Reality

Rachel Stanford thought of herself of One Directions biggest fan. Then she meets them and her life drastically changes. Is she truly living the dream or will reality come back and hit her with a bang?

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3. Giving In.

When I woke up in the morning, I slapped my alarm accurately and got carefully out of bed. I ran myself a bubble bath, it would be easier to keep my bandage dry that way, and climbed in. I leaned back and closed my eyes as the warm, soapy water unknotted my muscles in my legs and back. I frowned when I saw the time on the digital clock on the top of the medical cabinet and climbed out and wrapped my towel round myself. I went into my wardrobe and pulled out a pair of faded light blue skinny jeans and a cream knit jumper. I pulled them on then plaited my hair loosely at either side. I sprayed on some impulse then picked up my make up bag and went to the bathroom. I put on light foundation, blusher, eyeliner, mascara and baby pink lipstick. Once I was ready I limped downstairs for breakfast. Jackson was sitting at the breakfast bar. He grinned when he saw me and got up. He was wearing chinos and a grey, tight fitting tshirt. You could almost make out the outline of his muscles. I shook my head and blinked. Why was I looking at his muscles? I smiled and got out a bowl and Rice Krispies. I poured them out and added some milk and got out a spoon and dug in. I leaned against the counter, aware that he was watching me. When I was done, I dumped the bowl in the sink and ran the hot water. I cleaned the dishes at put them in the dryer then turned to him and smiled. He grinned back showing his straight white teeth. He was fairly good looking and quite sweet, maybe I should give him a chance.

"So, what are you doing today?" I asked lightly.

"Not much. Have you heard about the new Starbucks opening up across the road?" He replied.

"Me neither. No?" I took out my phone and started flicking through tumblr. This conversation was going no where.

"Oh, well do you want to go and check it out?" He grinned.

"Um, okay," I got up and went to the front door and slipped into a pair of black heels. They were quite short, my ankle could handle them, no pain, no game. He was still standing by the breakfast bar, grinning widely. "Are we going?..."

"Yes!" He came up to me and grabbed my hand then pulled me out of the door. 

"Woah! Slow, please," I complained as he dragged me across the road.

"Oh, sorry," He slowed down but didn't let go of my hand. I rolled my eyes and continued to cross the road with him. The queues were out the door in front of Starbucks and Jackson looked at it puzzled. I sighed and looked at a poster on one of their windows. Oh my god. Since they were in the area, One Direction were the guest stars at the opening. They had their own frappe and everything. I stood behind a tall leggy girl and motioned for Jackson to come over. They'd only opened half an hour ago and it was only nine o'clock so the queues were barely round the corner, they only reached halfway across the right window. We got inside with in ten minutes and Jackson saw one of his friends who promised him his seats after he left. Jackson said he'd guard the seats so I was left to order. I was at the front of the queue within another fifteen minutes and studied the menu board. I looked back down and smiled at the cashier. My smile disappeared quickly. He was their, with his gorgeous blue eyes and soft blond hair, grinning at me. I blushed and smiled back faintly.

"What can I get you? Oh and how's the nose and ankle?" He grinned wider.

"One tall hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows, one milky coffee with cream, a blueberry muffin and a rocky road biscuit, please. Broken and sprained, thanks," I replied icily. He smiled and tapped some buttons on the till.

"Fifteen-ninety five, please. Ouch, hope you're okay. And sorry, on behalf of the hundreds of screaming girls that pushed you. It looked sore," He said sympathetically.

"I'm fine. Thanks, means a lot. Thanks for helping me up, too." I said quietly as I slid a twenty pound note across the counter.

"Oh, no problem" He replied quietly. "Where are you sitting?" He asked and gave me my change. Weird, I just said thanks and he went all quiet.

"Over by the window," I gave him a small smile.

"I'll bring them over," He smiled then beckoned the next customer. I went over to Jackson and slid onto the stool.

"They'll be over in a minute," I smiled sheepishly.

"Great," He grinned. "So, what do you want to do while we wait?" He leaned forward and played with a stray piece of hair. I closed my eyes and sighed. Suddenly I felt a warm pair of lips on my own and my eyes flew open. I pulled back and pushed him on the shoulder.

"What are you doing Jackson?" I demanded. He looked shocked then smiled lopsidedly.

"What do you think, babe?" He leaned forward and brushed his hand across my cheek and lips. I shook my head and pushed his hand away.

"I think you're being insane." I answered, confused. What would make him think I wanted that, on our first outing. It wasn't even a date!

"Oh come on, Rachel. It's not like we don't know each other! We might as well skip the 'getting to know each other part.' This might as well be our second date." He said, annoyed. He had the nerve to be annoyed!

"Jackson, this is not  a date." I looked him in the eye. Something angry flashed in them and he stood up.

"I thought I made it clear I thought it was. I meant for it to be. Sorry for misunderstanding. I'll never flirt with you again. Wait, even better, I won't speak to you. I'll bet you'll love that," He made for the door then spun around. "You think you're so great Rachel Standford, but you're really not. You should have accepted my date a long time ago, yeah you're hot, but you're boring and love yourself. And you like One Direction, for Christ's sake. Who would be interested in you?" He looked me in the eye and smiled slyly. I sat there, dumbfounded and surprised by the outburst.

I opened and closed my mouth like a fish, what was I supposed to say?

"Exactly. No one," He grinned at walked out. I watched him cross the road and go up the garden path and let himself into the house. A few people that were sitting around us were staring at me and I got up and decided to go to the bathroom. I started off walking, then speed walking, then running. I blinked back the tears until I was safely locked in a cubicle and cried. Big, fat tears slid down my cheeks. I wiped them away angrily and took in a shaky breath. Maybe I was shallow. Maybe every time I turned Jackson down he went and spoke about me to Jason. Maybe he just wanted me to have fun with. I wasn't fun, any previous boyfriend would tell you that. I liked books, history, alternative and pop music, boy bands, walks and comedy. I used to be fun. I used to go to parties. But when I turned seventeen I told myself I couldn't act like a little girl sneaking out to clubs every night, I had to be responsible. I moved in with Lucy, Jackson and Jason straight after my birthday. They never knew the fun me. I realized I'd been crying the whole time and unlocked the cubicle and stumbled to the sink. There was a girl around my age at the sink next to me and she looked me up and down then left. I splashed my face with water then wiped away most of the mascara stains with a paper towel. I looked relatively decent when I was done and walked calmly back into the shop. I dodged through the people to my table and was surprised when I found it empty. There was a note on the table along with our orders.

"Table reserved.

- N x"

I smiled but frowned. Who was 'N'? I sat down on the stool and sipped the hot chocolate. The hot liquid spread through my body and warmed my insides, it felt nice. Some tapped me on the shoulder and I turned round quickly. It was him.

"Do you want that?" He gestured to the coffee and biscuit. I stared at him then blinked and replied.

"Um, uh, no. No, he, uh, left." I looked down at my drink.

"Do you want your money back?" He asked. I looked up and he was holding the mug and plate.

"N-No. It's, uh, fine," I stuttered. I laughed at myself

"What's so funny?" He frowned.

I shook my head, "Nothing,"  I smiled faintly and looked back down at my mug and took a sip.

"By the way," He whispered, "You don't seem that boring."

I looked up at him. He was looking at me meaningfully in the eyes. "Thanks," I smiled, but frowned. He grinned and walked back to the counter. I picked apart the muffin and ate most of it then took a big gulp of the hot chocolate then got up. I walked to the exit but almost slipped on an old muffin wrapper. I crouched down to pick it up and when I stood up something crashed into my back and cold liquid slid down my neck. I touched my hair and it was dripping wet. I turned round to a small girl with a shocked look on her face.

"I-I'm s-so sorry!" She gasped.

"It's okay," I smiled faintly and kept going for the door. The house was only across the road, if I ran there was a chance not that many people would see me. Someone grabbed my arm and I twirled to see who it was.

"Sorry," A girl in a black apron smiled. "But we can give you a towel, if you want." 

"Oh, yes. Thanks, that would be nice."  I smiled back and followed her behind the counter. I ignored the looks of the people behind the counter and pretended they were normal staff. The girl gave me a green towel and told me to dry off then leave it in the cupboard with the cleaning stuff inside. I took out my plaits and toweled my hair and wiped away the ice cream on my neck. It had slipped right down my back and  I could feel my jumper sticking to me. I looked around to make sure there was no one here then pulled it over my head and threw it to the ground. I wrapped the towel over my shoulder quickly and wiped off all the cream. I made sure it was all off then reached for my jumper. It wasn't where I thought it was and I searched the room frantically. It was cold and I could see my breath as I shivered. Suddenly someone came in the door and cold air filled the already freezing room. I blushed turned away from them. I saw something white out of the corner of my eye and turned my head slightly to see my jumper a meter away from where I was standing. I groaned.

"Sorry! Oh wow, God, sorry." He shouted/whispered in his sweet Irish accent. Oh my God. Oh my God. Am I dead yet? First, I fall flat on my face in front of them and he helps me up, then I serves me in Starbucks on the day I decided to give Jackson a chance, then he tells me he doesn't think I'm boring, and now he's walked in on me in nothing but a bra after I was covered in a frappe. I can't decide whether I'm having a really good dream, or a nightmare, or if I've just been really lucky this week. And unlucky. A bit of the two really. I blushed harder.

"I-It's O-Ok-" I stuttered before he cut me off.

"Do you have a natural stutter?" He asked. I blushed and reached for my jumper and pulled it over my head. I smoothed down my hair and pulled it into a messy, high ponytail then turned to face him. He was grinning, like he was trying not to laugh. 

I rolled my eyes and tried to control my mouth. "I don't have a stutter." I glared at him. 

"Sure," He laughed. "I wonder..." He trailed off then walked over to me and took my hand. My heart stopped. Oh my God. Oh my God! Niall Horan is holding my hand. Niall Horan is holding my hand. I felt the blood rush to my face and I looked down to hide it. Oh my God! I must be dreaming. I must be. There is no way Niall Horan would hold my hand in real life.

"A-A-Am I D-D-Dreaming?"

He laughed and tilted my chin so I was looking in his eyes. "See, you do have a stutter. And no, you're not dreaming. I don't think...Maybe. Try pinching yourself." He suggested with a grin. I frowned then pinched my arm obediently. Nothing happened and my frowned deepened as I looked up at him. He was laughing so hard he looked like he was about to cry.

"Wow, you can sing and you're funny. L-Lucky guy," I smiled sarcastically then sighed at my failed attempt to not stutter and tugged my hand away. He didn't let go. He leaned in so our faces were inches apart.

"Most girls would be hyperventilating by now if they were alone in an office with me," He whispered.

I gasped then took a deep breath. I kept forgetting to breathe when he was close to me. "Well, m-maybe I'm not an obsessed groupie, like most girls," I smiled icily. 

"I'm supposed to be dazzling you with my good looks," He frowned.

"Your looks are the last thing on my mind," I muttered. "Maybe you should try harder.

"I am, you're just hard to talk to." He laughed nervously.

I smiled, I was making him nervous. Then I grinned, I was making a celebrity nervous. "W-What do you mean?"

"Well, at the signing-"

"I fell and sprained my ankle and broke my nose!" I interrupted him and gestured to the bandage showing from the bottom of my jeans. 

"Yeah, but I helped you up." He let go of my hand and folded his arms. I mirrored the action.

"My nose was gushing of blood and I thought I'd broken my ankle," I frowned.

"I could have helped you!" He waved a hand in the air.

"You were at a signing! You were the signer at the signing! You could barely up and leave to help an injured girl," I pointed out. He opened his mouth then shut it, then tilted his head. Suddenly he stood up straight.

"Today, you were with that weirdo boyfriend. How was I supposed to speak to you then?" He raised his eyebrows.

"He's not my boyfriend! And he also walked out and said I was boring and that no one would ever want to touch me," I snapped.

"Really? Do you kiss people that aren't your boyfriend often?" He smirked.

"No! I am not having this conversation with......you. B-B-You know what I mean," I sighed and pushed passed him.

"We got your application!" He called. I spun round and stared at him.

"W-What?" I asked and folded my arms.

"Your application for the...lunch girl? Whatever you want to call it," He waved a hand dismissively. 

"W-What? How did you? I mean, don't your assistants handle that or something?"

"They usually do, but she was talking about the people she was considering and your name rang a bell when your friend was shouting at you across the shop," He smiled.

I blushed. "Well I hope I'm being considered." I gulped. "And that was a private conversation, sort of."

"Of course you are. And it's not that private if it's in public," He winked then tilted my chin again and studied my face. I suddenly remembered the mascara stains that wouldn't go away and swatted at his hands. 

"What are you doing?" I glared at him.

"Were you crying over what he said to you?" He frowned. I stared at him. Should I tell him the truth or not? Maybe not first.

"N-No, of course not." Damn. My stutter probably gave it away.

"You're lying. I know what causes mascara to smudge," He put his hand on my cheek and brushed under my eyes with his thumb. I pulled my head out of his grasp.

"I wasn't crying. It was the ice cream." I snapped.

"It's okay, he said some pretty awful things. I mean, what's wrong with One D?" He grinned. 

I rolled my eyes. "Of course you paid attention to that part," I mumbled.

"What?" He smirked.

"Nothing! I'm leaving, bye." I turned on my heel.

"Wait!" I heard his footsteps. I turned round to face him.

"What?"

"Can I get your number?" He smiled. I stared at him then shook my head. This is definitely a dream.

"Why don't you just look at my job application?" I sighed. 

"Because this is less stalker- ish," He laughed. I sighed again and pulled out my phone.

"Dial yours in, I'll phone you once you're done." I took my phone out of my pocket and handed it over.

"IPhone, nice," He commented as he typed in his number. 

"Thanks," I smiled faintly as he passed me it back. He looked at the floor. "What?"

"So is this you giving in?" He asked quietly.

"What do you mean?" I frowned.

"I thought you were pretending I didn't exist, like I was. But I was pretending you didn't exist, not me." He laughed nervously. "I can't, though. You're interesting and sassy, and...beautiful." 

I gasped then shut my mouth and stared at him. He looked up and stared in my eyes. His eyes. Wow, they were beautiful. They were blue like the ocean, and deep like it too. Looking into his eyes, it felt like we were drawn to each other. Like a magnet. Suddenly, we were centimeters apart. Then our lips touched and I literally felt something. It was like somebody had jump started my heart and it was going out of control. He put his hands round my waist and pulled me closer and I put my arms round his neck in response. His tongue brushed my bottom lip suggestively, just as the door opened.

"Woah, Niall!" Somebody exclaimed.

I pulled away and spun round. It was Harry. Wow, my dreams are getting weird. I snatched my hand away from Niall's and tried to push past Harry.

"Woah, Woah, Woah, hold it. You have to at least tell me your name." He smirked. I stared at him in disbelief. "No? Okay, you can go." He didn't move.

"Um, can you?" I raised my eyebrows and  gestured to the door.

"Oh," He stepped out of the way and I pushed the door open. Well, I tried to push it open, it wouldn't budge. I tried the handle and it was the same. I rattled it then groaned in frustration.

"Do either of you have a key?" I turned around and asked them. Niall opened and closed his mouth then shut it and frowned. Harry rolled his eyes and put his hand in his pocket and pulled out and ID badge and handed it to me. I sighed at the technology and turned back to the door and looked for the scanner. I found it and swiped the card then gave it back to him with a small smile. I heard approving beep of the scanner then something click inside the door. It pushed it open and walked into the shop. I caught the eye of the girl that helped me and smiled gratefully. I went over to an empty space at the counter and dug in my bag for my purse. I dumped my keys and phone on the counter then, finally, found my purse. I heard a door open then saw two figures go behind the counter from the corner of my eye. I also heard the squeals of delight as they appeared. I sighed and dumped a small handful of change into the tip jar then walked towards the door.

"Wait!" I heard some call as I stepped onto the cold pavement. I was greeted by crowds of squealing girls and dodged between them. They'd gotten bigger and I saw some angry business men pushing past them. I laughed and stepped onto the curb, I didn't even see the car.

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