Achilles Heel

25. Astar - Taylor's version

This is PART 2 of a double update. If you haven’t read chapter 24 about the heist yet, I would go back and read that before diving into this chapter. Enjoy. <3

“Now is probably a good time to mention that I’ve never driven a getaway car?”

It comes out as more of a question and I swear that my heart drops down to my ass.

That’s when the first shot is fired, hitting the back of the car and causing Harry to swerve on the road. That’s when I realise that all of them look nervous. None of them have ever been in a getaway car before. Which confuses me because how the fuck are they getting away from their crime scenes then? Bank robberies? The massive cargo shipment that they take? None of it makes sense and the panic is slowly starting to seep deep in my chest again.

“What the fuck did you just say?” I breathe out, having to force it out before I get sick all over the back floorboard of the car.

Harry doesn’t answer me. In fact, he just continuously looks between the side view mirrors and the rear view. This is going to be a lot more than I signed up for.

“You couldn’t have mentioned that before...I don’t know. I fucking assigned you the task?” I spit, lifting up my dress to grab the Desert Eagle off of my thigh. I check to make sure it’s fully loaded before switching the safety off right as I pull back the slide to bring a bullet forward into the chamber.

This seems to spur the others into motion, breaking them from their stupor as each of them pull out a weapon and the windows are rolled all the way down along with the roof for me since I’m not near a window.

“If you kill us, Styles...I won’t hesitate to cut your precious dick off in the afterlife. Don’t try me,” I grit out, the anger replacing the panic easily because now I have something I’m familiar with. Car chases. Shooting. I didn’t want to get blood on my hands during this heist but now it’s inevitable since people seem to just love a good old fashioned car chase.

Harry presses down on the switch near the door panel, making the sunroof slowly roll back to unveil well...me.

The second I emerge from the roof, I place both hands on the grip of my gun making sure the front sight aligns with the tire of the car that is closest to us before I fire. The bullet punctures the tire and the car loses control almost immediately, running off of the long stretch of road before it flips over twice and ends up landing on its back. That leaves us with three cars but we still have far too many guns on us.

We’re being shot at from every angle yet we have yet to be fatally hit. A part of me is thankful that beforehand I made sure Harry got a car that was custom built to be able to take the impact of bullets and make them ricochet. I can see the sparks fly off of the sides of the car as the bullets make an impact but only end up bouncing back.

Harry is swerving all over the road, nearly hitting one of the other black SUV’s when they manage to get right up next to us. “Fuck. Zayn cover for me,” I breathe out, having Zayn take over with shooting as I duck back into the car. “Harry, get out of the driver’s seat right this instant. Put cruise control on so it goes the same speed and switches spots with me. Louis, control the wheel,”

This only makes Harry’s eyes grow impossibly wider than they were before. He’s panicking. At this point, I’m the glue that’s holding this entire fucking thing together.

“Move!” I rush, hearing another few bullets ricochet off of the car. Three cars are still chasing us. We’ve barely made any fucking progress and Louis is fiddling with the radio as he holds onto the steering wheel. I can’t let myself think too much about how they have never been in a getaway car too much yet. There’s far too much happening now for my mind to wander.

I quickly climb over the centre console, watching as Harry is quick to trade spots with me so that I’m now sitting in the driver’s seat and he’s sitting between Zayn and Niall. Zayn is reloading his gun, changing out the magazine for a new one as his head sticks out of the window to resume shooting at the SUV. He manages to shoot right through the front windshield of one of them which sends it off of the road. Two down. Two more to go.

Harry has since calmed down since switching spots, gaining enough courage to push himself up to start shooting at the SUV’s from the lowered sunroof on our car.

“Be careful!” I yell out, not wanting to deal with a gunshot wound at this moment. That’s the last thing I fucking need. I remove the car from cruise control for the briefest of moments, switching the gears to go faster before I put the car in cruise control once more so that it’ll go at a faster constant speed and I don’t have to worry about pressing the gas.

“Louis, your job is the steering wheel. Do I make myself clear?” I question, feeling a bead of sweat trickle down my forehead. “Fucking answer me. We don’t have time to dick around,” I breathe, watching as Louis quickly nods his head with wide eyes. With this, I’m turning around in the seat and sticking my head out of the window to start shooting at the remaining two cars. They’re gaining speed and fast. I don’t understand how they found out so fucking quick. It was maybe less than two minutes before we escaped.

“If a man talks shit then I owe him nothing...”

The sound of Taylor Swift fills the inside of the car, the volume being turned up as the deep bass shakes the rearview mirror. Of all things for Louis to pick, this is one of the last things I would have expected.

I briefly pull my head back inside of the car to look at Louis’, seeing the man jolt his head to the side and wiggle his body as if he’s replicating something he’s seen before. Some sort of dance move. Then when the beat comes to a certain point, specifically after Taylor sings ‘It just felt so good...’ Louis’ starts to lift his shoulders up and down to the beat, moving from side to side as the beat builds.

He’s having an entire concert by himself whilst we’re in the middle of a shootout and a car chase.

I might just castrate him.

“Is this Taylor’s Version?” I question, narrowing my eyes at the man who seems caught off guard and a bit upset that I’ve stopped his little jam session. He checks before slowly shaking his head and my eyes widen slightly.

“Fucking change it then you imbecile?” I give a shake of my head that’s dripping with disappointment. An all too familiar beat fills the car, Highway to Hell by AC/DC filling it up.

I sink back into the seat for just the briefest of moments, doing something that’s risky but will give us better access to the other two vehicles. I remove the car from cruise control, shifting the gears before I turn the steering wheel all the way to the right so that we drift. The tires make the loudest screeching noise, smoke emitting from them before I shift the gear down into reverse.

My foot pushes the gas pedal all the way down, tires spinning and creating skid marks on the pavement as I notice just how many people are in the two remaining cars since we have a view of them now.

There are two men in each SUV, in black three-piece suits. No doubt they work for the government here and were notified of the heist. I just don’t understand how they found us this quickly.

Nothing makes sense about this entire situation.

I’m still confused on why Harry stalled for over a minute before he started driving away from the hotel. Nothing is making fucking sense to me anymore but I don’t have time to question how everything seemed to fall apart.

I move to stick my head back out of the window once I put the car back into cruise control, seeing that in the time that I was preoccupied with Louis, either Niall, Zayn or Harry managed to get another one of the cars to crash into a guard railing.

This leaves us with one SUV left to take down and it seems to be the hardest out of the four. I move to aim right at the gas tank but right as I pull the trigger my gun jams, a curse tumbling from my lips as I quickly take it apart without wasting a second. It takes twenty-two seconds. A new record. The second it’s unjammed, I toss the useless bullet to the side before I’m rebuilding it and shoving the magazine into the bottom. I make sure it clicks, the bullet loading into the chamber as I slide it back.

A searing hot pain tears through my shoulder as I aim at the gas tank, hissing slightly. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that I’ve been shot. I ignore it, for now, knowing that if I focus on it too much that the pain will only end up spreading. Now I’m just pissed off.

What I don’t realise is that the bullet went straight through my shoulder and lodged itself near Louis’ neck.

Niall is the first to notice, cursing under his breath as he quickly removes his blazer to pull off his undershirt, shoving it right up against Louis’ neck to soak up any and all blood. Louis adds pressure to it, wincing slightly as he weakly tells Niall that he’s fine. The bullet was stuck and thankfully it wasn’t too deep that it hit anything important.

Regardless of being shut, Louis’ is drumming his free hand against the dashboard as he sings along to AC/DC, eyes slipping shut as he does so.

I finally manage to hit the gas tank, firing about four bullets into it before it finally catches onto a spark and they have to pull off to the side. I don’t hesitate before lowering myself back into the car, moving to turn the goddamn radio off. There’s a pounding in my head and the pain in my shoulder only seems to intensify.

This could have been fucking avoided. Why didn’t Harry fucking drive? Why didn’t he have the car idling before we got into it? Surely he isn’t that dumb right?

Right?

I swallow down the rocks that have made their home in the pit of my throat, letting them sink down into my stomach and let down their anchor there. It’s like they’re cinder blocks, weighing me down and making my stomach waver in a way that makes me gag.

The sweat trickles down my forehead quickly as I shift the car into gear once again, removing it from cruise control as I floor it, turning around sharply before I just barely make a sharp right turn. The tires leave skid marks once again, the pavement turning into a dirt road as the tires kick the dirt up behind us from how fast I’m going. I need to get as far away from the scene that I can. We left a trail of destruction.

My vision unfocuses a bit before coming into focus again, the pain shooting through my shoulder and down my arm as I drive. That’s when I notice the blood that stains not only my dress but is covering nearly the entirety of my arm.

A hand makes contact with my shoulder, a small groan tumbling from my lips as Harry adds pressure to the wound to try and stop the bleeding but it’s a through and through shot. He can’t reach the back from where he’s sitting.

“Pull over,” He breathes out and I quickly shake my head, glancing up at him through the rearview mirror.
The second our eyes meet, I swear my breath hitches. Just one look and he makes my knees weak.

“No. You aren’t making any decisions from here on out. Do I make myself clear?” My voice isn’t as strong as before but I make sure I punctuate everything, needing to get my point across because I’m not pulling over until we’re near the fucking landing strip.

“You’re losing too much fucking blood, Astar. Don’t make me force you to crash into a fucking tree because I will.” His voice is harsh, glancing off to Louis which makes my gaze turn to him and that’s when I notice that he’s been hit.

For a neck wound, it seems to have stopped bleeding which is good. The hard part will be removing the bullet. There are far too many important arteries in the area that the bullet has made its home. I wonder if Louis’ would be mad if we just left it there and sewed it up.

Tons of people live with bullets in their head and various other parts of their body. Places where they’re too dangerous to remove in fear that it’ll do more damage than good.

This is one of those situations.

I turn my gaze back to the dirt road, feeling the hot and cold flashes start. I mutter curses under my breath, making sure I no longer see the smoke from the vehicle that blew up in the rearview mirror. I slowly pull off of the road, driving a little far out in case anyone drives by.

The last thing we need is witnesses. I’m not telling Jesse this whole thing went to shit. He just needs to know that we got in and out with the necklace.

“Get out of the fucking car, Astar,” Harry speaks, refusing the let go of the grip he has on my shoulder. The shirt he had on under his blazer is what is attached to my shoulder but I can tell that it is soaked with my blood.

I shift the car into park, letting out a small whimper as I do so because the adrenaline is starting to wear off and I can feel every little thing. The bullet tore right through the tendons in my shoulder.

Lifting my shoulder is a task that is damn near impossible at this point, I let out a shaky breath as Harry briefly lets go of my shoulder just so he can get out of the car.

However, I’m having none of it and I open the door myself.

“What the fuck was that?” I breathe out once it’s just Harry and I. The others are attending to Louis, making sure that his wound genuinely has stopped bleeding and that he wasn’t coughing up blood.

Harry doesn’t answer my question, instead, he steps towards me and gestures to my shoulder. I bring my good arm up, putting my hand up in a way that tells him to stop. He just steps forward again until my hand presses firmly against his chest.

“No. My shoulder is fine,” I lie even if I know that he very clearly isn’t blind and can see that my shoulder is in fact not fine. There’s blood sliding down to the tips of my fingers, dripping onto the sand below our feet and tainting it a dark red colour. If I were to move the right way I could make a smiley face if I wanted to.

“Don’t fucking touch me. What was that, Harry? You don’t know how to drive a fucking getaway car?” I yell, taking another step back to let him know that I’m being serious. I’m not taking help from any of them until I get an answer as to why this entire thing went to shit. It was perfect until it wasn’t.

“What do you want from me, Astar? We never drive getaway cars! I don’t know what else you fucking want!” And now he’s yelling, the sound getting lost deep in the barren land that we’re standing on. I can tell we’re close to the private tarmac where Harry’s jet is waiting for us.

I didn’t have to pull over. I know for a fact that I could have made it to the jet, however, the way I stagger slightly on my feet seems to tell a different story.

I refuse to tell Harry that he’s right.

"What does that mean, Harry?” I reiterate, wording the question differently to see if it clicks in his skull that I want to know how and why he has never driven in a getaway car.

Harry doesn’t answer because of fucking course he doesn’t. He just tilts his head to the side a bit, moving to add pressure to my shoulder once again as his hand curls around it.

“No. Don’t fucking do that. I deserve an answer, Harry. Don’t just give me a--”

The first thing I feel is his hand drop from my shoulder, coming to rest on my cheek. His hand is wet and warm with my blood, tainting my cheek with my own blood. There’s definitely something to read about that but my mind short circuits. His lips are flush against mine, my shoulders dropping and all tension seems to leave my body.

My knees buckle underneath me from the pain as my lips fall open, hands coming up to grip Harry for support. His other hand comes to grip onto my waist, slowly pulling back from the kiss but not far enough that we completely detach. His lips still ghost over mine enough that I can smell the champagne on his breath from earlier.

How long has it even been? I can tell that the sun is starting to set now.

“You talk too much, Little devil,” He chuckles, moving the hand that now has my dry blood on it to push a stray piece of hair back behind my ear since it fell loose from my pony. I know the wind is the culprit for that happening. I probably look a fucking mess. Tear tracks are no doubt on my cheeks. My bottom lip wobbles as I move to look up at the sky. My hair is definitely frizzy and probably has blood in it. My dress is ruined from the blood that is still leaking but not as much from before.

Yet, Harry still thought I was pretty enough that he wanted to kiss me.

He fucking kissed me. He broke another one of his rules. Now that I have had a taste, I don’t think I’ll be able to stop.

Harry leans forward so that the distance between us disappears once more, his lips pressing against mine as he moves me to where my back is being pressed flush up against the car. He slowly lowers me down onto the sand, pulling back once he has me where I don’t have to stand.

The kiss was a distraction to get me to listen to him but I don’t even have enough strength to be mad at him.

Now I’m just exhausted.

“Hey,” He whispers, placing his forefinger and thumb on my jaw to gently shake my head from side to side. My eyes flicker back open, completely unaware that I even closed them in the first place. “There’s those pretty brown eyes,” He grins, moving to place a gentle kiss on my forehead.

“Judging by the entry of the bullet, I think it bruised your rib cage, darling.” He whispers, voice softer than I have ever heard it before. Every touch he lays on my skin is gentle, not wanting to risk hurting me more than I already am.

“I’ll be right back. I promise. You better keep those pretty eyes open. I know how much you like the sunset and how much you like the stars even more,” He warns, pointing his finger at me before he disappears behind the car. I can hear a click, meaning the boot has been opened.

This gives me a chance to look at the state of the car and it’s in shit condition, to say the least. It’s littered with dents and bullets that lodged themselves into the frame. There’s no fixing this.

All I can think about is how all of this could have been avoided.

“Ah..” Harry’s voice tears me from my thoughts. “I thought I told you to keep those pretty little eyes open,” He tsks, clicking his tongue up against the roof of his mouth as he kneels down in front of me.

“I’m tired, H,” I whisper, tongue darting out to add a bit of moisture to my lips since they’re dry. I can feel it.

“I know, baby. I know.” He whispers.

Baby.

Did I hear that right?

I dismiss it as my mind starting to make things up. I have lost quite a bit of blood after all. There’s a good chance I won’t remember some of this and that’s probably for the best.

That’s probably what Harry is also banking on. My loss of memory from the blood that I’m losing.

“Think a little story will keep that mind of yours awake?” He questions, placing something down in front of him before a click can be heard along with the sound of paper crinkling. A first aid kit.

“This is gonna burn,” He grumbles, moving to remove the shirt from the bullet wound only to pour what I can only assume is alcohol onto it which immediately wakes me up and has me jolting forward with as much energy as I can muster.

"Fuck,” I bite out between my teeth, shoulders rolling back which only makes the pain worse but at this point, it’s a burning sensation that’s turning into one that feels numb. I’ve become numb to the pain. That’s how overwhelming it is. Usually, I’m good with pain.

“Alright, let me begin this story before you use the rest of your energy to punch me.” He grumbles, leaning me back against the car as he starts to put gauze over the bullet wound.

“I started doing petty crimes when I was younger with Zayn,” he admits, making sure that the tape he applies to the gauze is pulled tight so that it creates pressure to stop the blood flow. “We started with drawing graffiti on random abandoned buildings to boxcars.” He chuckles, a fond look on his face as he recalls the memories.

“The sheriff had it out for us from the get-go so one day we snuck into his yard. I know, don’t give me that look,” He warns, tilting his head a bit at me before he returns to the task at hand. “We snuck into his yard and drew graffiti dicks on his patrol car. They were pretty realistic too. Had veins, the balls had a bit of hair on them. Even drew cum dripping from the head because we might as well go all out you know?” He snickers, giving a shake of his head as he briefly looks into the car. I can only assume to check on Louis.

A look of relief crosses his features before he returns to me once more. “We weren’t very smart though because everyone knew we were the one that did the graffiti. The very next day we were arrested and put into juvenile detention. Probably should’ve thought that one through if I’m being honest but that record doesn’t exist anymore,” He whispers, looking up to meet my eyes which have nearly fallen shut once again.

“You’re gonna be okay, Astar,” he grumbles, bringing his lips to my temple once more. His lips linger there and I can’t muster up enough energy to thank him so instead, I just lean into the touch.

For once in my life, I’m hoping that I remember this, although life has never been kind to me.

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