Chapter 42 There's Always a Catch

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Chapter 42

*Claudia's POV*

"You're honestly saying that a T-Rex could beat King Kong in a fight to the death?" I shook my head at Harry.

"Well duh," he shook his head back at me, making his curls bounce around.

"Okay, what about a T-Rex or Simon Cowell?"

"Simon. Definitely Simon."

I laughed, resting my head on his shoulder. "This is nice. I feel so...free. Like there's nothing in this world that can hurt me."

"That's how you should always feel."

"Do you always feel like that?"

"Not always. Being in a band is so stressful. I'm never home. When I got shipped off on our first tour, I wasn't ready to live away from home basically full time. I was still a kid. I needed my family."

"You were forced to grow up too quickly. Trust me, I know how that feels."

"Have you heard from your dad?"

I tried to look as if that question hadn't taken me aback. My dad was still a sore spot. "No. And I doubt I ever will. I used to wish that he would come back but now I don't think I could ever forgive him."

"I felt like that for a long time after my parents got divorced. I get what you mean."

There was a moment of silence before I finally asked what I had wanted to ask all afternoon. "What's going to happen...to us...when I go back to New York?"

"Zayn won't send you away. You're his sister and he loves you."

"Yes he will. He'll do anything to "protect" me. You saw how crazy he was acting this morning. He will send me to the ends of the earth to keep me away from you. Heck, if there was a spaceship leaving for Mars he'd put me on that. There's no stopping him when he sets his mind to something."

Harry sighed deeply. "Well we'll stay together, of course. He wants us to break up, so we'll do the opposite of that."

"But you'll be on the road with millions of screaming girls throwing themselves at you."

"I would never date one of those screaming girls."

"What about celebrities? Taylor Swift, Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez. They'd all date you in an instant."

"Maybe so, but I'll just tell them that I'm not available because I am taken by the most amazing girl on the planet."

"I love you so much," I said, kissing him.

"I love you, too."

***

**Harry's POV**

"Okay, Claudette, go get your stuff together. Your plane leaves early tomorrow morning. I figure there's no point in making you adjust to the time difference twice; might as well get you back to New York before you get used to London time," Zayn said about 5 minutes after we got home from Hawaii.

"Thanks," Claud replied coldly, stalking up the stairs and out of sight.

"How can you be so cruel?!" I shouted at him the second she was out of earshot.

"You're the reason she's leaving! If you would just back off, she could stay, but no, it's all about what you want!" Zayn retaliated.

"You know what? I'm not going to scream at you about this. Why don't we talk this out?"

"It's too late to talk things out, Harry."

"No it's not! So sit down and be a man and talk! This isn't gonna be solved by a screaming match."

He reluctantly sat down at the table across from me, not making eye contact.

"Zayn, tell me exactly why you don't want me to date your sister."

He scoffed. "Why would I?"

"Why wouldn't you?"

"You're a player, Harry. You break the heart of every girl you date. You don't respect women. You think of them as property; objects; things to show off to you friends. As soon as you've had enough with Claudia you're just going to throw her away like trash."

I had to admit, that stung. "That's complete rubbish! I will never break up with Claud because I love her. So, so much. I had reasonable explanations to break up with all of those other girls. I'm nothing like I used to be, anyway. I don't want to date anyone but Claud. And even if you don't think I shoud date your sister, why should you send her across the world?"

"I've tried everything else."

"You could try listening to me," Claud appeared in the doorway.

"You're not listening to me," Zayn protested.

"That's because you're not the boss of me. I'm perfectly capable of taking care of myself, Zayn."

"I know you are. I just want you to be happy and-"

"But Harry makes me happy! He would do anything for me. I thought you agreed to stop controlling my life. I can make my own decisions. He's your best friend."

I saw Zayn falter and sigh.

"I'm willing to forget this if you are," she said hopefully.

"You can date whoever you want," Zayn said, dragging each word out, as if it took him extreme effort to say it.

Claud hugged him and thanked him over and over, but I waited. I knew Zayn. There was always a catch.

"But," he said. There it was, "you still have to go back to New York."

Claud's face fell. She backed away from him.

"If he really loves you, he'll make it work, even from hundreds of miles away," he said.

She walked over to me, calm as ever. "We'll stay together."

"Of course," I assured her confidently. I had been there, though. Long distance relationships sucked, and as much as you promised each other that you would stay together, it still almost never worked out.

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