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?

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9. ZAYN: Will you be my girlfriend?

I was so glad I got my driver’s licence the year before last.  I bought the car with the money I earned as a member of One Direction. I chose a Siat Ibiza in red.  It was small, but serviceable; great for a first car, according to my Dad.  This was the first time I used drove it on to go on holiday with the guys.

Normally spent time with our families and, in Louis’s case, significant others on our weeks off, but we decided to do something together.  I remembered that Cassie had told me in one of her e-mails that when her parents had won the lottery when she was seventeen, they had bought an old period house just on the outskirts of Oxford that have come with about ten acres of land, including several derelict barn houses which they had converted into housing and rented them out to holidaymakers.

Searching the net, I found the phone number I needed, I called the number.

A heavily accented lady’s voice answered, I assumed it was Cassie’s mother; which she confirmed when I asked.  She was very surprised when I told her who I was.

We booked a house for a week during the middle of August.  I asked her not to tell Cassie about it because I wanted it to be a surprise for her, to which she agreed.

Mrs Holmes reassured us that everything would be provided.  All we had to bring were our clothes, toiletries, small electronics and any foodstuffs that we wanted.

Following the directions Mrs Holmes gave us, we drove through a country lane until we came to a sign with the house’s name, Casa di Maria.

It definitely had the look of an old barn, but you could see that it was now a house.

Just as we were pulling into the gravelled driveway, Cassie stepped out.

As I stepped out of the car, I couldn’t stop a big grin from forming on my face.

Cassie was definitely surprised to see us.

The guys hung back, which I was very grateful for.

Cassie asked if the band was renting the house.

When I confirmed that we were, her face broke into a big smile and threw her arms around my neck.

I was kind of expecting her to do that so I caught her and twirled her around a few times, the two of us laughing.

Niall and Louis, ever the jokers, started laughing shouting loudly.

Remembering that we weren’t alone, Cassie blushed as I set her down.

She showed us into the house.  It was very nice, and was kept very cosy.  It was one of the smaller barns that they had converted, but it suited us very well.  Downstairs there was a very spacious living room and a large kitchen and dining room that led to a utility room.  Upstairs, there were four bedrooms, two of which had en suites, and one bathroom.

We picked their rooms. Louis, Harry and I had separate rooms whilst Niall and Liam decided to share.

Cassie made us all tea and coffee, and showed us how to use the small espresso machine.

“May I see your house, Cassie?” I asked when I’d finished drinking mine.

She seemed a little hesitant at first, before she answered yes.

Cassie’s house was a short walk away.  We strolled through woodland and down a lane and up a hill.

The house itself was probably from the Victorian era or earlier; maybe a wealthy farmer’s home.  From what I could see, the coach house had been converted into a garage.

To my surprise she didn’t go into the house but instead led me around to the back house, passed the coach-house garage.

“Cassie, aren’t we going inside?” I asked.

“Oh, I don’t live in the main house,” she replied.

“The main house?”  She had told me that she lived with her parents during in one of our first conversations, but I had assumed that she lived with them under the same roof.

Cassie giggled.  “I live in the converted garden barn at the end of the garden.”

She led me through the courtyard to the gardens.  There was a greenhouse, a large vegetable patch and a small orchard and vineyard.

I was amazed to see a few chickens pottering about.

Her house was rustic looking, made of Cotswold stone with purple clematis of varying shades creeping up the exterior walls.

Once we were inside I looked about me.

If I hadn’t known that Cassie was part Italian, I would have been able to guess where she was from because the hallway because of the paintings of Italian landscapes that were hanging on the walls.

In the living room, there were two overstuffed sofas, one light green and one in front of a plasma screen television set, a record player and CD player.  The walls were covered with textured red-brown wallpaper, but the effect was softened by the cream curtains with embroidered red and brown leaves and the oak furniture.  There was a piano in one corner.

Everything was kept neat, tidy and cosy.

She had quite an extensive collection of records, both new and old.  Some of them probably belonged to her dad when he was younger but couldn’t bring himself to get rid of them.

Her DVD collection was also quite extensive.

“Can we watch a movie?” I asked.

She nodded and said, “Pick one.”

I chose Be Cool.  It had music, a bit of action and a little romance, so I knew we’d both enjoy it.

After Cassie placed the disc in the DVD player, we settled down on a couch in front of the television.  Throughout most of the film, my eyes kept straying to Cassie.

When it came to the scene where John Travolta and Uma Thurman started dancing to the Black Eyed Peas ‘Sexy’, I decided on something that had been nagging at me for a couple of weeks.  “Will you be my girlfriend?” I asked her.

She looked at me, startled.

“You’re serious?’ she asked.

I nodded.

She looked away for a moment and bit her lip thoughtfully before she turned back to me, and said, “Yes.”

I looked straight into her green eyes.

She blushed and looked away.

I put my hand on her chin and turned her face towards me.

And I kissed her.

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