Chapter 23

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They threw him down on the dirty floor of a partly charred building and proceeded to kick and stomp on him. He caught glimpse of a pink dress sock on one of the men, and immediately his mind travelled to her; he'd done it just to please her, that was the honest truth of it and he was dismayed to realize that. He hardly knew this woman, and what's more she wanted nothing to do with him and yet he'd stolen from a notoriously ruthless gang just so that she wouldn't think ill of him. The reason why was bad enough, but the fact that even in this moment he felt that it had been worth it was worse; but for a moment the night before it had seemed like maybe she liked him, as he handed her the guitar and walked her into the bar it seemed possible that she could want to be his friend, that she wouldn't object to knowing him. And although he had no idea why that should matter to him at all, he hoped so and that hope caused him to smile from his position on the unforgiving concrete floor, even in spite of the boot that connected with his ribs at exactly that moment.

He curled into a ball, protecting himself as best he could from the many feet coming into contact with his body, and grinned to himself as he took blow after blow. It was impossible to know who kicked him, or to be sure how many of them did it at once, the boots hit him swiftly and they were relentless in their assault. The pain and panic in him should have been unbearable, but thankfully -mercifully even- he was still riding a blissful high, albeit dulled and dampened a bit by the beating he was taking.

When they were bored of assaulting him with their boots two of them grabbed him by his arms and pulled him up onto his knees, holding him there as the other two took turns punching him as hard as they could, the blows were painful but considerably dull as a result of his altered state. They connected with his jaw and nose, he felt his lip split, he felt a gash open above his brow and blood trickle steadily down his face, the warm liquid blinding him in one eye. He didn't care; he didn't need to see things clearly. There would be no escape, no amount of cleverness, wit, or charm was going to get him out of this situation; he didn't mind it as much as he should have.

"For fucks sake, the two of you punch like old brittle women." He scoffed, defiantly spitting out blood as they paused for a moment to catch their breath. "I've still got all me teeth and my jaw's in tact. You lot ought to be embarrassed."

"Ne dedi?"

He heard one ask of the others in their thickly accented language. He rolled his eyes as best he could in his condition and sighed.

"Turks. Don't speak a word of English do you? You know, it's rude to migrate to a country without even bothering to learn the language."

His body fell to the ground and they rolled him over. He didn't bother to move, and that was a good thing for a moment later he felt the cold metal of a gun's barrel pressed against his scalp. He heard the click as it was cocked to shoot and he sighed; the sound should have made him feel sick but instead relief washed over him, it was almost over.

"ŞİMDİ DUR. Ben Onu canlı istedim DEDİ!" The voice boomed as it berated hhis attackers in turkish, the gun at his head was lifted away and Harry felt the sickened feeling; he was disappointed. "Pay them, and send them back to whatever backwards village you pulled them out of. They don't listen to directions."

"Neither does the junkie."

Harry did not recognize the voice that responded to Mike, and didn't care enough or have the strength to turn over and get a look at who it belonged to.

"You let me worry about that." He heard the feet of the men shuffle out of the building, and felt Tomlinson's hand on his shoulder as he gently turned him over. Now his head felt heavy as he rested it against the ground, and the cuts in his face stung in the cold night air. "Not to worry son, you'll be alright, you'll still be beautiful when this is over."

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