The Time Of My Life

Cassie Holmes never expected to win the Win a Date with One Direction creative writing competition. She had only entered because it gave her another excuse to write; something she loves to do. She’s not really a fan of the boy band, but when she meets her date of choice, Zayn Malik, she can’t help but feel drawn to him. Zayn is focused on his career as a member of One Direction, but after reading Cassie's winning entry he is intrigued. Meeting her in person, he is taken with her wit and charm. Will what starts out as just a publicity stunt become something more?


8. CASSIE: Summer Guests

I was very interested in watching Zayn and the band in the studio I didn’t actually think he would be able to, what with the new album, so I was surprised when he replied to my text message saying that he would arrange it so that I could actually watch them record  in the studio.

I really enjoyed watching them sing, especially Zayn.  I could almost imagine that he was singing only to me.  I was definitely buying the album when it came out, or that song they were recording that day at the very least.

I’d printed the photo of myself and Zayn as soon as I’d returned home and put in an empty frame I had lying around.

Some girls would be tempted to post photos like these on social networking sites.  Not me.  Some might accuse me of not sharing, but let’s just say I like my privacy and don’t need the hassle from people who don’t know me.  And it may seem a little bit selfish of me, but I wanted to keep it to myself.

It was now the middle of August.  Zayn and I still called and e-mailed each other.  He told me about the progress of recording the album as well as the antics of his band-mates.

That night I had dinner at the main house with my parents.  We did this two or three times a week since I had decided to live in a separate house from them.  It’s one of the few things we do together as a family.

Mamma served home-made linguine with beef balls and basil and tomato sauce.

We talked about different topics like events on the news, the story I’d started writing and Dad’s classes and translation projects.

About halfway through the meal, Mamma suddenly said, “By the way, we’re having a group renting one of the houses.”

“A mixed group?” I asked.

“No, it’s a group of five boys,” she replied. “They’re in their late teens and early twenties.”

I was surprised at that as it was a bit unusual for a group of boys in that age bracket to rent a house in the holidays on their own.  The holidaymakers we usually got were either young to middle-aged couples, or families.

Five boys…it couldn’t be…could it?

I brushed off that thought.  If Zayn and his band-mates were going to renting one of our houses he would have told me.  Wouldn’t he?


The couple of days before the guests were supposed to arrive were spent cleaning the house and making sure everything was in working order.

The day before they were due to arrive, Mamma baked them a batch of biscotti as a welcoming gift.  I asked her who they were several times, but for some reason she was being very secretive about it.

The next day I went through the house again to make sure the guests would have everything they needed before going back to my own house.

To distract myself I started reading Thomas Keneally’s Schindler’s Ark, but still kept an eye on the time.  Finishing chapter three, I once again looked at the time; it was now half past two in the afternoon, about a half hour before group would be arriving.

Locking the front door behind me, I quickly crossed the garden to the main house.  In the kitchen, I took the batch of biscotti off the cooling rack and put them into a small table basket before covering it with a paper towel and taking it out to the house the group was renting.  I set the basket on the kitchen table.

Just as I was walking out of the house, two cars pulled into the drive-way; one was a red Siat Ibiza, like the one I drove, and the other a silver Ford Focus.

Two boys emerged from one car, and three from the other.  And I recognised every one of them.

It was One Direction!

“Zayn!” I exclaimed.  “Your band’s renting the house?”

“Yep,” he said, popping the p. “For a whole week.”

I couldn’t believe it.

“We’re on a little holiday before we start promoting our new album,” he explained.  “And I remembered that your family rents out the houses on your property to holiday makers, so I suggested we rent one.”

I smiled.  This is the reason Mamma was so secretive.

My summer keeps getting better and better.

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