Chapter 48

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She needed to be protected, that was one of two things he knew.

Money could protect her far better than he ever could. That was the other thing he knew; for sure.

"I've decided to help you."

He shut his eyes and braced himself, knowing Tomlinson would laugh on the other end of the phone; he believed Harry had no choice. That was because he didn't know Harry.

"Really? I thought we established that you didn't have a choice in the matter."

He ignored the predictable response, biting his tongue so as not to say anything too rude or disrespectful and tip his hand.

"But I have a few conditions...things I need to happen before I can do this job."

"I'm listening."

He sighed silently and prepared to make his demands; one of the many drawbacks of not being on h any more was that he was now apprehensive about things. Cautious even. He did not relish having anxiety or nerves about what he said; he was used to not giving a fuck.

"Alright then. I want a three hundred thousand pound payoff when the job is done. One hundred and fifty thousand now and the rest when I deliver the book."

"Are you fucking joking?" Tomlinson asked between gasps for air as he laughed. "I'm not giving you that much to get me a fucking address book."

The fee was absolutely astounding and quite absurd, but Harry was certain that asking for anything less would prove futile and shortsighted; if Tomlinson agreed to the fee then fine, but in all likely hood he would at least be willing to negotiate.

And either way in the end enough money would be had to keep the girl safe and then some.

Win win.

"It's non negotiable."

Harry lied through his teeth and winked at Zayn, who sat speechless on the sofa.

"That hit must have scrambled your brain."

Tomlinson quipped, and Harry noted that his tone was markedly less mocking than it had been a moment ago.

And this made Harry very happy indeed, and set the wheels of his mind turning, and made his manipulative nature kick into full gear.

"My mind is clear." He leaned against the wall and winked at Zayn, who now sat up as he watched and listened from the couch with an intensely curious look on his face. "I've realized that you aren't the only person interested in The Wolf and his contacts...and once I have the book in my possession, what's to stop me from giving it to the highest bidder?" He almost laughed at the silence now on the other end of the phone; he had this man's attention, he dared not let it go to waste. "Now you've said - and you are quite right - that I'm the only person who can get into and out of The Wolf's den without being detected. That's even more true now that I've got 'the key'."

"Fuck you. You said it yourself; you'd never use her."

"Who's idea do you think the money was?"

It was a lie that dawned on him so suddenly and conveniently he had no moment to think or hesitate before speaking it. But he was glad to have thought and said it; it played right into his hand.

"So if I give you the money she'll help?"

"Those are the terms. Betrayal doesn't come cheap."

A silence on the other end of the phone lingers and is broken only by heavy exhales of breath every now and then, as Tomlinson tried and failed to come up with a way around the payoff.

H. A Harry Styles A.U.Where stories live. Discover now