No Hope

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Harry's POV
Mus, Carter and I, enter the dining room together, and all heads immediately turn to face us.
"We were just waiting for you." A man says, pulling out the chair beside him.
"Sorry, Dad, but I was in the shower." Mus says, making her way toward the seat that her father pulled out for her. I notice that the seat beside Mus' is empty. Hastily, I take a seat on it. Carter is typing something on his phone, so he doesn't notice what just happened. I keep my eyes trailed on him, wanting to watch his reaction when he sees our seating arrangement. Now the only other empty place is opposite Mus. After a second, or so, Carter lifts his head up from the phone screen, his eyes landing on Mus and I. Frowning, Carter strides over to the other side of the table and takes the empty seat. There's a flash of anger in his eyes. However, he just clears his throat and smiles at Mus' dad. Wow, the guy's great at concealing his emotions, I'm impressed.
"Mus, who is this young man?" Mus' dad asks her, grabbing my attention. His eyes are trained on me and I realize that he is talking about me.
"He's my...friend," Mus says. I smile at her father, and he nods his head, smiling back at me.
"A pleasure to meet you. When'd you arrive?"
"Today, in fact. My name's Harry, by the way." I introduce myself.
"I'm Harrison," he says.
"Nice to meet you."
"Well, dig in, then!" Harrison exclaims, letting out a hearty laugh. He gestures toward the table covered with an assortment of dishes and we all dig in. Harrison has pepper-colored hair, and a light stubble tracing his jawline. Honestly, to me, he looks quite old. I mean, I've seen Mus' mum and she looks young for her age. However, Mus' dad seems aged. He has thin lips that he keeps pursed, except for when he's talking, or laughing. Harrison has frown lines creasing his forehead and hollow dark circles underneath his eyes, but they don't look like sleep-deprived dark circles; it seems like he takes a lot of stress. My step-father set up his new company two years ago and in that year he developed some serious dark circles, not from lack of sleep, but stress and workload. So clearly, Mus' dad is a hard-worker.
"What do you do, Harry?" Harrison asks, after a while.
"I'm in a band, One Direction." I say, wiping the corners of my mouth with the white napkin that was placed beside my plate. On a normal day, I wouldn't be acting like such a diva. However, I want to make an impression on Mus' dad - a good one. "I've also done a bit of acting, and some modelling."
"Oh, don't be so humble, Harry!" Kate says, flicking her wrist. "He is such a huge internet sensation and he's ranked as one of the most successful men in the world. After all, he is so talented." Harrison smiles at the both of us.
"Well, don't be humble, Harry. If you're successful own up to it because I can tell you this, it isn't something to be ashamed of." Harrison chuckles heartily, and I join in.
"Yes, Sir." I mumble, just as I feel something soft brush my leg.
"Oh, please! You're too stiff, call me Harrison." I nod my head, as I take a bite of the salad. I shake my leg to get whatever the heck is touching it off. The touching stops for a bit, and then it resumes. This time, I move my chair back slightly, and turn my head to see what the heck is touching me. Carter's foot. I roll my eyes, as he rubs his foot up and down my leg. He's wearing black socks that are super soft, and ticklish. But why the fuck...Oh, he thinks this is Mus' leg! The ass. Clearing my throat, I straighten up and resume eating. Harrison is talking to a man who's sitting at the other side of the table, so he's distracted. Should I tell Carter that he's performing a sexual act with me? Nah, let's leave it. But I am feeling uncomfortable. To be honest, being rubbed like that, by a man, isn't the best feeling in the world. Especially, cause I'm straight. Had I been gay...then I would've asked for more. I shake my head, ridding myself of these dirty thoughts. Suddenly, Harrison gets up and excuses himself, leaving the rest of us at the table. Now's the chance. I lean forward, toward Carter and beckon for him to lean closer as well. He obliges, raising an eyebrow.
"That's my leg," I whisper. Carter furrows his brows, and then moves back hastily. His cheeks turn the shade of a ripe tomato and he stands up.
"I-I have to m-make a call." Carter says, and strides out of the dining hall. Poor fellow! I want to laugh my ass off at him. However, I keep my cool and behave in such a manner as if Carter's hasty exit had nothing to do with me.
"What'd you say to him?" Mus asks me, through gritted teeth.
"Nothing," I shrug my shoulders innocently. "Why?"
"Harry, just drop the act. I know you're here to stop the engagement, like Kate."
"And why would I do that? I mean, you're happily doing this, right?" Silence. Oh God, I want Mus to just tell me the reason for this stupid decision of hers.
"Yeah," Mus says, a little too late. It takes every ounce of self-control I have to stop myself from pointing out her lie.
"Well, then I'm fine with it. Whatever makes my friend happy, right?" I grin at her. She looks at me unsurely, and then diverts her gaze back to her plate. "You know, I was quite surprised when Kate told me that you've come to Dubai. After all, I remember you telling me how much you loathed your father and would never want to visit him for more than a few days at a time. Alas, here we are, in Dubai." Mus turns her head to glare at me, and narrows her eyes.
"Thoughts and emotions change, and so have mine." Mus says, leaning in front of me and grabbing the bread basket.
"Drastic changes," I murmur. She slaps my arm, pouting.
"Harry!" Mus chides.
"What?" I question, playfully.
"Everyone over here, in this very room, is from my father's side." Mus hisses, leaning closer to me. "So I suggest that you keep your mouth shut where matters involve them."
"Geez, fine," I mumble. "Someone's knickers are in a twist." Bumper rolls her eyes and scoffs.
"Harry, you can't come in my house and insult me." There's no real anger in Mus' tone, even though she wants to sound furious.
"I'm not insulting you, just stating the facts." I shrug my shoulders nonchalantly. "The truth hurts, Bump."
"Don't call me that," Mus scowls.
"Fine, I won't speak against your family, or call you by the best nickname in the world, if you meet me outside at midnight." I smirk, knowing full well that Mus hates this offer. However, I will not take no for an answer. She scowls again and just glares at me for a couple of seconds. Finally, Bump nods her head slowly - hesitantly. "Don't look so glum. I'm not that bad company."
"Yes, you are!" Bumper snaps, getting up. The legs of her chair scrape against the wooden floorboards, making every head in the room turn to face us. Smiling sheepishly, Bumper exits the dining hall hastily. I have to bite my lip to control my laughter. Gosh, she's adorable. Suddenly, my phone rings. I get up as well and make my way out onto the porch to answer the call. It's Gemma.
"Yeah, hi." I say, answering the call. "I feel so honored that you've remembered me today." I chuckle at my own joke.
"Harry," Gemma's tone is dead serious. "Mum received a message an hour ago, while she was at the grocery store. From the blackmailer."
"What?!" I practically yell. "Is she okay? What'd it say?" I question.
"Yeah, yeah, don't worry, she's fine." My heart rate calms down slightly. "He's a stalker."
"What'd you mean?" I take a seat on the front steps.
"He knows you're in Dubai and it was another warning." Gemma sounds panicked. I want to reach out through the phone and hug her; comfort her and tell her that everything will be okay.
"Fuck!" I hiss. "Take care of yourself and Mum. Make sure she always takes her guard wherever she goes."
"Of course. Mum's safety is our main priority," Gemma agrees.
"I'll figure something out, Gem. Cause I'm not leaving Dubai anytime soon. Bump needs me for sure; she's practically committing suicide."
"Yeah, you get your girl Haz. Just please make sure no one gets hurt," Gemma says.
"Yeah, I know. I'm gonna go now, Gem. Bye, take care."
"Bye." Gemma ends the call, leaving me in silence. I stare at the sky; a starless sky. For some reason, this feels like some kind of a sign. I'm not superstitious and neither do I strongly believe in destiny or fate. However, my gut tells me this is a sign. A sign telling me that there's no hope. For me and Mus.

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