Achilles Heel

21. Astar - Monte Carlo, Monaco.

There will be a lot of time skips in this chapter. I will label each one. Enjoy, my lovelies.

Reminder: Wren is one of Astar’s friends that also works for MI6 in case you forgot.

Monte Carlo, Monaco.

August 24th. Wednesday. 08:36.

Arrival at Hôtel de Paris Monte Carlo. T minus 2 days before practice heist.

The second Louis’ feet make contact with the hot pavement, he’s complaining, slamming the door to the Bentley shut which makes the driver yell out profanities once again in French.

The humidity. The smell of the salt from the ocean. How hot it is. He even complains about how long it took the driver to get from the private tarmac to our hotel.

The driver ended up cursing at him in French, not realising that the entirety of the car also knew French. However, it shut Louis right up and he slumped down in his seat, the blood rushing to the apple’s of his cheeks as he tried to disappear.

Vous, les riches Anglais, venez ici pour les yachts, les filles et la drogue. Personne ne veut d’un homme trapu et vaniteux.” The man spat, tapping his finger incessantly on the screen of the GPS that continuously sent him on a different route. Due to the traffic, we were constantly being rerouted.

Of all words to describe Louis, I personally wouldn’t have used stocky but the more I look at him, the more it resonates with him.

Harry’s hand breaks me from my thoughts as he reaches over to grab my sunglasses from off atop my head, placing them on his own face, right over his eyes. “What?” He questions as he sees the expression on my face. “It’s clear you aren’t going to put them on and unfortunately, the bag boys are carrying my bags up to our suite.”

My brain seems to short circuit at the word suite. I know Harry has a lot of money, but we’re only here for four days give or take. We’re hopping on the jet the second the heist is over. “H...I don’t think a suite is necessary.” To which he just gives a shrug of his shoulders. I’m terrified to ask just how much it costs considering we’re in Monte Carlo.

“Oh, for fucks sake,” I hear from behind me, the sound of a shoe dragging across the pavement following seconds later.

“Oi! Wait up,” The voice shouts, dragging the shoe across the pavement as they run to catch up with us as we start ascending the stairs to the entrance of the hotel.

“I’ve stepped in dog shit. You can’t walk any slower for me?” Louis groans, hearing Niall’s laugh follow suit as he lifts Louis up, carrying the man into the hotel. I place my hand over my mouth to try and stifle my laughs, seeing the woman behind the counter giving us looks.

The first thing that hits my nose is the smell of lobster that one of the restaurants seems to be starting on, making my stomach rumble but I know that the restaurants probably don’t open for another few hours.

12:36 pm // T minus two days until practice heist

Princess Grace Diamond Suite

Harry presses the button on the bed, watching as the curtains slowly pull back to reveal our own personal balcony with a hot tub and personal pool. The view from the eighth floor was one that makes my breath hitch, slowly making my way over to gently rest my hand on the window. There are so many boats on the water, arraying from small to large yachts to even cruise ships.

Harry had informed me on the way up that he had bought every suite on this floor so the boys could have their own rooms.

Personally, that’s a waste of money considering the fact that each suite had two different rooms inside of it and fit up to six people.

“You’re forgetting how much money I have, little devil. I can see your mind running from here.” He tsks, moving to brush past me. As he does so, he places his hand on my waist and squeezes the side, moving so that he was even with the ground.

My eyes follow every movement, a bit confused as to why he’s so interested in getting down on his knees and disappearing under the bed. That’s until he pulls out not one, but two black duffle bags.

“What the fuck?” I breathe out, watching as Harry places them down on top of the bed.

“What? Did you think I had the weapons on the flight over? No.” He snorts, unzipping the duffle bags to turn them over upside down to empty out the contents.

There’s an array of different weapons, ones that I know for a fact are forbidden in Monaco. My mind is racing with possible ways that Harry could have snuck these in without triggering any alarms. There’s genuinely no way that Harry is just a gang leader. In the past month I’ve only learned a little about who Harry really is.

Who the fuck is Harry Styles?

“I did,” I breathe out, moving my yellow sundress up a bit, revealing the matching yellow garter that I have on my thigh. A magnum Research Desert Eagle sits pretty there, the brown of the gun contrasting with the yellow of the garter.

I move to push the dress back down, the slit falling right where my knee is as I meet Harry’s gaze. His eyes linger on my thigh before moving to meet my eyes.

“A simple handgun is easier to get into a country rather than two duffle bags full of not only powerful weapons, but ammunition. No?” He questions, his tone suggesting that I’m dumb and I don’t like it.

“Given the fact that you were able to have someone smuggle them in for you, I’d say no. It isn’t easier.” I move to shove my pointer finger into his chest, giving a shake of my head as I grab the scarf out of my half open bag, tying said yellow scarf into my hair and pulling a few pieces of my hair out in the front.

I brush some highlighter onto my cheeks, wanting to go for something simple today since we’d mostly be planning for the heist that’s happening in two days.

The hotel we’re staying at is hosting the event, meaning we’d have time to learn the layout and stash our weapons before the heist.

“The boys should be settled into their own suites. Can you call them in here?” I question, making eye contact with Harry in the mirror as I swipe on a neutral coloured lip gloss.

Harry swipes a Remington .44 Magnum, running a cloth over it gently. I let my eyes then take in the plethora of guns that lay on the bed. My eyes stop on one in particular, making my brows furrow in confusion but I decide to just smile instead.

There’s a gun that’s only used by individuals employed by the federal government laying amongst the other guns.

It’s a Daewoo USAS-12 automatic shotgun. Automatics were never released for civilian use. Only semi-automatics were. The automatic shoots about four hundred and fifty bullets per minute.

Only special forces have ever gotten their hands on a Daewoo.

“Is there a reason why you have Automatic weapons? Surely you aren’t expecting a blood bath?” I question, hearing the front door of the suite open and Niall’s boisterous laugh fill up the empty space.

That seems to make Harry disregard my question, using the boys as his scapegoat. A way out of the conversation without actually changing it.

“Time to plan, big boss.” Which makes me laugh, simply because I’ve called him boss man multiple times.

“Am I the big boss now because I got you to call me daddy?” I smirk, turning around and placing my hand against his chest, the red, chipping nail polish contrasting against his graphic white t-shirt that hugged him in all the right places. His pants are solid black and loose which makes me pout because I have a thing for pinching his bum whenever it’s visible.

He’s silent but his cheeks tell me everything that his mouth doesn’t.

London, England. Tuesday. 14:23.

Day before leaving for Monaco.

“Yeah, we’re leaving for Monte Carlo tomorrow,” I sip slowly at my coffee, my eyes scanning everyone who is inside of the cafe currently. My eyes occasionally look out of the window.

At this point I have convinced myself that the men in black are just a figment of my imagination. The day I first saw them was the anniversary of Kaia’s death.

It has been a few days since I last saw a sighting of them. It’d make sense considering my mind was all over the place after that.

It was all just shitty timing and I felt like I could breathe now.

Wren moves to place her sunglasses on top of her head, pushing her red hair back as she does so. “Tell me more about the boys. I know you’ve made some progress. You’ve been undercover for over a month,” She blows on her coffee as she speaks, bringing it to her lips once she’s finished.

“Well, Liam works at the hotel now for the big heist. I think I should be finished with them in about two months give or take.” As I say that, my breath hitches a bit.

This is just a mission. This is my job. The boys are starting to become my friends though, something I never anticipated when I took this mission on. It’s never happened before. Friends are foreign to me, as is love.

I have to admit that I have a soft spot for Niall.

A soft laugh falls from Wren’s lips as she looks to the side, tongue darting out to wet her lips before she returns her gaze to me. “Two months? You’re sounding oddly sure of yourself there, babe.” She hums, like she knows something I don’t.

Usually Wren’s intuition is better than mine, so honestly she’s probably right. She’s saved me more times than I like to admit. I’m a bit reckless when it comes to my job, not caring if I made it out alive, as long as everyone else escapes.

“I give it a bit longer than that. I know how anal you are about your missions, As. This is a massive one,” She continues on but I’ve since tuned her out.

“I’ve got to go,” I rush out, tossing down a five pound note onto the table before I’m quickly exiting the cafe, as if I never even set foot in it to begin with. One moment I was sitting there in front of Wren, discussing the mechanics of the practice heist and the next I needed to leave.

Something just didn’t feel right. Maybe I need to start trusting my own intuition.

Present Day. 13:35. Planning Heist with the boys.

Living room of Princess Grace Diamond Suite.

Louis pulls his fingers out of the Cheeto bag, popping one of them into his mouth to get the dust off of them. We were currently arguing about if the Cheeto dust was the best part or not, Louis’ was currently winning with Three to One.

The only person that’s disagreeing is Harry. Apparently he hates it when the cheeto dust sticks to his fingers, finding it inconvenient, especially if it gets wet.

I just roll my eyes and stick my hand into the bag, grabbing a cheeto to pop in my mouth as I gesture to the board where we’re studying the blue-prints of the hotel.

“Alright. We need to place weapons here, here, and here.” I speak once I swallow, licking the dust off of my fingers. I make sure to make eye contact with Harry as I do so, watching as his nose scrunches up in pure disgust as he looks away for a brief moment only to return his gaze to me a few seconds later.

“There’s two entrances to the grand hall, ballroom, whatever you want to call it. There’s also two emergency exits that aren’t listed. They’re for staff only.” I make sure to mark them next to the marks that I have left for areas that we can stash weapons, however I doubt we need to actually stash any weapons.

“Harry decided it was best to bring a small arsenal fit for a little army, I don’t know why.” I grumble, “Since we’re staying at the hotel, we’re already on the roster to be provided entry to the Auction. Realistically, we can just carry the weapons on us and stash the others in the car. Harry will be driving the car.”

I put designated driver under Harry’s name. “You’ll also accompany me inside. Louis will sit at the bar, Niall you’ll be a safe distance to the side to make sure the cameras don’t catch us. All of us will have a small laser near our face so that if we look directly into a camera, it won’t catch us. Much easier to do here than have Niall hack into them. It won’t be visible to the naked eye. Whether it be on a hair pin or a pair of glasses.” I explain, laying the small lasers down on the coffee table before the four boys. They seem to be at a loss for words.

“This is more intricate than anything we’ve ever done,” Zayn speaks up, glancing over at Harry. “Usually we just go guns blazing, no thought process. This makes me nervous.” Zayn huffs, picking up a pair of glasses to place them on his face. “I’ll take these glasses. Think they’ll go well with my suit. Where will I be?” He questions, eyes looking over the blueprints of the hotel.

“Zayn…” I breathe out, looking back to the blueprints to find where he will be best suited.

“Near the stage. We’ll have inner earpieces in so that we can communicate with each other. This won’t be under as much security as the main heist. Keep in mind this is just for practice. Don’t need anyone getting too excited here.” I huff, hearing Harry speak up before the boys.

“Astar,” He quips, turning the glasses around in his hands as he looks right at the red laser, tapping on it as if that was going to turn the damn thing on. He has the mental age of a toddler sometimes, I swear. How any of the boys have survived this far is beyond me.

“Enough talk about this heist. I’m bored already,” Harry sighs, setting the glasses down on the table once he figures out they need a small battery in order to be powered on. “Have you ever been on a yacht? Better yet, just walked around Monte Carlo in general?” He questions, looking up to meet by gaze.

I’m apprehensive at first, unsure of where he’s going with this but eventually I open my mouth to answer.

“Negative to both of those, inquisitive Styles.” My voice is full of confusion but instead of Harry speaking next, Niall does.

“Oh mate. You’ve got to take her on the Yacht.” Niall grins, his grin faltering just a bit whenever he sees Harry’s gaze. Niall then slowly lifts his arms up as if to say ‘I surrender.’

Harry turns to look back at me, pushing himself up off of the couch, collecting all of the food plates that came from room service to place them gently back on the cart that they came in on.

“I hope you don’t have anything planned tomorrow. I’ve reserved a few things for just the two of us. Wear something nice...” His voice is soft as he speaks, not making eye contact with me. “Please,” he adds on, still not meeting my gaze.

He’s nervous.

My stomach swoops dangerously as I turn to look at the board, doing anything to distract myself from making up scenarios in my head for what can possibly happen tomorrow.

I’ve never seen Harry nervous before, it’s a new sight. Foreign. Nervousness on Harry is foreign and I can’t tell if I like it or not.

I recap the marker that I was using on the board, setting it down before it dries out.

“You know,” Louis speaks up, glancing at the time on his watch before looking out the window. “Since we’re all here, I say we get a little tipsy and enjoy the pool. It is Monte Carlo.” He grins. “When will we have a chance to go for a swim back in muggy London?”

Harry’s left grumbling about how he didn’t pack a swimsuit, only outfits for the next three to four days which makes Zayn laugh.

“Ah, mate. Honestly, it doesn’t surprise me. However, you love showing your dick off so just get naked, no? It’s nothing we haven’t seen before.” Zayn hums, pulling out a pack of Marlboro reds, hitting the pack on the palm of his hand before he pulls one out and places it between his lips. “Want one?” He questions, offering the pack to me but I decline and watch as he passes one to Louis and then Harry.

Harry takes his time with the cigarette, placing it between his lips and cupping the end as if there’s air flow in the suite to cause the flame from the lighter to wither and go out.

News flash, there isn’t. Just the aircon but that isn’t strong enough. Harry just seems to love dramatics.

The flame ignites the second Harry flips the top of the Zippo lighter back, bringing it up to the cigarette. His chest slowly moves as he inhales, shutting the lighter before he leans his head back and exhales as if he’s exhaling everything from the days prior. He relaxes.

Harry then passes the lighter over to Louis who was about to light his with the white lighter. A look of confusion passes across Louis’ face and Harry just shrugs his shoulders, nodding his head towards me.

“Little Devil believes in conspiracies. She doesn’t like white lighters mate. Thinks we’re gonna die for using them,” He snorts out in response to Louis’ confusion. However, Louis doesn’t question it and instead pockets the white lighter to grab the metal Zippo lighter.

It’s so fucking unfair that they look attractive doing something I don’t find attractive.

“It’s not a conspiracy.” I refute, moving to sit down next to Harry. I bring my legs up to lay over his lap, exposing the gun that I have strapped to my thigh under the yellow sundress along with my favourite knife that still has a speck of Harry’s blood stained on it.

The memory attached to that singular, small speck of blood is something that I like.

“Multiple celebrities and just normal people have died with white lighters in their pockets,” I explain, watching as Niall shakes his head whenever Harry tries to pass the cigarette to him. Instead, he pulls a joint from behind his ear and places it between his lips.

Harry’s hand then comes down to rest on my knee, tracing small circles into it. The smile that grows on my lips is one that I can’t stop, moving to hide behind my hand as I watch the other boys and continue talking about the white lighters. “They’re bad fortune. Believe me or don’t believe me. You’ll never catch me in possession of a white lighter.” I breathe, moving to pluck the joint from between Niall’s lips and place it between mine.

“Oh, I don’t get a please or anything? You just steal my shite?” He huffs, giving a shake of his head as he grabs the beer that Louis has brought for everyone. I was too far gone in my own explanation about the white lighters that I didn’t even hear or see him go off to the kitchen to grab them.

I thank him nonetheless, passing the joint back to Niall as I then take Harry’s open beer. Before Harry even gets to take a sip from it, I’m stealing it from his grasp and bringing it up to my own lips, a small squeak leaving my throat whenever he gives my thigh a harsh squeeze. Harry’s nails bite at my skin, causing me to shift on the couch as I meet his eyes. They’re slightly darker than usual.

“Awe, a little flash of skin and you’re horny?” I question, jutting out my lower lip into a pout as I take another sip from the beer. “Also, your taste in beer is ass.” I’m quick to pass it back to Harry, making a slight face as my body tries to get comfortable. Eventually, I just say forget it and push myself up from the couch, leaning down to Niall’s level so that he can place the joint between my lips.

“Thanks, Titty Boy. Might just shove my tits in your face later as a proper thank you.” I grin, blowing the smoke out into his face as I make my way towards the spiral staircase that leads up to the second floor of our suite.

I’m alone in the bedroom, going through my stuff to try and find a bathing suit because I know I brought one. It is Monaco after all. A part of me hopes we’ll go to the beach at least once. I never get to have a proper vacation when I work at MI6. This is as close as I’ll probably ever get to one.

I move to start going through the weapons, holding up one of Harry’s bullets to the light because there’s an engraving on the side of one of them.

Etched onto every single bullet there’s a small HS. Then on one’s that don’t go to Harry’s favourite gun, they’re etched with DT, which I can only conclude goes to The Devil’s Tribe.

Is this for whoever finds the bullets? However, I remember that Harry usually uses hollow point bullets when it comes to bodies that are left behind. No shell casings are ever found and sometimes the bullets are even extracted so as to not leave evidence. So when does he use the ones that are engraved with his initials and the shortening of the Devils’ Tribe.

Everytime I find out something new, I seem to just be met with more questions rather than answers to said questions.

19:03 // Private Poolside of suite // T minus two days before practice heist

I’ve quickly decided that whenever I go undercover in MI6 after this, I’m requesting the best suite they have. We have our own butler, maid and bartender that just gave me one of the best martinis I’ve ever had. I made sure to tell them that they needn’t go easy on the alcohol. I want it to be heavy.

The bikini I have on is nothing too special, just plain black that pairs well with the tan that I’m sure to have once this little job is finished.

Niall is running towards the pool, tucking his legs to his chest as he jumps in. “CANNONFUCKINBALL’ MOVE!” He shouts, landing nearly ontop of Louis who gets out of the way at the last second.

The minute Niall’s head breaches the water, Louis’ is moving to quickly shove him back under and hold him there. “You’re an ass. You almost killed me. Was it worth it? Was it bloody worth it?” He shouts, not easing up even as Niall thrashes under the water.

Niall quickly sits up, gasping for breath and spitting out water once Louis releases him, moving to splash the man which ends in some being splashed on me.

I feel as if I’m babysitting all over again, but I’ve never been on a mission where I have actually had fun.

Harry moves to place his hand on the side of the pool, lifting himself up just a bit so that he’s leaning on his arms. “Are you afraid of the water?” He questions right as I finish off my second martini, feeling the alcohol sink into my veins and create the warmth I have grown familiar with.

Who needs people when alcohol provides you with the same warming effect?

“No. Now who’s asking all of the questions?” I retort, giving the man a look as I get out of the chair that I was previously laying in, walking over to where the stairs are but before I can even do so, Harry’s wet hand is wrapping around my ankle.

“Harry...I swear to fucking—” I’m cut off by him pulling me into the pool, having nearly brained myself on the ledge before actually hitting the water but somehow Harry manuevered me to where that was avoided.

I sputter a bit as I emerge, pushing my hair back as I move back to where I can actually touch the bottom of the pool as I look around at the boys. At this point, I’m still coughing up water, bringing my hand up to flip Harry off. “Your such a fucking ass.” I cough, hearing the boys laugh as Harry grows closer to me.

His hands grasp onto my waist, moving my back to where I’m trapped between his body and the side of the pool.

“Don’t be such a debbie downer,” He pouts, and really I think he has learned that I can never say no to him when he makes that face. Harry tilts his head to the side a bit, a piece of his hair falling right into his face as water drops from it and falls right onto my face.

His face is so close, to the point that I can feel his breath as he hovers over my lips. If I want to, I can lean forward and close the gap between us but all I can think about is Harry telling me that he doesn’t do kisses and I respect boundaries. I’m taking this at his pace.

However, would Harry ever really break his rules for me? Someone he’s only known for a month?

Rule number 1. He doesn’t let girls stay all night in his house, more specifically his room.

Yet, he let me stay all night and sleep in his room. That’s one rule broken and at that time we barely even knew each other.

Rule number 2. He doesn’t kiss people. He kisses Zayn, but that’s probably because he has enough trust for Zayn to last a lifetime.

Does he have those rules to protect himself? Is he scared of being hurt? Or is he protecting others because becoming involved with him is a possible death sentence?

“Oi!” Water is being splashed on us, causing Harry to jolt back and it tears me from my inner monologue. Louis splashes us once again, a grin on his face as Niall joins in and starts splashing us as well.

“Alright, Alright. Calm down.” Harry groans, moving in front of me so that I don’t get waterboarded by the copious amounts of water that are being slung our way. “I can’t have little devil drowning because you two want to choke us with the water.”

“What? You want to take her on a little d—” Before Niall can even finish his sentence, Harry is shoving water right back into his face and eventually holding him under the water like Louis did beforehand. I just shake my head and swim to the edge, smiling up at Zayn who is sitting on the edge with his just legs in.

“Hey,” I breathe out, the yelling in the background fading out as I talk to Zayn. Zayn just smiles at me, pulling the joint from between his lips to place it between mine and I don’t even question it before parting my lips for him. I inhale slowly, letting Zayn remove the joint as I exhale.

“Gotta say, love seeing your piercings through the swimsuit,” He mutters in true Zayn fashion.

My piercings stick through the swimsuit as the sopping wet fabric sticks to me, it doesn’t help that my nipples are usually always hard as well.

“Think you love anything that involves my boobs. Maybe not to the same degree that Niall does but…” I give a shrug of my shoulders, hoisting myself up by my upper body strength to move and sit down beside Zayn.

“What should I wear for tomorrow?” I question. Zayn is Harry’s best friend. If there’s anyone that knows exactly what Harry has planned, it’s him.

“A swim suit underneath whatever you feel comfortable in, but not like...relaxing at home comfortably. Just something that you’re comfortable wearing out. Something that makes you feel pretty,” He shrugs, turning to look down at me before looking out at the night sky.

“You’ll have fun. I think Harry is just baffled that you have never been on a yacht given what you do,” He continues, “You organise heists for people like us. Delinquents, Serial Killers, Whatever you want to call us yet you never went on any Yachts? He just thinks it’s crazy.” He chuckles, ashing the joint before he finishes it off and stubs it against the side of the pool, effectively putting it out.

Instead of answering, I changed the topic.

“Surprised you didn’t wu tang that just now. Harry will be disappointed,” I hum, looking back at the three boys that are now just floating on their backs and staring at the sky.

Without even thinking, I’m hopping back into the water, turning over so that I’m floating on my back to stare up at the sky and the only thing I can feel is complete and utter peace.

Peace and Happiness.

Two things I haven’t felt in years, and to know that I won’t have that comfort for long allows me to bask in it now for a little longer.

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