Achilles Heel

28. Astar - Run

This is part one of a triple. Enjoy! Kisses :)x

Earlier that night

I should start taking ‘expect the unexpected’ with more than a grain of salt, because I never expected Harry to bring me up to his room, allowing me to sleep there instead of a guest room or even the couch. I even offered to take one of the others so he doesn’t feel put out, but he insisted.

I’ve come to learn that arguing with Harry is like arguing with a brick wall. So, I let Harry lead me up to the second floor where his bedroom is.

Which is where I stand now, watching as Harry looks through his dresser drawers to find something for me to wear. He ends up handing me a pair of black boxer briefs and an oversized lilac jumper that looks as if it’ll fall to my knees. Not that I mind. He turns to give me my privacy, only turning around to take my dirty clothes from my outstretched hand and place them in the hamper for the maid to wash tomorrow. A maid that I have yet to meet. Now that I think about it, I’ve never seen any workers. It’s possible that I’ve just missed them.

Once I’m standing near the mirror in nothing but Harry’s clothes, I bring my forearm up to my face and lightly inhale just to see if the jumper smells like Harry. It does. Rich, musky tobacco and fresh vanilla. I’m swimming in it.

“Alright, are you ready for bed?” Harry questions, his voice breaking through the silence and distracting me from my thoughts. Although my mind doesn’t quieten at all, instead my thoughts run rampant as I notice that Harry hasn’t changed. His hair is still tied back into a bun and his rings are nowhere to be found. Still don’t know how I feel about that, his hands almost look naked in a way. I’ve grown used to seeing the gaudy rings every time I see him.

“Hey, you alright?” He asks whenever I fail to answer him, moving to place a hand up against my forehead. “You don’t have a fever or anything,” He grumbles, eyes wandering over every inch of my face before eventually settling on my eyes. His hands are on my waist, the touch light and subtle. I still have yet to answer him, just taking my lower lip between my teeth as I watch his eyes. There’s genuine worry lingering in them and I can’t pinpoint why. Is it because I have yet to give him an answer? Is it because I’m wounded? Or is there a reason that my mind isn’t comprehending?

“Yeah, yeah. Sorry,” I breathe out once my brain finally decides to function. The sweater Harry has given me creates sweater paws, the excess fabric bunching up at my wrists and covering my hands. “I’m going to go to bed now, are you coming as well or...” I drown off, gesturing back to the bed. Will I even get an answer? Or will he skirt around the question?

Harry just gives a shake of his head, offering me a small smile and one shit explanation.

“Just gonna spend some time with the boys. Promise we won’t be too loud,” The sides of his lips quirk up and even in just the small light that the moon provides, I can see his dimple digging into his cheek.

All I offer in response is a small nod of my head, walking over to where Harry’s bed is and pulling back the covers so that I can lay down. Here’s to hoping that I don’t actually fall asleep while pretending to be asleep.

-

An entire hour. It takes sixty minutes for Harry to finally disappear into his closet, which isn’t where I had originally expected him to go but at least I don’t have to wander around the house like a lost puppy now.

However, before he made his way into the closet I felt the soft touches. The way he pushed my hair off to the side. I felt the bed dip. I felt his eyes on me. Yet he didn’t say anything, and he sat there for three minutes.

I counted every minute, every second and every millisecond.

It’s a bad habit that I can’t seem to break but it’s come in handy more often than not.

I try not to look into what those little touches could possibly mean, knowing anything my mind comes up with will most likely be too far fetched.

My mind loves to overthink things and create false narratives.

Thankfully Harry’s bedroom doesn’t have cameras in it which makes this little task that much easier.

Within seconds I’m throwing the duvet off of my body, letting my feet hit the floor as I swing my legs over the side of the bed to get out. I stretch out my limbs, a small groan tumbling from my lips whenever my back cracks. “Can you be any fucking louder?” I huff to myself, giving a shake of my head as I try to figure out how I’m going to crack the pin pad that’s hidden behind Harry’s suits in his closet.

The easiest way to crack the code would be to find some tape but that would require me to ransack Harry’s room, something I don’t feel comfortable doing simply because he has little secrets about his life hidden throughout it. I’m here on a job, not to find out about Harry’s family and his past. I feel like I’d be overstepping in a way but that’s the only option I have.

After having a short-lived pep talk with myself, I decide that this is truly the only option that I have.

The first place I look is the nightstands, rummaging through them and setting stuff down gently on the bed.

Condoms, what a shocker. Lube. Another shocker. Bullets. A knife tucked into a sheath. A pack of Big Red gum. Which, gross. Cinnamon gum isn’t for me. Lastly, a pack of Marlboro cigarettes which I can only assume are Louis’, unless Harry also smokes cigarettes and he uses the gum to rid the taste of tobacco.

I make sure to put everything back just the way Harry had it before moving around to the other nightstand, pulling it open and going through the contents of it as well.

More condoms, a different size which actually does catch me by surprise. A locket necklace which I hesitate to pick up, just staring at it for a few moments before taking in the intricate design. I turn it in the light that the moon offers, far too afraid to turn on the lamps. Eventually, I press down on the release to open the locket. On one side there’s a small picture of a baby and on the other side a girl. The girl is the spitting image of Harry so I can only conclude it’s Gemma, Harry’s sister and the baby must be her son. Why is this hidden in the back of a nightstand?

Is he simply afraid to lose it, or afraid they’ll somehow become collateral damage if anyone were to steal it?

It’s more than obvious that I’m not supposed to see this so I gently place it back down in the nightstand, pushing it to the very back before I continue to go through the contents which is mostly trash. This time empty gum wrappers. Floss. Pens with Harry’s name on them. Cocky bastard. A disposable camera, which before I can even think twice, I roll the switch over and turn the camera around.

The flash lights up the room as I take a picture, making sure there’s a smile on my face as I do so. This film probably won’t be developed until I’m long gone. Will Harry keep the picture, or toss it in the trash?

I place the disposable camera back into the nightstand, shutting the drawer to do a complete three-sixty around Harry’s room.

The desk against the wall on the right side of the room brings me hope. There’s a MacBook laying on top along with a desk lamp and a few books. I quickly make my way over, making sure I don’t disturb much.

“Aha,” I grin, moving to grab the masking tape that sits near the books and tearing off two medium-sized strips just to be safe. It is quite dark and there’s a chance I could fuck this up. Lifting fingerprints with tape has never really been my forte, especially if there’s minimal light.

Once I have the two medium-sized strips of tape, I make my way over to the closet and walk in to where I remember the pin pad being. I use my elbow to push the suits to the side, revealing the said pin pad. The tape easily presses against the screen, my eyes searching for any air bubbles before I really press it in. I stick the other piece of tape to my leg, moving to gently pull the tape off of the screen. I then hold it up to the light, seeing exactly which numbers Harry repeatedly presses.

Only two numbers. Zero and six which makes my eyebrows furrow. It’s a four-digit passcode though.

Then it dawns on me.

This fucker made his passcode the devil’s number.

“I should’ve known,” I sigh, letting out a small puff of air as I type in 0666 into the pin pad. Access granted shows up in green before me, a door sliding open to reveal what I can clearly see is a hidden weapons room, my jaw falling open at all the guns and ammunition he has at his disposal.

I take a few minutes to just look at everything, letting my fingers ghost over one of the much larger guns. It’s imported from Russia, that much I can tell which only means Harry has ties with the Russian Mafia. It’s an ADS amphibious rifle, meaning it’s equipped with a grenade launcher. I’ve never seen one in person before. There are so many pros to this gun. It doesn’t get waterlogged. You can travel through water with it, reload it underwater, and launch grenades. It’s simply beautiful. You can fire up to 700 rounds of ammo per minute and I wonder if Harry’s ever even fired it. The barrel looks as clean as can be.

Is this new? One he possibly got from the recent drop?

Does he collect guns or do they all serve a purpose? Every time I learn something new about Harry I just end up with more questions. Either everything adds up or nothing adds up at all.

Harry makes my brain hurt. This mission makes my brain hurt. It was supposed to be simple, in and out. This is anything but.

I quickly get back to the task of trying to find Harry, my brow furrowing once I realise that he clearly isn’t in this room. That’s when I notice the cameras, letting out a small curse under my breath. “Oh for fucks sake,” I huff, deciding to just ignore them for now. If no one has come running yet, there probably isn’t anyone watching them.

There has to be another hidden pin pad somewhere, but the walls are clean. The counter in the middle isn’t though. There’s a weird cut out in the middle and I gently run my hand over it, watching as a pin pad slowly raises before me. “What the fuck,” I breathe, picking the piece of tape off of my leg and gently smoothing it over the screen.

I repeat the same process as last time, looking over the numbers. One, two, five. Four-digit code again. This is going to take a while to figure out.

It takes me nearly ten minutes until I finally figure it out after two fuck ups. I didn’t want to aim for a third in case it triggers a silent alarm. That’s the last thing I need. 1225.

Christmas Day. It has to be important to Harry for him to make that the passcode.

The hidden door doesn’t open where I expect it to, instead the counter before me opens up to reveal a dark descent down into the basement.

I can hear everything.

Groans, hell, cries of pain. I can hear Harry’s angry voice. Here’s to hoping none of Harry’s stairs are squeaky. I’m putting far too much faith in this.

Luckily, the stairs don’t creak. I hide behind the concrete column that separates the banister and the room. If Liam were to look towards the stairs, I’m dead. The light is dim enough though and I try my best to flatten myself against the column. I highly doubt it’s doing me any favours though, there aren’t many places to hide and this is probably one of the worst ideas I have ever had.

There’s no turning around now.

I take in a deep breath, nearly gagging as I do so because the smell of burning flesh fills my nostrils. My head moves to look at the centre of the room, my heart falling right to my stomach as I recognise who’s sitting there, rope tied around his hands and his ankles. There’s blood staining his cheek and his hair is in his eyes but I recognise him.

Rodney.

RodneyRodneyRodney.

Rodney was one of our very best Interrogative Officers. Rodney was the one who interrogated me when I first arrived at Military Intelligence Section 6. He practically took me under his wing at twenty and became a father figure. We’d go through rigorous training to make sure that if I were ever in a hostage situation or being severely tortured, I’d know how to dissociate and take myself somewhere different.

What the fuck has he gotten himself into and what does it have to do with Harry?

I slightly jump whenever two shrill beeps sound out in the basement, confusion gracing my face but I shake it off, far too focused on what’s unfolding before me to care.

Harry’s lips are against Rodney’s ear but Rodney is focused on me, letting me know that I have the world’s worst hiding spot right about now.

“Kiss my ass,” Rodney bites out through clenched teeth, moving to lay his head back against the chair so that his eyes are on the ceiling. Dissociate Rodney, come on. Take yourself to a better place.

I let my eyes focus on Rodney’s chest, noticing that there are a few cuts there that aren’t bleeding. That’s where the burnt flesh smell is coming from. There’s nothing I can do here. No distraction that I can cause to save Rodney.

There’s the chance that if I make myself known, Rodney is dead.

Given Harry’s known reputation though, Rodney was dead good as dead the second he got himself caught.

Rodney’s head comes back down to look at Harry, a smirk growing steadily on his lips as he opens his mouth to speak. “Thought it was public knowledge that MI6 has a most wanted list and Ivan is pretty far up there, no?” His voice is practically dripping with sarcasm and I can feel my heart pick up, gaze moving to Harry who’s grip on the knife has since tightened. His knuckles turning white. “Harry Edward Styles. Leader of the Devil’s Tribe. You think you’re so fucking untouchable don’t you?” Rodney won’t stop laughing. I know exactly what he’s doing and it makes panic seep down into my stomach.

Instead of Harry reacting though, he moves over to the metal tray and sets down the knife, using a washcloth to wipe off the blood which is what throws me for a loop. “You know...” Harry begins, tongue coming out to lick over his lips. “I didn’t expect my little devil to enjoy playing hide and seek so much.” His head is shaking from side to side and ice fills my insides. He’s talking to me.

How long has he known I was here? The entire time?

Then it dawns on me. The cameras. The two beeps. But why didn’t the two beeps sound before that? When I spent my sweet time in the weapons room? Confusion and panic are not a good combination. Panic for Rodney’s fate tonight, panic for being caught and confusion on why they have decided to speak up now.

I don’t make a sound or move, deciding to stay hidden behind the concrete column for now. I decide it’s best, even if I can feel a set of eyes on me and I know they belong to Liam. He’s the closest to me at that moment.

I don’t make an effort to look at him, instead keeping my eyes glued to Rodney because he’s opening his mouth to speak once again.

“Oh...Is that the next slut you’re fucking? Aren’t you known for that, Styles? Fucking a new girl every night?” That isn’t the Rodney I know. The Rodney that shares his sandwich with me when I forget to bring my lunch. The Rodney that always tightens my bulletproof vest because I tend to leave it a little too loose. The Rodney that kicks down doors because the last time I did my leg went through it. The Rodney that picked up my limp body and carried me out of a burning building. No, this isn’t Rodney.

“What did you just call her?” Harry breathes out, his tone being one of confusion but I can tell there’s a bit of anger underneath the thick confusion. “Fucking speak up you neanderthal.”

Harry’s hands come up to wrap around Rodney’s throat, his fingers pressing down on the points of his neck that will inevitably cut off his oxygen supply.

Rodney is struggling to breathe, I can tell. His eyes are stuck on the ceiling but regardless, he opens his mouth to speak once more. “I called her a fucking slut because that’s what she is,” he spits, the sound of his teeth gritting together making my insides curl. “Show her who you are, Harry. Is she gonna end up like me?” He questions, his face turning red. The more he speaks, the more oxygen he loses. I can feel my own breathing quicken, wanting nothing more than to run over and yank Harry back.

I’m frozen to my spot though because I know better. Once I get past Rodney’s behaviour, it finally clicks in on what he’s done.

It only clicks in after I see his lifeless body as it slumps over in the chair.

Rodney acted out as to not raise suspicion between the look we shared. He let himself be killed to protect me.

I don’t even get a chance to mourn him, hell, I won’t get a chance to ever properly mourn him until this is all over.

“Oh...Astar...” Harry breathes out, moving his gaze down to his feet before he leans his head back to look at the ceiling. His hands are no longer around Rodney’s neck. I don’t need him to look at me, there are tears in my eyes and how am I supposed to just explain those away?

“I think it would be in your best interest to run.”

What? My mind doesn’t catch up just yet, tilting my head to the side just a small bit before looking at him. My eyes are still focused on Rodney but eventually, they move to Harry.

The only problem is, he’s already looking right at me and his expression is one of pure anger.

His forehead has a little crease in it, his eyebrows are furrowed, his teeth keep running over one another. Every now and then his fists will clench and unclench.

“Run,” he breathes out, maintaining eye contact with me.

Don’t have to tell me twice.

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