Sequel: In Unexpected Places

Against the Odds

Against the Odds - Chapter Twenty Three Part One

Alex was grateful that she and Harry had come back to Kensington for some downtime before having to get ready and leave for their night out tonight. It had been a fun but huge afternoon, but Alex was enjoying the solitude and peace that Harry’s home offered before they amped it up again in just a little while.

Right now they were relaxing on Harry’s couch. Alex had called Molly, who had Emma for a weekend at the beach, and now Harry had taken over her phone and was chatting with her daughter.

“Well Emma, I’m delighted that you are having fun at the beach with your granny,” Harry said, smiling into Alex’s cell phone.

“I am! We have to leave tomorrow though. Are we still going have a Harry and Emma day this week?” Emma chattered excited through the phone.

“Of course, princess. Tomorrow we can choose what we want to do,” Harry grinned.

“I’m so excited, Harry!”

“Me too, kiddo. Now, I’m going to give the phone back to your mum so you can say good-bye,” Harry said softly. “Love you, Emma.”

“Love you too, Harry!”

Harry reluctantly pulled the phone away from his ear and handed it to Alex, who was smiling from ear to ear. She chatted with her daughter for a few more seconds and then hung up. She tossed her phone onto the couch next to her before turning her eyes to Harry.

“What?” he asked. He knew though. His eyes were bright, happy.

“The way you are with her…it never fails to get me right here,” she said, placing her hand over her heart.

He closed the distance between them, sliding his arms around her waist and pulling her against him. “You both get me right there all the time. I do love her, you know.”

“I know,” Alex said simply.

“Not just the friendly, adorable way you love your friend’s children. I…”

“Harry?” she interrupted as she moved over him and settled her hands on his chest.


“I know.”

He stretched his neck and nuzzled his nose with hers before placing a kiss to her lips. “Good.”

He pulled back and looked up at her. “Have you heard from anyone?”

She nodded. “My parents called while you were in your office taking your own calls.”

“Yeah? What did they say?”

Alex laughed. “That my face was everywhere and that all of their friends were freaking out and calling them. My mother said, ‘Alexandra, you look so happy. And he’s so handsome!’”

Harry shrugged but that smirk she loved so much appeared. “Well, what can I say?”

She rolled her eyes. “And my dad said, ‘Alex, is that really his cousin next to you? What a looker. Guess we know where the looks of the family went.’”

Harry’s face broke into a wide grin and then he laughed, his chest rumbling under her fingertips.

“And my brother…well, he didn’t give a shit that my face was everywhere. He just wanted to make sure I was going to show him a good time when he comes in two weeks,” Alex grinned.

Harry’s chest shook a little more. “It sounds like I’m going to like your family. And we will definitely show your brother a good time in two weeks.”

“I can’t wait,” Alex said softly.

“Me either,” Harry murmured. “You know what else I can’t wait for?”

Of course she knew. She saw the look come into his eyes. She saw his cheeks flush. She saw the corner of his lip turn up in that way that it did when that topic came into his mind.

But, she didn’t say that. Instead she just shook her head slowly, trying her best to act innocent.

He moved his arms from around her waist and placed his hands on her arms. He trailed his hands up from her wrists, up over her elbows, to her upper arms. His fingers sent little zaps of electricity through her body, leaving goosebumps in their wake.

“You were so sexy today, Alexandra. The way you smiled at me. The way you laughed. The way you just…,” he trailed off and pulled at her arms, bringing her down closer to him, their lips almost touching, “took it all in stride. It made me want you. I want you, baby…”

He moved a hand into her hair then, twisting it in his fingers and crushing her mouth to his. He groaned as her mouth opened over his and he thrust his tongue into her mouth. He stroked and teased and loved her mouth with his; the need created in him that for day for her coming across in that kiss. His other arm curved around her hips, pulling her closer to him, pressing himself up into her. She felt him, hard and ready for her.

Alex eyes were hazy when she pulled back from him. She smiled against his lips. “I want you too, Harry. But…”

He groaned. “No. No buts.”

“I have to get ready. We have an hour before we have to leave.”

“I can be quick,” he whispered against her lips.

“I don’t want you to be,” she whispered back.

He sucked in a breath and leaned his forehead against hers, shaking his head gently. “You are going to kill me.” He kissed her once more and removed his hands from her. “Go. Get ready.”

She laughed as she climbed off of him. “You know. Good things come to those who wait,” she said. She took a step away and then turned back to him with a smirk. She leaned down and placed her hands on his knees and cocked an eyebrow. “Plus, I seem to remember a certain conversation about sweaty, just got home from the bar, rip each other’s clothes off, drunk sex.”

His eyes got wide. He felt his blood surge. “If you don’t go get ready right now, Alexandra, I swear to God I will not be responsible for what happens.”

She laughed and then scurried from the room, leaving a frustrated, but altogether happy Harry in her wake.


“Alex?” Harry called into his room a little less than an hour later. He didn’t have to do much to get ready; he was just wearing his suit from the day without the tie, so he had stayed out of her way while she got dressed.

“Coming!” she called from the bathroom.

He moved inside the door, pulling his phone from his pocket and checking his emails while he waited. He heard the click of her heels as they moved from the bathroom and looked up just as she moved out of the doorway, switching off the light behind her.

“Wow,” he breathed. “You look…”

“Like a royal girlfriend?” she joked.

He shook his head. “No. I mean yes…but, you look amazing.”

He took her in again; the silvery, flowy halter top, the tight jeans, and black heels. Her hair was pulled back in contrast to earlier in the day and was arranged stylishly in a way that was made to look somewhat messy but pulled together all at the same time. Her make-up was smoky and heavier than the classic look she was wearing earlier. All in all, she looked sexy and elegant and Harry wasn’t altogether sure he was going to make it out the door with her.

“Nu-uh, Wales. It’s not going to happen. We are going out tonight,” Alex said firmly, reading his mind.

His eyes snapped up to hers. “I could convince you to stay in,” he murmured, his voice husky.

She nodded in agreement and his pulse jumped. “You could…but you won’t,” she said with a smile.

He sighed and ran his hand through the mess of hair on his head. “You’re right. Are you ready?”

“Mmm hmm; just one more thing,” she said softly. Then she walked over to him and wrapped her arms around his neck, pressing her entire form against him. She slid her fingers into his hair and pulled his head down, crushing his lips to hers. Her mouth opened instantly and their tongues met in a kiss that was one hundred percent passion and fire and need. He groaned into her mouth, his hands moving to her back and then sliding lower to her ass, grabbing her there and pulling her high and tight against him. She moaned and pressed her chest into him. She teased his tongue with hers, nipped his lips with her teeth, and then slowly pulled back from the kiss, looking up at him with dark eyes and a knowing smile.

Then she stepped back, patted him on the chest, grabbed her clutch from the bed, and then sauntered from the room.

“Are you coming?” she called as he heard her heels click down the stairs.

“Not in the way I want to be,” he grumbled as he rearranged himself and checked himself in the mirror. But, he still couldn’t help the smile that was on his face.

God, he loved her.


As the Range Rover pulled up to the club Alex was surprised that the paparazzi weren’t anywhere in sight.

“Because this club absolutely does not talk about who is inside, the paparazzi won’t show up until someone outside tips them off that they saw us walk in or sees our cars waiting,” Harry explained. “When we leave, they will know we are here. It will be a whole different story.”

Alex nodded. “Okay.”

“Ready?” he asked as his PO opened his door.

“Let’s do this,” she said with a smile.

Harry slid out and then turned around for her, offering his hand and helping her from the Range Rover. Then he led her straight into the doors of the club.

It all took less than ten seconds, but as Harry predicted, that’s all it took for someone to post on twitter that they had seen Harry and Alex enter.

Inside the club though, Alex had pushed that thought from her mind.

They were met by a club hostess instantly, a very tall, very thin raven-haired girl who kept a complete straight face as she greeted them, informed then that some of their party was already there, and then led them through the club towards their VIP table.

Beatrice and Dave were already there, along with Charlotte and two other gentlemen that Alex hadn’t met yet.

“Alex!” Beatrice squealed, pushing Dave’s arm from around her shoulders to jump up and hug Alex. “I’m so glad you’re here. And you look stunning. I saw the footage of you at Wimbledon today. You, my friend, nailed it.”

Alex couldn’t help the laugh that escaped her lips at Bea’s rambling greeting. Her eyes slid humorously to Harry’s and then back as she thanked Bea with a grin.

Harry raised his eyes to Dave, a laugh playing about his lips.

“Drinks at dinner. You know she can’t hold her liquor,” Dave said, his hands raised in the air indicating it was not his fault.

Bea turned to her boyfriend. “Traitor,” she said, pointing with narrowed eyes that quickly softened. “But I love you, traitor.” She sank bank into the both and pulled Dave’s arm back around her, smiling broadly.

Dave shook his head, but squeezed Bea’s shoulder. “Hello, Alex,” he said with a wave. “It’s good to see you again.”

“You too, Dave,” Alex smiled and waved back.

Charlotte stood quickly hugged Harry and then Alex. “You look fantastic,” Charlotte told her as Harry greeted the two other gentlemen at the table.

“Thanks,” Alex grinned. “You don’t look so bad yourself.”

“Thanks doll,” Charlotte said with a wink. “Here, let’s introduce you to some friends of ours.”

“Sure,” Alex nodded, turning with Charlotte towards Harry and their friends. Harry was holding his hand out to her and she immediately took it, letting him pull her closer where he introduced her to two of his oldest friends.

There was Ollie, a tall, lanky, and floppy haired friend of his since the earliest days at Eton. Then there was Lewis, a stocky but no less friendly looking friend that Harry had known since before he could remember. Alex knew without asking that these two men had also known Charlotte forever, and in turn, Bea and Eugenie. She had come to understand that these people all belonged to a very tight circle of people. A circle of people that she was being brought into slowly by the person who was, no doubt, their most protected member.

Once the introductions had been made, they all slid into the booth, ordering drinks when the waitress came around.

Alex glanced around the club. It was busy, the music was loud, people were dancing, but nobody really gave their table a second glance. It was obvious that Harry was there. It was obvious that Beatrice was there. When Eugenie showed up with Jack, it would be obvious that she was there too.

“Are you thinking it’s weird that no one pays any attention?” Charlotte asked from Alex’s left.

Alex nodded and leaned over to Charlotte’s ear. She noticed that even as she leaned away from him, Harry still kept her hand firmly entwined with his, stroking her knuckles with his thumb as he caught up with his friends.

“I was sure people would be snapping camera phone pictures all over the place,” she told Charlotte.

Charlotte grinned. “There will be a few, no doubt. But, most of the people in this club pay very good money to be able to come here and rub elbows with the likes of people like Harry. They aren’t going to jeopardize that by taking pictures and gawking.”

Alex laughed. “I don’t even want to know how much money people pay, do I?”

“Nope,” Charlotte said, popping her lips together.

Their drinks arrived then and were passed out. Eugenie and Jack also arrived then, saying quick hellos to everyone, kissing cheeks and giving hugs.

The night had begun.


They were all sufficiently tipsy, three or four drinks in, deep in conversation, shouts of laughter coming constantly from the table when Alex felt Charlotte tense beside her.

“Fuck,” Charlotte murmured. Alex looked at her and then followed Charlotte’s gaze to a stunning, and very tall, blonde heading towards their table.

“What?” Alex asked, nudging Charlotte.

“That bitch…” Charlotte growled.

“Bitch? What?” Alex couldn’t help the laughter that tripped from her mouth.

But before Charlotte could answer the blonde was too close to the table. She was amused and little curious to find out why Charlotte had reacted the way she did, but when Harry’s hand gripped hers a little tighter and he shifted uncomfortably next to her, her amusement faded.

Instinctually, she knew. Even if she hadn’t have seen Bea and Eugenie’s faces; the death stares that were shot at the woman, she would have known.

She was an ex. She was one of the five. And whatever had happened between them hadn’t earned her any favors with the women in Harry’s life.

“Well hello, everyone!” the woman said brightly as she stepped up. There was a chorused “Hello” from all of the boys except for Harry, but she was met with absolute silence from the girls.

The woman looked a little unnerved, but decided to press. She turned to Charlotte. “Charlotte dear, it’s been awhile.”

Charlotte’s lips twisted up into a smile that clearly wasn’t a smile at all. “Yes, Caroline, it has.”

Caroline blinked and her eyes narrowed, but she moved on…to Harry.

“Harry, darling, I’ve missed seeing you. I’m glad you are home safe,” Caroline said, her voice dripping with familiarity.

Alex actually felt her hackles rise.

“Thank you, Caroline,” Harry said politely. “I’ve been busy. And actually,” he stopped and looked down at Alex, his eyes searching hers, silently telling her he knew she understood and apologizing all at once before looking back up at Caroline. “I don’t believe you’ve met Alexandra Morgan.”

Caroline’s eyes flickered to Alex for barely a moment before flicking back to Harry, not even bothering to introduce herself. “No, I haven’t”

Alex didn’t even wait for Harry to respond to that, she pulled her hand from Harry’s under the table and extended it to Caroline. “Caroline, it’s lovely to meet you. I’m Alex…Harry’s girlfriend.”

There were several beats after Caroline’s eyes flicked from Harry to Alex that no one at the table moved. Then finally, Caroline placed her hand in Alex’s. “Yes. Lovely to meet you as well, Alex.”

Immediately the two women dropped hands. Harry picked Alex’s back up right away, moving to press it between both of his as if he were trying to take any bit of Caroline from Alex’s skin.

Caroline stood there for a moment and stared straight at Alex who never let her eyes leave the other woman’s. It was a pissing match, plain and simple, and Alex wasn’t going to lose.

“Well,” Caroline finally said, realizing she was going to lose. She drew herself up to full height. “It was lovely to see all of you.”

Once again the women remained silent while the men all said good-bye and then Caroline turned and walked away, swinging her hair over her shoulder, clearly miffed at the reaction from the people around the table.

There was a moment of awkward silence and then with a few glances around and some kind of silent communication, the group of people at the table began to disperse. Bea and Dave and Eugenie and Jack excused themselves to go dance. Ollie asked Charlotte to dance, which Charlotte accepted but would have never done so in any other situation, and Lewis seemed to spot someone across the room that he wanted to go talk to.

And just like that, Harry and Alex were alone at the table.

“Alex…” Harry breathed.

She turned her face to his. “Harry, it’s really okay.”

“No, it’s not. It is definitely not okay. She was…just…unbelievably rude.”

“She’s an ex?” Alex asked, going straight to the point.

Harry sighed. “Yes.”


“About a year ago.”

“How long were you seeing her for?”

“About three months.”

“Can I ask what happened?” Alex asked. She wasn’t mad, just curious how that woman had ever caught Harry’s attention.

Harry nodded and took a swig of his drink. “You can ask. Can I explain something first before I tell you that?”


Harry took a deep breath and reached over for Alex’s free hand, pulling both of her hands into his lap. “Alex, before you…in the couple of years leading up to you…I was beginning to lose faith. I just kind of gave up hope that I would find what I was looking for. Five years ago I would have never have entertained the idea of seeing a woman like Caroline. But a year ago…I was losing hope and she was interested…and I don’t know…”

“I understand,” Alex said simply, fighting back the lump of emotion in her throat at his words, at the indication that he had found what he was looking for in her. “What ended it?”

Harry’s cheeks reddened. “She was feeding information to the papers.”

Alex’s mouth dropped. “Bitch.”

“Ha!” Harry’s shout of laughter broke the tension between them and just like that, the moment had lost its tension and settled between them. He leaned over and kissed Alex under her ear, causing a shiver to run through her. “What can I do to make you forget about her and her interruption of our night?” Harry asked huskily.

“Get me drunk, dance with me, and then take me home.”

“That I can do,” he said with a grin. He flagged down their waitress and started the process of doing exactly as she asked.


An hour later, Alex was drunk.

Not falling all over herself drunk, but her brain was sufficiently fuzzy, her body loose, and she wanted Harry to come out on the dance floor with her, she wanted his body pressed against hers.

“Dance with me, baby…” she murmured. She leaned up and kissed his jaw, trying to convince him, as if he needed any kind of convincing when it came to her.

He laughed. “Lead the way, my love.”

She grinned and moved out of the booth, taking his hands and pulling him with her to the dance floor.

Harry gathered Alex into his arms on the dance floor, moving them in time to the sultry, sexy music that was pulsing through the space. Their hips rolled together, their torsos pressed against each other, rubbing and amping up the heat between them.

After several songs, after many minutes of the energy and heat moving between them, Alex tightened her arms around Harry’s neck and him closer to her. “Harry…” Her voice was husky, needy.

“Alex…” he responded. His hands flexed at her back.

“I know we’ve only been out here for a few songs…”


“But…I’m done.”

Harry’s eyes flashed. “Home?”

Her lips curved. Her eyes flashed. She pressed her lower body into his, enjoying the light groan that slipped through his lips. “Home.”