Mixed Feelings

Icon is the biggest boy band in the world. They're even more popular than One Direction at this point. Liza Nelson can't get enough of them, but Erin Frederick absolutely detests the band. What happens after a chance encounter with one of the band members? Erin's life definitely won't ever be the same.

*the guys are based on the boys in One Direction*

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12. ~Erin~

 

My dreams are filled with Noah.  I can hardly believe we almost kissed again.  And the way he’s always there to comfort me… It’s like my eyes have suddenly been opened.  Lucas isn’t the right guy for me.  He never will be.  I just don’t know if Noah really wants to date me.  Maybe the two almost kisses were just a fluke.  I could definitely see him being my best guy-friend, though.

When I wake, it’s early, only seven in the morning.  That’s very early for me on days that I don’t have to work.  Yesterday, for example, I didn’t wake up until after nine. 

I realize someone’s arm is around me, and my hand is on his T-shirt-covered chest.  I startle into a sitting position and turn to stare at the guy beside me.  Noah.

Then last night comes rushing back to me.  My tears.  His embrace.  The almost kiss.  His sweet words.  I smile softly.  Then I lightly shake Noah’s shoulder.

“Hey,” I say in a whisper. “Noah, wake up.”

He moans slightly and rolls over.  I rub his cheek with my knuckles, and his blue eyes flutter open.  For a moment, Noah looks puzzled.  Then his face breaks into a smile.

“No nightmares?” he asks, his voice raspy with sleep.

I shake my head.  “None.  Thanks for being there for me last night.”

Noah sits up and ruffles his hair.  It stands on end.  He hasn’t shaved in a few days, so he looks downright rugged.  My heart starts to thrum louder than normal.  Why does he have to be so attractive?

“It wasn’t a problem,” Noah tells me. “If you ever feel like crying again about stuff like that, call me.  No matter what time of night it is.  If I’m at a concert or in an interview, I obviously won’t be able to answer.  But I’ll call you back as soon as I can.”

I hug him.  “Thanks so much.  I can’t believe you’d do all of this for me.  After all, we just officially met Friday night, and I hated you less than a week ago.”

“Funny how our first impressions can change,” he remarks.

He crawls out from under the covers.  Noah never changed last night, so he’s still in his V-neck T-shirt and jeans.  He looks unfazed, though.  When he reaches the door and starts to turn the knob, I suddenly realize how this might look.

“Wait!” I exclaim.

Noah turns back, a quizzical look on his face.  “What’s wrong?” he asks.

“Lucas…” I say, my voice trailing off. “What if he sees you and assumes that we…you know?”

My cheeks flame with the implication behind my words.  Noah turns red, too, before his eyes turn cold.  He obviously doesn’t like the mention of his best friend when it comes to my love life.  Either Noah Somers is jealous, or he just plain doesn’t like the idea of Lu and me dating.

“What do you suggest then?” he asks.

“Let me go first,” I offer. “I can see who is up already, and depending who’s out there, you can sneak out.”  I pause.  “And let’s pretend you crashed on the couch.  Hopefully Liza will back us up.”

I gently shove Noah further into the room so he’s not visible when I open the door.  His chest flexes, and I realize I haven’t removed my hands yet.  Once again, I blush to the roots of my hair.  This morning and the near kisses haven’t exactly made it easy to just be friends.

When I turn quickly, my braid flies out.  It probably smacks Noah in the face, but I don’t really care.  I kind of feel like being a bitch, just to drive him mad.  I think he prefers the sweet, vulnerable Erin to the rude, sarcastic personality I show on occasion.

Cautiously, I poke my head out the door and look around.  Then I take a few steps into the living room, just to be sure.  The only one around is Liza, and she’s sound asleep with a cozy afghan tucked around her.  I turn back to the bedroom and beckon to Noah.

“Coast is clear!” I call in a soft whisper.

Noah scurries out of the bedroom like a little girl, and I double over with silent laughter.  He grins at me, and I make a face.  He did that on purpose, just so I’d stop being frustrated with him, I’ll bet.

“So…” he says, shuffling his feet and suddenly looking like a little kid. “You spent Saturday with Luke, and yesterday with Joe.  Do you want to hang out with me today before your party?  We can do whatever you’d like.”

I’m about to retort something snotty, but I catch myself.  Then I smile kindly.  “Yeah, I’d like that.  How about we watch a movie and then I show you around the town?  We can stay in the car for the most part so hopefully the paparazzi won’t find us.”

“I’d love that,” Noah says.  His tone is genuine, and my heart skips a beat.

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