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My Heart Skips A Beat

Chapter 9

“Aw, Come ON, Harry! Just one shot! It’ll be FUN!”
“I’m not exactly legal here, none of us are.”
“It’s fine, we’re in the safety of the hotel, no one will ever know.”
After dinner Zayn invited the girls back to our hotel to continue the festivities. I tried to say I was tired, but they weren’t having it.
“Don’t try and act like you’re some good clean cut guy Harry Styles, I’ve heard about you.” She giggled wrapping her arm around me. She had already had quite a bit to drink.
“Can someone please take care of this?” I said, giving the rest of the boys pleading looks, which they responded to with shrugs. “Great lads, thanks for the help.” I muttered, trying to lie her down on one of the couches. Somehow, however, she managed to pull me down with her.
“Aww, c’mon, what’s holding you back?”
“I’m taken, Madison. I’ve got a girlfriend.” I blurted out. I wasn’t too worried about her saying anything since she was far too pissed to remember any of this come tomorrow morning.
“I don’t care”, she said automatically, her arms pulling me.
“Yeah well, I do. I’m sorry.” I yanked myself away, annoyed.
“Maybe we should go…” The third girl Lauren said, clearly embarrassed about her friends behavior. “Could you maybe, uh, just, help me…” She gestured to Madison, who was already passed out on the couch, fast asleep.
“Yeah, sure….” Honestly, anything to get her out of there.
Liam and I got her out of the hotel room, into the lift, and down to the lobby without any problems. Unfortunately, when we got outside to a waiting cab, there were a few girls lingering about. Every day we’ve been here there had been a few fans at the hotel, or at the location of the video shoot. Which was actually quite fantastic, considering that we’ve done next to nothing as far as promotion here. They’ve all been really nice; just asking for pictures or autographs. But now, they could be the one thing keeping me from pretending like this night never happened.
“Shit, Lou- Just open the door, get her in the car, and lets get out of here.” I said, motioning my head towards the girls with cameras in hand, ready for a photo op.
“Yeah, sounds good. Don’t need this posted everywhere by morning.” He agreed, helping me place Madison into the backseat.
“Thank you guys. I’m really, REALLY sorry.” Lauren said, genuinely looking embarrassed. I felt bad, she seemed nice, too bad she had to deal with these two drunk girls for the rest of the night.
“Lets go, Haz.” Louis said once the car had driven away.
“Yeah” I said, I looked back once more time at the 5 or so girls, knowing deep down that at least one of them must’ve taken a picture.

My phone rang Friday morning and I could tell by the lack of sunlight streaming through my windows that it was way too early to be waking up. I assumed it was Harry so I picked up without checking Caller ID.
“Hey, Anna. Have um, have you seen the tabloids?”
“Huh? Who’s this?” It was definitely not Harry.
“It’s Eleanor.”
“Ohhh, hey. No I haven’t, why?”
“You might want to check online.” She sounded serious and I was automatically nervous.
“Is everything okay?” Had something happened to the boys?
“Just- get you computer…” I pulled my laptop onto my lap, opening up the biggest UK gossip website. And right there, front page,
My heart dropped.
“What the hell?” I clicked on the link, where there were several pictures of all the boys out to eat with three girls, one of whom was seen with ‘her hands all over Mr. Styles, the notorious ladies man’. The last few pictures were apparently from a ‘inside source’, and were 4 pictures of both Louis and Harry carrying the same girl, passed out, into a cab outside of their hotel.
“I don’t even-“
“I know babe, I’m so sorry. But, don’t jump to conclusions. The boys’ll be home this Afternoon, talk to him then, see what he has to say. These types of things can be so easily turned around into something they’re not, blown out of proportion. It happens all the time.”
“Yeah, yeah, I’ll um, I’ll talk to him later. Thanks for calling me, El.”
“No problem. Now go back to sleep. And please don’t worry too much.”
“I’ll try.” It all would have sounded much more convincing if my voice hadn’t cracked at the end of my sentence.

I lied to Eleanor. It was physically and psychologically impossible to not think about the pictures. It was the only thing I could think about all day. I hadn’t paid attention in a single one of my classes; I could barely sit still during lunch… I was pretty much a mess.

We just landed at Heathrow, can’t wait to see you. Xx

I got the text from Harry right about when school ended for the weekend. I was on my way to the boy’s building where we were all meeting. When I got there, Danielle and Eleanor were inside the lobby. Their expression changed the second I walked through the door.
“Hey” They said in unison.
“Please don’t look at me like that.” I slumped into a chair.
“We just feel bad, we should have told you about this kind of stuff happening.” Danielle said, pulling a face full of sympathy.
A couple minutes later, a big black car pulled up, and the five boys came piling out, looking disheveled and tired.
“Hey there girlies!” Niall yelled, the first to walk in with his hands filled with luggage. I gave him a genuine smile and a quick hug. I greeted the rest of the boys the same, until Harry walked through the door.
“We need to talk.”

“I’ve seen the pictures Harry.” My heart was pounding as we sat together on his couch while the others were in Liam’s apartment.
“I know, and I’m sorry. It really isn’t what it looks like-“
“What is it then? Because, I don’t mean to sound crazy or jealous here, but it looks like you went out with a bunch of girls, let them fawn all over you, gotten drunk, and then took them back to your hotel room.” I felt my eyes moisten, but the last thing I wanted to do right now saw cry.
“I promise you, that is not what happened. That girl Madison was in the video. From the second we met, you was super flirty and touchy, but I told her to back off. I told her I wasn’t interested, I told her I was taken. But she wasn’t having it. Yeah, she got drunk, and then her friend asked us to help get her into the cab. But I swear, NOTHING happened.” I could tell he was telling the truth. I think I had known it all along. It wasn’t really about this one single thing that was making me upset, it was so much more.
“I believe you…” I began quietly. He moved forward to kiss me, but I pulled away, “I do believe you. But I don’t think it’s really just about this. It’s about me and you. I’m just- I’m scared.” My voice cracked, and I knew the tears were coming. “Why are you scared?” his voice was quiet and gentle, his intense gaze fixed on me.
“I’m scared because, there are a million girls who you could have whenever you want. There are so many opportunities for you. And I’m scared that maybe one day, you’ll get tired of me, or bored, or impatient. And then you’ll go off to some other country, or even just out to a bar, and you’ll pick from one of those girls. I’m just not sure I can measure up.”
Immediately his expression changed. He turned towards me, taking both of my hands in his.
“Baby, please, don’t ever think that way. There is not one person in the world I would choose over you. No one. And I know this is crazy, and we’ve only known each other a few weeks, but you are massively important to me. And I’m sorry about those pictures, I’m sorry I didn’t tell you straight away. But I need you to know how I feel. And I feel like; I’m not good enough for you. I’m not good for you. I know that, I know that you deserve someone who can always be there for you, and who can you can just live your life normally with. And I’m neither of those things. But I just hope that you’re willing to give this a chance because, I don’t know what I’ll do if you say no.” I couldn’t hold it in after that; the tears fell freely, my vision blurred. I immediately grabbed Harry and pulled him in for a kiss that was able to say more than my absentminded blabbering ever could.

Truthfully, I had shocked myself when I said all of those things to Anna. Not because I didn’t mean them, I did. But because I’m usually not the kind of guy who is able to show his emotions like that. But I don’t know, something just told me that if I don’t go all out here, I was going to lose her. Because I know it’s hard to date me, or anyone who’s in the public eye. It’s a lot for anyone to handle. So I feel like I just had to say whatever it was I was thinking, even if it made me look like an idiot. Thankfully, I think she believed me and knew I was telling the truth.
“We should probably go find the others-“ She said in between kisses.
“Mmmm, no, I like this better” I said, kissing down her neck.
“I know, me too, but-“
“Shhhh.” I put my finger to her lips and she stopped talking.

A while later we had finally made it over to Liam’s
“All’s right in the world again I s’pose?” Louis said when we walked in hand-in-hand. I just nodded and Anna smiled.
“Good.” They all seemed genuinely pleased that everything had been worked out.
“So, order in?” Niall suggested. “Because it’s not like any of us have any food here.”
“Sounds good.” Everyone agreed.
“I VOTE NANDO’S!!” He shouted, jumping on top of the chair, thrusting his fist in the air.
“Yeah, we know you do Nialler…” Liam chuckled.

*Later that night*
“Harry I should really go”
“Oh hush, just a minute longer” he said, moving his lips from my lips, to my ear, then down across my jaw line, back to my mouth.
“Harry, Molly’s gonna kill me” I said, not really making much of an effort to stop him. My hands knotted into his dark curls as his hot breath touched my skin, the first few buttons of my shirt undone.
“Just stay here tonight with me. Please?” He looked down at me with a pouty face.
“I can’t” I moaned, still not moving from my position on his bed.
I felt his hand on my waist, touching the sliver of skin between where my shirt ended and the top of my jeans began.
“Harry, wait a second.” I said, suddenly feeling a wave of nerves wash over me. I sat up, taking a deep breath and readjusting my clothes.
“Are you okay?” He asked.
“Yeah, uh. I just, need to tell you something.” He looked at me as if to say ‘go on’.
“Um, okay. Well… You should know that I am, um, well. I’m a virgin. And I’m just sort of assuming that you have a bit more experience than me. So, just, if we could take it just, a little slower. I’m sorry, I just-“
“Hey, hey, it’s okay. We can do whatever you want.”
“Yeah, of course.” His fingers laced with mine and I exhaled.
“Anna, I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to do, that, with you. But I’m not going to force you to do anything you don’t want to. That is, until you feel like you’re ready.”
“Okay, good. Yeah, that sounds good.” I allowed myself to relax, “That doesn’t mean we can’t do other things,” I said with a grin as I pushed him back down onto the bed.
“I should hope so.” He growled, his curls falling across his face, tickling my skin.
“Can’t you just stay here tonight? We won’t do anything… I just missed you.” I pondered if for a minute, mostly just to torture him.
“Yeah, fine, why not.” He smiled and kissed me gently. “But I don’t have anything to sleep in”, I muttered. “Maybe I’ll let you borrow something.”
I woke up to a pitch-black room. It took me a few seconds for me to remember where I even was. I turned to my side and heard Harry’s even breathing, his loose grip around me, the heat radiating off of his skin. He had been so sweet, not pressuring me into sex. We just kissed and talked and laughed and watch TV and he let me wear a t-shirt and a pair of his boxers and they smelled like him and were really soft and everything about the night had been so perfect. I really could see myself feeling ready to do…that…with Harry one day. Just, not yet. And I didn’t want to be a tease, but I did really enjoy kissing him. Like, a lot.
I moved closer to Harry, burying my face in the space between his shoulder and his neck, his breathing in synch with mine.
I never really fell completely back to sleep, but it was okay. I liked just lying there with Harry, even if he was asleep. I had never been with someone who I felt this comfortable with.
Like now, the next morning, we were all sitting around Lou and Harry’s kitchen, sipping tea and eating pastries that Niall had gone to get at the bakery. I was still wearing Harry’s clothes from last night, my hair thrown up into a messy bun, sitting cross-legged on their counter. And although I knew I probably looked horrid, Harry still looked at me like I was beautiful. He was a liar, but a sweet liar.
“So who’s up for Oxford Street?!” Eleanor asked excitedly.
“Ugh…Shopping?” Niall moaned. “I think I’ll pass.”
“Yeah babe, I think I have to agree with little Nialler over here.” Louis said, ruffling Niall’s blonde hair.
“Fine, whatever. Anna? Just the girls then?” I smiled and nodded.
“I’ll have to go back to school and change, but yeah. Sounds fun!”
“Perfect. We’ll just come with you to change and then go ahead, sounds good?” I nodded, jumping off the counter to go change out of Harry’s clothes, and back into what I had worn yesterday. I was pulling on my shirt, buttoning the last few buttons when I heard a rustling by the door. I squealed when I saw Harry.
“Ohmygod! How long have you been standing there? You scared me!”
“Not that long, don’t worry.” He grinned, taking the few steps from the door to me, wrapping his arms around me.
“Thanks for staying last night, considering how much you protested.”
“I did not!”
“Just a little.” I giggled and he tugged on my hair.
“Have fun today with the girls. But be careful about the paps, they’re bound to find you three at some point.”
“Oh, yeah… I hadn’t really thought of that. Maybe I should take a page from the Harry Styles book and wear one of your genius disguises.” He laughed.
“Maybe you should! It’s worked fairly well for me.”
“Yeah, okay.”
“ANNA, YOU ALMOST READY!” I heard Danielle yell from outside.
“Yeah, one second!” I said back as Harry started kissing my neck, distracting me.
“I gotta go.” He just muttered something inaudibly. I eventually extracted myself from his grip, giving him one last kiss goodbye.

I pretty much had to sneak El and Dani into the building, knowing someone, causing hysteria, would recognize them. I quickly showered and changed into skinny jeans, my black boots, and a vintage band t shirt my brother gave me for my birthday one year.
“Alright, lets go!” I said cheerfully.
“We wanted to talk to you first.” Danielle said, sitting back on my bed, leaning against the wall.
“Oh, okay. Bout what?”
“Just, what to expect. There are gonna be paps on Oxford Street, that’s a guarantee. So just, we wanted you to know how to handle it.”
“Okay. Yeah, that’s a good idea.”
“Okay’ they’re gonna be shouting things at us. They’ll say literally anything, whatever they can think of to get a rise out of you. That’s exactly what they want. But just ignore it, pretend like you can’t hear them. But you also can’t seem mean or angry. Not that you are! It’s just, a single picture when you have a frown on your face can turn into a headline about us all being attention-seeking bitches or something.” My head was spinning.
“We know it’s a lot, but just remember what you can. Keep the sunglasses on, and we’ll help you.”

They hadn’t been lying when they said the paparazzi would say anything..
Some of them were just kind of dumb. No way in hell would I ever consider being ‘in the music business’, mainly because I couldn’t sing to save my life.
“Wow.” I breathed once we had made it safely into TopShop.
“Yeah, I know.” Both girls said. “Just ignore it best you can, lets try and have a good time.” Eleanor said, fiddling through a rack of silky tops.
“Yeah, c’mon, we’ll find something for you to impress Harry with.” Danielle giggled, shoving a skimpy tight dress at me.


@notarealhipster Who do you imagine anna as?


I'm from the US, outside of Philly :)
Where are you from? My side of the pond (United States) or the other one?
I love this story it's my favorite one I've read so far! :)