar fight Clarke takes care of Harry. They later develop a friendship that know one seems to agree with.

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34. The Book Signing

Harry's P.O.V

I walk to Barnes and Noble thinking there was going to be no line. I was damn wrong. There's a line that wraps around the store. There's mainly young teen guys and girls. Waiting in line for a girl that I once loved.

I walk into the store. I didn't cut the line, you just had the option of just going in the store or waiting for Clarke. When I walk in there she is. Her hair is done up in a fancy braid and her clothes are more professional. Her face is full of makeup and she's wearing heels. It's not her.

She sits at a large table with books stacked next to her. And a sign with the book on it saying that there's a signing today. I started walking towards Clarke until this security guard stops me. Fucking prick.

"Excuse me sir, no cutting the line." A big guy says to me. Clarke looks in my direction and the smile that was on her face switches into a smile of confusion.

"Harry?" She looks at me. Her voice sounds more mature. A group of teen girls gasp at my name.

"Omg is that Harrison? The guy she based him on?" They all whisper to each other.

"It is you." She smiles and gets out of her seat.

"Hey." I say awkwardly.

"I haven't seen you in forever." She hugs me. She's taller, because of the heels. She's happy, she sounds happy, she looks happy, she's happy. That's all I wanted for her. She's not the girl I left on Parliament Avenue.

"Yea it's been 3 years." I say awkwardly again. She seems so causal and I'm so nervous.

"We should totally get together." She says. All the fangirls are taking pictures of us and giggling.

"Yeah um-"

"I'm free tonight after the book signing." She takes out an agenda from her bag.

"I'm free from 5pm to 8pm at 8:30 I have another signing." She smiles.

"Um, I guess we could get together at 5:30-"

"Great! Pick me up at this address." Clarke writes the address on a piece of paper and then sits back down to sign more books and take pictures.

"Um, can you sign my book?" A young girl raises her book in my face.

"Sure." I pick it up and grab her pen. I sign the book and give it back to her. She runs over to her friends and they all scream.

.................

I walk up to the flat, or apartment building she lives in. I can't believe she lives in fucking Times Square. A man opens the door for me and doesn't make eye contact. I go to the floor she wrote down, level 16, room 372. I knock. And Clarke comes out with a simply elegant dress and heels. Again her hair is in a fancy braid and her face has a lot more makeup on.

"Hey." She smiles. I peek in her apartment and it is huge.

"Hi." I answer.

"Shall we." She walks out.

"Yeah." I shrug. We go down stairs and back on the freezing streets.

"We're going to Blue Fin." She says as she trots along the streets as if she owned the city.

"Okay." I follow.

"What brought you to New York?" She asks.

"Gemma was promoted which meant being transferred." I explain.

"That's so great for her." Clarke smiles. She's not the same Clarke that I knew, the Clarke I fell in love with.

"Yeah."

"The place isn't far from here." Clarke continues to walk.

"Yeah I think I see it." We walk through the clear glass doors and are instantly seated.

"So tell me, what's new?" She asks. I don't think I can ever love her. She's preppy, proper, and just not Clarke. The Clarke I knew was open with her words, stubborn, and sarcastic.

"Nothing I guess, I read the first few paragraphs of your book." I mention.

"You did?" I nod. "You don't strike me as a reader." Seriously that's what she says.

"Yeah."

"So how's-"

"How's your dad?" I ask before she could say anything.

"Oh, he's good." She fakes a smile.

"What about-"

"He abused me you know." She sips her water. What The fuck no I didn't! I knew he was violent, but not that violent.

"What!?"

"Yeah, Zayn locked him up." She says.

"How's Zayn and Kennedy?" I switch the subject. I'm still shocked about her dad.

"Zayn's good, still not married, at least I don't think. Kennedy is good, she's going to a university back in England. She's 19." Clarke says.

"That's how old you were when we met." I mention. She smiles and nods.

"That was a long time ago. Four years." The Clarke I know would've said 'four fucking years'

"Yeah, what are you? 23? 24?"

"24. My birthday was January." She says.

"I'm 26." I say.

"Yeah, we're getting older and older."

"I missed you, you know?" I say.

"I missed you too." The Clarke I know would've said 'Harry, listen I-' and then I would've interrupted her. We always had this pattern. Whenever I wanted her she didn't want me, and whenever she wanted me I didn't want her.

"Stop it." I shake my head.

"What?" Her smile fades.

"Stop lying to yourself." I blurt out.

"What do you mean?" She looks at me.

"This isn't you, and you know it." I say. She's still confused.

"I don't understand."

"You! This! Whatever this is!" I say loudly. "The way your acting, the way you dress, your hair, your shoes, your makeup, even the way your fucking sitting! This isn't you Clarke!"

"Maybe this is the way I act when I'm happy, of course you wouldn't know that." Clarke says in her usual firm voice.

"But everything about you is different." I say.

"Sorry to disappoint you." She crosses her arms.

"The Clarke I know would've had her hair down and all messy with her messed up curls. She would've been wearing nearly no makeup and would be too lazy to even put contacts on so she would wear glasses. She would've been wearing leggings with some random shirt out of her closet. She wouldn't be wearing shoes either! And she wouldn't act so, so perfect!" I let everything spill out.

"Well sorry, things change after 3 years." Clarke gets up and walks away. I feel bad. That's the thing about Clarke, she makes you feel bad when you really shouldn't been feeling bad. I get up and chase after her.

"Wait, I'm sorry. I guess you did change. I miss you, the old you" I say. When she turns tears are racing down her face.

"I've tried to let go." She cries. "Of what happened with us, ever since that night, the beginning of us. I wrote it in a fucking book, hoping it would help the burden I've been carrying-"

"Clarke-"

"No Harry. Then I saw your face today and that burden, that regret, that knot in my stomach, it went away. Somehow it went away, but at the same time it grew." She stops for a moment. "Your right, I've changed. I'm not myself. I'm an actress. I've been faking. Don't get me wrong all those smiles are real, but yet they couldn't be more fake. I need you Harry, your not just some guy like I how I wrote you, your everything."

"I need you too, your my everything." I walk up to her and pull her against me. I roughly kiss her smooth and plump lips. And finally I'm one with the world again.

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