Tatum has never had much luck when it came to people. In the course of three years, she's lost her best friends, her father, and her sister. But maybe this year, things will be different. Maybe this year, she will meet someone who will help change her perspective.


6. Chapter Six

Chapter Six

"Guys, this is Arden. Arden, these are the boys. Oh, and, Tatum." Parker said, pointing between the band and his new female acquaintance.

Tatum searched the girl up and down for any indication that she was just like the rest. Parker had an issue with never keeping a steady girlfriend. It would be a blonde haired beauty one day, a black haired mystery girl the next and one time, it was also a woman twice his age. Parker did not have the ability to keep it plain and simple. He has always been on the move, breaking hearts right and left. That was the one thing Tatum hated about him. He was such a sweet and generous lad, but he had his issues in the dating department. However, Arden seemed to stump her. She was not like the rest. She had flaming red hair, piercing green eyes and a stature that was poised and sophisticated. It was unlike anything Tatum had seen on all the other girls.

"Nice to meet you, m'lady," Elliot smiled kindly, taking Arden's hand and kissing it. She chuckled at his boldness while Parker was seething.

"Lay off, man. She's mine."

Elliot let go instantly, afraid to get into Parker's bad book. Anyone that ever made their spot in there was destined to never see the light of day again.

"Hi," Tatum smiled, taking on her turn to shake the girl's hand. Arden grinned and pulled Tatum in for a hug instead to which the strawberry-blonde haired girl was stunned.

When they pulled back, Arden said, "Parker has told me nothing but good things about you four. Especially you, Tatum."

Tatum blushed. "I'm just doing my job."

Denver rung his arm around Tatum's shoulders, pulling her into his side as comfort. She fit perfectly under there, but not in a romantic sense, more of a brotherly way. He cared for her like a brother would, protecting her from all the bad things she failed to see. Like her sister. In Year 10, Denver had a huge crush on Tess; bigger than any he had ever had for a girl. She was his epitome of perfection: gorgeous, smart, hilarious and kind. Then all of that changed one night of the party, one video that struck the hearts of students all over school. His view on Tess changed, but he could not help but still feel something for her, despite everything.

"Well, you're doing your job very well then," Arden grinned while Parker laced his fingers with her. "You guys have a meeting with Jared Cartwright later, right? Parker told me about that."

Tatum nodded, recalling the splendid news Elliot had called her about the day before. One Direction's manager, of all people, wanted to meet with them, Old School Groove. It was way beyond any of their expectations and dreams. They were trying to get their name out there and this may be the perfect chance to do it. Tatum, as well as the rest of the band, knew full and well what this chance meant. It was either going to make them or break them.

It had to go well and meet Jared's standards. It had to.


"Come on, boys," a slender man with brown/grey hair invited them in, smiling.

He held the door of the suite open wide, leaving them with enough room to walk inside. The suite was gigantic, bigger than any one of them could have imagined. Although, that is what to expect if one stays at a place as grand as Vantor Hotel. It is ridiculously expensive, but at the same time, worth the money for the stay. Jared led them to a big couch where they all fit in perfectly. Parker still had his phone out as he sent one last text to Arden who was at home and waiting to hear about the outcome. She was just as ecstatic as the rest of them, even though she had only been around for a little while. She cared deeply for Parker. He meant something special to her and she was not going to let him go as easily as she did last time. He had been her first crush, her first boyfriend and things ended badly for them both when they were sixteen. However, now they were much older and more mature, they could handle and take on whatever life threw at them, together.

"So," Jared rubbed his big hands together, heating them up as a sign he meant business. "I guess you're all wondering why I called you in today."

Old School Groove nodded in unison.

"You see," he started, smiling once again. "I'm not one to start things with just anybody. They have to be first, talented. Second, they have to have the 'look.' Third, they have to have the personalities, the ones that pull fans in. And lastly, they have to want this more than anything."

There was a short silence that overtook the atmosphere of the room then. Jared's strong words were floating in the air, waiting to sink into the minds of the teenagers. They knew they wanted this, but now it was time to show Jared just how much.

"We want this, sir," Tommy was the first to speak up. "We want this. More than anything."

Jared nodded glancing at the others, expecting a word from all of them.

"Same goes for me," Denver said.

"And me," said Parker nodded.

"Me as well," Elliot grinned, his eyes trained on the man. "We all want this. It's our dream."

"A dream is a big thing, lad," Jared told him. "You have to work hard and achieve it. You up for that?"

They all bopped their heads together again.

"Alright," Jared sighed. "I can get OSG a few bigger gigs to play around Australia for the next two weeks. That's about the time the boys and I are here. Prove to me that you can own the show and I will speak to the rest of management about signing you four up with a deal. How does that sound?"

"Amazing," Tatum gushed, speaking for the first time since they had arrived. "Thank you Mr. Cartwright. This means the world to us, honest."

Jared smirked at the girl, recalling his wife back at home who resembled her quite a bit. He had an ache to see his family again, his sons, his wife and his house. But he knew this tour was soon coming to an end and well enough, he would be back with his loved ones.

"The first show will be in Melbourne at the Raven Concert Hall. It's on Saturday, of next week, at promptly 6:00 PM. You will be playing with a couple of other local artists. Pick four songs to perform. For rehearsal, I presume you have your own place, somewhere I can come watch? Let me know and I will be there."

Parker nodded vigorously. "We practice in Elliot's garage. We can give you the details right now, if you'd like."

"Just text them to one of the lads because I'm sure they'd love to come watch you, too. They are very keen on your music. Without them, I would never have set this up anyways. But now, I'm glad I did." Jared said, escorting them back out the door. Just as they were about to leave, he reminded them, "and remember, as long as this is something that you want from the bottom of your heart, you have to try your all to get it. I believe in you five."

Following that, the door shut behind them as OSG's faces broke out into grins of pure happiness and they all started fist-pumping the air. They wanted to scream, to yell, to shout and let the world know how cheerful they were. Unfortunately, though, they were stood in a quiet corridor of an expensive hotel and doing such a thing would lead them into trouble. So, they started down the hall silently, making sure to keep their contentment held in till they were outside. Once they were in the parking lot, Tommy broke out into a shameless dance of gratitude for whom the receiver was not there.

"Tommy! Stop that!" Tatum giggled, holding her stomach in laughter. "Someone will see you."

Tommy waved her off. "I don't care. I'm too happy right now!"

Everyone laughed at him before suddenly, they heard a loud car horn behind them. Tatum, Tommy, Elliot, Denver and Parker turned on their heels to see a car full of familiar faces. The boys grinned at them as Louis stopped the car by the curb, unlocking the doors and jogging out, followed by his mates.

"How did the meeting go?" Liam was the first to ask, peering at them all with a smile on his face. "By the looks on your faces, I trust it went well."

"Brilliantly, actually," Tatum replied, barely being able to keep her delight in. "Thank you so much for what you've done. It means the world to us."

"Aw, babe, no need to thank us," Harry smiled at her, making Tatum blush. "We were happy to. Actually, we were hoping you could help us with something today."

"Which is?" Parker wondered.

"We're looking to hit the beach today. We just need the perfect place to go and…people to go with?" Louis said, crossing his arms.

"We’d be happy to help!" Elliot grinned. "You'll definitely want to check out Coogee. It's amazing! And, if you'd like, we'll come with you."

One Direction laughed, but out of all their laughs, the one that stuck to Tatum's ear was Niall's. It was delicate, but loud and obnoxious, but did not lack feeling. It warmed her up inside.

"We were hoping you would say that," Zayn smiled, "why don't we drive there together? We can wait a bit for you get ready and all that."

"Yeah, sure," Parker nodded. "Give us thirty minutes."

With that, OSG departed ways with the boys whom half were walking back up the steps to the hotel and the other half was parking the car in an open spot which was not too hard to find. The band got into their own car and drove off, giddy with the thought of how perfect this day was and it had only just begun.

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