Chapter 14

Harry’s POV:

 

            “How hard is it for you to keep a low profile?” Martin roared, agrivated. “Now look what you’ve done!”

 

            “People everywhere are asking who she is, Styles,” Bruce says. “Hundreds of websites already have theories that you two are dating.”

 

            “They’re not exactly wrong,” I bite my bottom lip.     

 

            “That’s besides the point,” Fred narrows his eyes at me – or well, at the webcam. “Fans are going crazy, and you have lost nearly over five thousand Twitter followers. Obviously, this girl is not good for your image.”

 

            My frowned, eyes burning holes in the laptop screen. “I don’t care if she’s good for my image or not,” I tell them. “I love Elena, that’s all there is to it.”

 

            “Love?” Robert scoffs. “You’re nineteen, kid. You don’t know what love is, not even close. So don’t go saying you love this girl when you don’t know.”

 

            “I know that I love her!” I nothing but shout. “You don’t know anything about us, so I suggest you stop jumping to your damn conclusions.”

 

            Bruce sighs. “Look, Harry, you might care for this girl more than you do for any other girl, but this has to stop. She’s not good for your image, like Fred said. You’re losing fans, and that isn’t the best thing for One Direction.”

 

            “So what the hell do you want me to do?” I snarl, completely and utterly in rage.          

 

            “You have to break up with her,” Martin says swiftly.

 

            And that’s when I lose it.

 

            “WHAT?!” I yell, causing even them to jump in their seats. “Are you fucking out of your mind?! I would never break up with Elena!”

 

            “It’s the only way to save your image,” Fred says, shaking his head.

 

            I shake my head. “No! We can keep it down low – not go out or anything. Just give us one more chance, please!”

 

            “Sorry, but we can’t,” Robert says, not looking the least bit apologetic. “We already gave you a chance, and look how that turned out. There’s no other way.”

 

            “I don’t fucking believe that,” I spat out, jaw clenching so hard that I feared my teeth would crack.

 

            “Look, Harry, we know it’s hard, but it’s the only way,” Bruce speaks up. “She can still be the photographer and hang around you guys, but we need to make the media believe that you’re still single.”

 

            “Why do I have to be the single one?” I exclaim. “Niall’s single too, you know! Everyone loves him! And what about Liam, Louis, and Zayn? They have girlfriends, why can’t I?”

 

            “We know, but you have always been the ladies’ man,” Martin says. “And we need to keep it that way. So in order to do that, you have to be single.”

 

            I glare at them through the laptop screen. “Honestly, is it your job to manage us or ruin our fucking lives?”

 

            “Watch it, Styles,” Robert says in a warning tone. “You’re lucky that we’re still keeping her as the tour photographer. This is us being nice just by keeping her on the damned tour.”

 

            My breathing hitched hearing his words. I don’t want to be the reason of as to why Elena got fired from the one big job she had. Instead of arguing, I let them speak. “Break up with the girl, Harry, or else you’re going to have us do something we’re gonna regret,” is all Bruce says before ending the Skype call.

 

            “Un-fucking-believable!” I yell out, taking the stupid laptop and throwing it across the room, having it hit hard against the wall and not caring that it’s probably broken.

 

            I stand up from the bed, pacing back and forth as both of my hands tangle themselves in my curly hair. I squeeze my eyes shut as I pace, taking fistful of my hair and tugging at them in frustration. The fast beating of my heart is all I hear against my chest, my breathing getting heavy after my failed attempts to calm myself down.

 

            The minute I heard the hotel bedroom door open, I swiveled around and froze when I saw that it was the one girl I needed to talk to. “Elena,” I say, my voice coming out as a whisper.

 

            “Harry?” she asks, confused. When her eyes go over to the broken laptop on the floor, they widen as she walks in. “What happened in here?”

 

            “Just a fall out with management,” I mutter, causing Elena to look back at me.

 

            “What?” she asks. “What happened?”    

 

            I bite my bottom lip, not knowing how to respond to her. Instead of racking my brain with possible ways to say this, my stupid mouth just blurts it out without a second thought. “We have to break up, Elena.”

 

            She visibly freezes, her blue eyes widening as they lock with my green ones. It seems like someone had pushed her, seeing as she had to take a step back to register what I had just said. “Wh- No,” she chokes. “I... We can’t! They can’t do that!”

 

            “I’m afraid they can,” I tell her quietly, not exactly happy about this either.

 

            “This can’t be happening,” Elena’s voice drops to a whisper as she plops on the edge of the bed, her elbows on her knees as she rests her head in her hands.

 

            I sit down next to her, swallowing the lump in my throat. “You still have the job as the photographer,” I tell her.

 

            Elena lifts her head to look at me with her blue, red rimmed eyes. “I don’t give a shit about the job right now, Harry. The fact that you and I have to break up is far more important.”

 

            A breath escapes my lips, and my left hand takes in her right one. “We’re gonna be fine. You can still stay, and we’ll just be... Friends.” The word sounded bitter in my mouth, knowing that Elena and I had to just be friends for all the wrong reasons.

 

            “I don’t wanna be just friends,” she muttered, looking down at her lap.

 

            “I know, babe,” I sigh. “But we have to, for now. Or else Management might just go too far with this.”

 

            Elena sighs, turning her head to look at me. Her eyebrows scrunch together slightly as she looks at me, as if she’s thinking about something. Before I could ask about her thoughts, Elena leaned in and pressed her soft lips to mine. I kissed her back, knowing exactly what she was doing. One last kiss before we go to being friends.

 

            When we pulled away, Elena gave me a small smile. “So friends.”  

 

            I nod, returning her equally as small smile. “Friends.”

 

            Though never in my life did I think I’d find such bitter meaning in that one word.

 

************

 

Elena’s POV:

 

Angry. Confused. Sad. Depressed. Hurt. Want. That’s all I was feeling right now. It was like my emotions were on over-drive, and it had nothing to do with me having the flu. They broke us up, not even caring about how either of us felt about it. I’ve heard that the boys’ Management were dicks, but come on, breaking up a couple? That’s going too far, in my book.

 

When the rest of the boys found out that we had to break up, they were all angry as well, to say the least. But angry or not, we can’t do anything about it. In this case, Modest! Management calls the shots. When Melody found out, she was in rage, yelling about how the management was just being ridiculously stupid and that they were ‘big bags of cunts.’

 

Personally I think her and Niall talk way too much. I’ve seen the two talk a lot on Skype or texting.

 

Anyway.

 

It had been three days since Harry and I were forced to stay friends, and he had been acting a bit strange lately. He kept to himself, and wouldn’t even look my way. The two of us no longer shared hotel rooms anymore, so I asked Louis if he knew anything about Harry that I didn’t. But all he said was that I’d find out soon enough – and he seemed pretty upset over it. I didn’t know what Louis was talking about, and I was starting to get impatient about it.

 

My flu was dying down as well. I would throw up occasionally, and my throat was a bit sore along with my stuffy nose. But I didn’t get those extremely high fevers or painful headaches anymore. Basically that was the only good thing that happened to me in the past few days. Otherwise, everything else was basically crap.

 

I sniffled slightly – because of the flu – as I walked into the arena. We were currently in Amsterdam, and it was time for the boys’ sound check that I had to photograph. As I got back stage to where the boys were, they all turned around to greet me.

 

“Elena!” they all yelled, causing me to jump. It was only Liam, Niall, Zayn, and Louis. No sign on Harry anywhere.

 

“Hey, guys,” I say, a bit confused. “What’s wrong? You look worried?” Then I ask, “Where’s Harry?”

 

“Elena...” Liam begins. “Please don’t freak out.”

 

“Why would I freak out?” I ask, furrowning my eyebrows. Now they have gotten me even more confused than before.

 

Before any of them could answer, the clicking of heels was heard. I frowned as the boys froze, looking at each other. A girl’s laughter was heard, and I turned around to see where it was coming from. And when I did, I really wish I hadn’t.

 

Harry was walking in, chuckling slightly. But that’s not what shocked me. It was the blonde haired, blue eyed girl that he was linking arms and laughing along with. The two of them seemed to be enjoying each other’s company, causing a pang in my chest. What the hell was Harry even doing with her?

 

“That’s Tanya,” Louis’s voice whispers in my ear. “Harry’s new fake girlfriend.”

 

Now I’m thinking the flu sounds like God’s gift to Earth.