"Louis fucking Tomlinson! Open the damn door man!"
The pounding that woke me up keeps getting louder, and with a start I realise that someone is knocking on my door. No, someone is banging against my door, to be exact. What the fuck. Groaning, I roll over in bed and my eyes fall on the clock on the bedside table. Shit, it's 11:27.
I hastily sit up and immediately regret it when an unbearable pain shoots through my head, making me drop back onto the mattress. I shouldn't have drank that much beer last night. Or the vodka...
"LOUIS!" The person outside my door roars and my somewhat muddy brain finally recognizes the voice. It's Tom, my manager. "I swear to god if you don't open the fucking door right now you're in deep shit!"
"Christ, don't get your knickers in a twist tommy boy, I'm up." I yell back, my voice hoarse from the excessive amount of alcohol I consumed last night. Last night, hmm... I finally manage to stand up and make a shocking discovery: I'm not alone. And I'm completely naked. Whoopsie. It's nothing unusual for me to bring a girl home, not at all, but this time I don't have any recollection whatsoever. Last night was wild, that's all I remember. We had a phenomenal win and everyone got absolutely smashed, celebrating the victory in one of the best clubs in Manchester. I frown, staring at the blonde girl lying in my bed, still asleep despite the noise Tom and I made. She must've been hammered as well to sleep through all this. I quickly throw on a pair of sweats and rush to the door, opening it only a crack so Tom won't notice that I'm not alone. We're fighting about my behaviour on a regular basis, Tom absolutely despises my drinking, partying and excessive amount of girls I have my fun with, saying that it's not good for my health and that as a professional footballer my body has to come first. But I think there's nothing wrong with having a little fun is there? I'm young, I'm successful and pretty damn good at what I'm doing, so why not enjoy it to the fullest while I can?"
"Yeah?" I croak, rubbing my tired burning eyes with one hand while the other holds the door in place, just in case Tom tries to open it further.
"Finally! What were you thinking Louis?" he roars and I flinch, his loud voice not making my head feel any better.
"Jesus, Tom, shut the fuck up, my head is pounding. What do you want?" He sighs in exasperation, brows furrowed, and gives me a stern look.
"You forgot didn't you?"
"Forgot what?" What the hell is he talking about? Today's Sunday, nothing ever happens on Sundays. We won last night and celebrated, that all I have to remember.
"You really did, I knew you would. The bodyguard, Louis. We're supposed to go pick your new bodyguard today." Oh, shit. Yes, he told me that. A few times, in fact.
"Sorry, Tom. I was so focused on the game yesterday, it slipped my mind. I'll get ready now, when are we supposed to meet them?"
"Half an hour ago." Tom sighs again, eyeing me with disappointment clear on his face.
"Don't give me that puppy face Tom. You were the one that had to set this meeting up for the morning after the big game, you knew we'd all go out to party." He should've known that I wouldn't be approachable after such a big game, and why on earth would you have a meeting on a Sunday anyway?
"Well, I'd be perfectly alright if you'd only party after big games. But you party all the time, Louis, and I won't have that much longer. Now get your shit together, get dressed - nicely, please - and meet me downstairs in fifteen minutes. No excuses." With that he turns around and leaves, luckily without spotting my company. I grumble some profanities under my breath and close the door, eyeing the girl in my bed with confusion. I don't remember her at all. Fuck, I don't even remember her name. Casey? Cathy? No fucking clue. Not that I care, anyway.
I tap her shoulder and shake her awake, dull grey eyes blinking up at me. She's quite pretty, but nothing special. Boring, like most of the girls I've had lately. It's a wonder that they even get me off.
"Hey, uhm, you have to go. I have a meeting, sorry." With that I head to the bathroom to have a shower in record time and to brush my teeth. One look in the mirror and I groan, I look like absolute hell. The long night and lack of sleep is clearly visible on my face, and I have a huge hickey on the side of my neck. Cheers. Tom won't be happy about that, but then, when is Tom ever happy about anything I do? Apart from when I score the goals that get us to win, then I'm always his best boy. Hah, fucker.
No, Tom is great, he really is. We just disagree when it comes to my lifestyle. He says I'm childish, immature and selfish, and hell, I am all those things. But why not? It works for me, it has worked for many years. True, I felt kind of uninspired lately; the same parties, the same people, always some random girl in my bed at night, but that's just a momentary crisis. Nothing major.
When I come back, just with a towel around my waist, blondie is already dressed in a practically nonexistent skimpy dress, killer heels in her hand. God, did she already look that cheap yesterday? Why the hell did I take her to my room? Maybe it's a good thing after all that I don't remember anything from last night.
"Uhm, do you need the bathroom? If not, I'll have to ask you to leave, I'm kind of in a hurry." I know I'm being an arse, but that's just the way I am. I'm no bed&breakfast hotel am I? She got to fuck me, that should be about enough for her, especially considering the way she's practically drooling over my half naked body. Disgusting.
"I take that as a no. The door is that way sweetie," I smile fakely and hold the door open for her, indicating that she really has to leave right now. She does, luckily. Not without a harsh glare and childish pout, but thankfully she leaves without throwing a fit. Good.
I hastily get dressed, pulling some black skinny jeans up my legs and slipping on a pair of vans. Tom said to get dressed nicely so I fish a black button up and a black blazer out of my closed. The collar isn't high enough to hide the hickey, but oh well. Why not let my new bodyguard know what I'm up to right from the start? He'll know soon enough since he'll be around me most of the time. I never liked the thought of having a bodyguard, that's why Tom and I had one major fight after the other over this until I finally gave in a while ago, mainly because he threatened to kick me out of the team and I can't let that happen. Football is all I have, it's what I make my money with, it's what I love, it's what I'm good at. So I eventually agreed, on condition that I get to choose him myself. I don't want any fucking creep that takes life too seriously and stops me from having my fun. I'm thinking maybe someone my age, someone fun and easygoing that's professional enough to calm Tom but not too uptight. We'll see what we can find.
I head downstairs to the lobby of the hotel we're staying in and immediately spot Tom, pacing back and forth on the marble floor, looking pissed off. He stills when he sees me and shoots me an icy glare. What the hell have I done now? He gave me 15 minutes and I needed 13. I'm dressed nicely, aren't I? I quickly look down on myself, checking that I didn't forget any item of clothing but nope, everything is in place.
"I was just about to ask you about a certain blonde girl that just left the hotel, but that giant bruise on your neck tells me everything I need to know so I won't waste my breath. Why, Louis?" Oh, that's what this is about. Jeez, I really don't get why he's always throwing such a fit over me having my fair share of girls. I'm 23, I'm good looking and successful, girls want me, so why shouldn't I make use of that?
I shrug. "Because I can, Tom. Sex is a natural part of life, nothing wrong with that."
"Louis, people see you as a whore. That could ruin your career." I laugh out loud at that.
"Tom, I'm a football player, not some fucking popstar. What counts are the goals that I score, it's about what I do on the field not on a night out."
I'm met with silence and a shake of his head before he leads me out of the lobby and down some stairs to the meeting rooms.
"Just do me one favour today, Louis. Behave, please. Don't be an arse. With the amount of fans and paparazzi that are after you lately you need a security guard, no discussion. You can choose one, but don't forget that they can also say no. So if you behave like a dick you might not get the one you wanted because they don't want you. Got it?" I nod, rolling my eyes behind his back. I love Tom, but he's always so serious. He honestly needs to lighten up a bit. And I still have a headache, I'm so not in the mood for his life lessons this morning.
"We've got 6 guys here, all experienced bodyguards, some of the best in England. You can ask them questions, anything you want to know, but please be discreet." He stops in front of a heavy wooden door but hesitates before opening it.
"Got it, Louis?" he asks again and I can't help but groan at his persistence.
"Fuck, yes, I got it Tom. Don't be an arse, don't be nosy, be a good boy and pick one of them, I got it. Can we get over with this shit now?" I'm well annoyed by now, what a great mood to choose someone I'll have to spend a great deal of my life with from today on. Cheers.
As Tom said, there are six guys in the room, some of them sitting on sofas, others standing and talking. I spot two other men in suits in the corner of the room, probably their managers. All conversations stop when we enter, and I feel eight pairs of eyes on me. I immediately straighten up and lift my head, determined to show them that despite my slim build I'm not one you can push around easily. I quickly eye them all, a challenging look in my eyes, and notice that they're all noticeably taller and broader than me. Well, what did you expect Tomlinson, my subconscious snarls at me. They're bodyguards, of course they're giants.
"Gentlemen, please excuse our delay. We had...some other urgent matters to attend to first." Tom apologizes on my behalf because he knows full well that I don't do the entire apologising thing, I'm not that polite. He's probably right, I really am an arse, not that I care.
"This is Mister Tomlinson. He's the one that's going to make the decisions today." Again, I feel all eyes on me and I try not to show how uneasy that makes me feel. These guys are badass, they know how to fight and kill. Being in a room with six of them is slightly unnerving.
"Uhm, hi. So, uh, who are you all?" I mutter, my voice an embarrassingly high whine. For fucks sake, I need to get my shit together.
One of the older guys, I'd say he's in his forties, steps forward. He's insanely muscular, his biceps probably three times as big as mine, and I immediately feel uncomfortable in his presence. He's too...big.
"I'm Walter Keppler, Sir. Been in the business for about twenty years." Nope, too big and too formal. Not my thing at all. One after one they all introduce themselves, but I just don't feel like taking any of them. Until the last one steps forward.
He's tall but not a giant like some of the others, probably about 1.85m. And he's not one of those bodybuilders, in fact he's rather slim compared to the others but when he crosses his arms in front of his chest I can see his biceps pop underneath the tight black dress shirt he's wearing, and for some unknown reason I feel my cheeks heat. Almost without my consent my eyes travel over his body, from the worn out heavy black boots he's wearing over his black skintight jeans, the outlines of his muscular chest that are just visible under his tight shirt, to his face, and my heart stops.
He's young, not more than a few years older than me, and so help me, he has curls. Dark brown, silky curls that just about touch his shoulders, and striking green eyes under furrowed brows. Christ. I swallow harshly, trying to get rid of the sudden lump that formed in my throat.
"Harry Styles", he announces in a deep raspy voice that makes my throat feel even tighter. He doesn't offer any other information about himself, and neither does he offer me his hand to shake and for some reason I feel a stab of disappointment at that. I can't help but stare at him, my mouth oddly dry when I feel his eyes glide over my body in return. They stop on the height of my neck, and when he raises one of his brows I know he spotted the hickey. Almost involuntarily I lift my hand to place it over the bruised spot, trying to hide it but it's too late. I know he saw it, and somehow the disapproving look in his eyes makes me feel like a scolded child, it makes me feel cheap. What the hell. His eyes meet mine again, and I'm stuck. I can't seem to look away, it's like I'm spellbound.
"Okay, how about we all just have something to drink and chat so Louis can get to know you all?" Tom declares, his voice breaking the spell between Harry and I. Hmm, Harry. It's an odd name, kind of old-fashioned but somehow it suits him.
I find myself on a couch between that Walter guy and another giant whose name I forgot as soon as he told me, pretending to listen to whatever kind of shit they're talking about while in reality my eyes keep traveling over to Harry. He's standing at the other end of the room, a glass of orange juice in his hand unlike everyone else who is drinking wine or whiskey, and I notice with surprise that his long fingers easily wrap around the entire span of the glass. His hands must be huge. Somehow, the thought warms me... Unlike everyone else he's not engaged in conversation, instead he just stands there, one hand holding his glass, the other lazily across his chest, his eyes scanning the room. They land on me and I blush, knowing that he caught me staring. Oh, fuck it, I think and stand up, taking my whiskey with me. I'm here to get to know these guys, so why not seize the chance and talk to him now that he caught me staring?
I whisper a distracted "Excuse me, gentlemen," to the two men next to me and make my way over to Harry, again feeling everyone's eyes on me. They look at me with surprise, probably wondering why I would go talk to some loner like Harry. I haven't seen him talk to anyone today and I wonder what that's about. Maybe he's shy? But how can you be a bodyguard when you're shy, don't they have to be all tough? Maybe he just doesn't give a shit about socialising. Whatever it is, I'm about to find out. I smile when I reach him, trying not to show him that for whatever reason his proximity makes me fairly nervous.
"Harry, you and your orange juice are all alone here, so I thought I'd keep you company. Not a big fan of socialising, eh?" I joke, giving him my best Tommo-smile that has girls swooning all over the country. But he seems unaffected and simply nods.
"Neither am I a big fan of whiskey." He nods his head towards the glass in my hand and I chuckle nervously, his voice resonating through my body.
"Join the club, I don't really like it either. But since everyone's drinking, why shouldn't I?"
"So you always do what everyone else does, Mister Tomlinson?" he asks, one eyebrow cocked up.
"Call me Louis, please. No, I usually only do what I want. Ask Tom, he can confirm that I'm a pain in the ass." I point over to my manager who is standing at the other end of the room with everybody else, deep in conversation with some guy but still watching us every now and then.
"Okay, Louis. So it's only today that you're swimming with the stream?" He's making fun of me, I can tell by the amused sparkle in his eyes. And I hate it when people make fun of me. How dare he?
"Damn right, because I'm in the mood for alcohol. It's not every day that you have to choose the person you're going to spend a fucking huge amount of time with, I can't do this sober."
The only answer I get is a low chuckle, one that makes the muscles in my belly clench. Christ, what is happening to me? I must still be fucking drunk from last night, that's it. I huff and turn away from him, exasperated. How dare he mock me? Asshole.
I saunter over to Tom, slamming my glass down on the counter as I go.
"Louis, have you made up your mind yet?" he questions, looking at me expectantly. Again, all eyes in the room land on me, awaiting my decision, and I try not to squirm under everyone's glances. I quickly scan the room again, letting my eyes swipe over all of the guys except for one. I don't want to have to look at Harry again. He's weird with his mysterious quiet behaviour, and what's worse, he makes me feel weird. No, thanks.
"Yes, I have Tom." And just as I'm about to tell him that he and his bodyguards can damn well fuck off I catch a pair of green eyes from across the room, and my mouth speaks before my brain can catch up.
"I choose Harry Styles."