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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22. ~Erin~

“Icon, Icon, Icon!” the screaming girls’ cheers echo through Times Square.

Candace reaches for my hand and squeezes it.  “Oh, this is so exciting!” she exclaims. “The boys have always dreamed of playing two venues—Times Square and Madison Square Garden.  And now they can check one of those off their bucket list!”

The boys are set up now and are about to start.  They’re standing with Jared in the front, Noah and Joe behind him, and Lucas and Derek behind them.  Noah glances over at me.  His smile grows ever-so-slightly, and he subtly winks.  I smile back and blow him a kiss, no matter how cheesy it is.

Candace and I dance and sing along as the guys perform six of their hit songs.  I notice how their faces absolutely light up.  They truly love singing and their fans.

As Noah, Joe, Lucas, Jared, and Derek take their bows, I smooth down my mid-thigh-length ivy green dress with a black lace overlay.  I hope Noah thinks it’s pretty.  Candace and I went shopping this morning, in hopes I could find something.  I didn’t bring any super nice dresses with me.

The band has to chat with Ryan Seacrest for a couple minutes.  I tap my foot impatiently.  I want to know what Noah has planned for our special night.

My heart starts to pound nervously.  What if he expects me to sleep with him?  What if he got a hotel room for ultimate privacy?  I’m not ready to hit the sack with Noah after only a month of knowing him and one week of dating.

“Hey, babe,” Noah says when he comes over.  He takes my hand and kisses my cheek. “Are you ready to go?  I’ve got a car waiting downstairs for us.”

I smile apprehensively and reply, “Sure.  I just need my coat.”

Candace hands it to me.  Although New York City in the winter is frigid, it’s pretty warm up here with the heat from the lights and energy.  I didn’t need my jacket until now.

“Cool.  I think you’re going to love the surprise,” Noah tells me.

The car drives us through the jammed street.  We pull up in front of a Broadway theater.  The front is lit up, but the area is deserted.  There are obviously no shows tonight.

“What are we doing here?” I ask curiously as Noah helps me out of the car.

“You’ll see,” is his mysterious response.

Noah knocks on the door.  Some guy in a black dress shirt and dress pants comes over and lets us in.

“Hi, Noah.  Everything’s set up, just the way you asked for,” the guy says.

“Great, thanks so much, Brandon,” my boyfriend cheerfully says before leading me through the lobby.

We enter the theater.  The aisles are dimly lit, but there’s a large spotlight on center stage.  A table for two is set up in the spotlight.  Even from here, I can see the vase containing the single red rose.

“Oh my gosh, Noah!” I gasp.  Then I throw my arms around him in a hug. “This is so sweet!  I can’t believe we have a Broadway theater all to ourselves for a New Year’s Eve dinner.”

Noah leads me up onstage.  Then he pulls out my chair for me.  I can’t believe I’m so lucky to have such a gentleman for a boyfriend.  A waiter of sorts brings out two covered plates.  I’m definitely hungry, so I can’t wait to see what our meal is.

I’m not disappointed.  It’s a lightly-breaded whitefish, served in a light lemon cream sauce.  There’s a wild rice pilaf on the side, and some zucchini and summer squash, too.  After we finish our dinner, the waiter brings out dessert—cheesecake with a chocolate drizzle and raspberries.

It’s nearing midnight, and although it could be a security risk, Noah and I head outside, hand-in-hand.  Most people are too busy to really notice who else is walking the streets of New York, anyways.

Despite the traffic, the band’s driver is able to get us back to Times Square before the ball-drop.  We stand in the throngs of people.  Noah fumbles with something in his pocket before pulling out a flat jewelry box.  I open it curiously.

“Merry Christmas,” Noah whispers in my ear before planting a kiss on my cheek.

I gaze at the necklace in wonder.  The silver heart is carved in a fairy-like pattern.  A gemstone inside is slightly visible, and it sparkles under the lights.  I think it’s a diamond.  Noah fastens the necklace around my neck just as the countdown begins.

“Thank you,” I breathe in Noah’s ear as we hug.

We count down along with everyone else filling the streets around Times Square.  Right at midnight, Noah kisses me.  Practically everyone else around us is smooching.  Noah pulls me closer.  His kiss warms me to my toes.  It’s hard to believe we’ve only been together for a week.  I have to remind myself of my promise to myself to wait six months before I really decide Noah Somers is the one.

Noah suddenly pulls away.  I hear him curse under his breath as he pulls his phone out of his back pants pocket.  He reads a text message and then looks up at me.

Shouting so he can be heard, Noah tells me, “That was Jared.  They’re wondering where we are and want to know if we want to have an impromptu party at the house.  The guys and Candace ran into a few of our friends.”

“Friends?  Like who?” I ask.

“Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, Emma Stone, Andrew Garfield, Bridgit Mendler, Bruno Mars, the like,” Noah responds. “Is it okay with you?”

I’d probably look like a jerk if I say no.  So I nod my head ‘yes’.  Noah grabs my hand and pulls me through the crowd.  As we go, Noah texts someone, presumably the guys and maybe our driver.  We meet up with the band and Candace just as the car pulls up.  We all squeeze inside.  On the drive back to the boys’ house, Lucas and Jared keep themselves busy calling and texting their celebrity friends about the party.

We beat everyone else to the house, thank goodness.  Candace and I raid the kitchen to set out chips, dip, desserts, and various other foods.  The doorbell starts ringing and the front door starts opening and closing constantly.  Noah pulls me into the front hall so he can introduce me to everyone.  It’s a tad overwhelming, to be honest, meeting celebrity after celebrity.  Of course they’re all normal human beings, but it’s still surreal to think that small-town girl, Erin Rosalie Frederick, is meeting people such as Taylor Swift and Chord Overstreet.

The revelry goes on until the wee hours of the morning.  Everyone parties until about five a.m., and by then I’m absolutely exhausted.  A couple people brought wine and beer, and several celebrities—I’m not revealing names—got tipsy.  I think I also witnessed some underage drinking, although I didn’t participate in any of that.  I’m definitely a good girl, and if I went out later today and it was evident I’d been drinking… The tabloid articles about Noah Somers’s new girl wouldn’t be pretty.

Once everyone’s finally left, Joe and Jared sleepily begin picking up some of the trash.  Derek and Candace disappeared awhile ago, and Lucas is nowhere to be found.  I yawn deeply and struggle to keep my eyes open.  Noah wraps his arms around me and kisses my head.

“Ready to sleep?” he asks.

“That would probably be a good idea,” I admit. “Except then we’ll probably sleep until noon and not be able to sleep tonight.”

Noah shrugs.  “I think it’s worth the risk.  You’re about to doze off on your feet.”

Then he bends down slightly and sweeps me off my feet—literally.  Noah carries me bridal-style up the stairs.  He takes me to his room.  Neither of us even bothers to change out of our dressy clothing.  I curl up on one side of the bed, my eyes fluttering closed.  Noah leans over my back from his side of the bed and kisses my cheek.

I groan and push him away.  “You know I love you,” I mumble, “but I don’t even feel like kissing right now.  Sorry, babe.”

I feel Noah’s chest rumble with a chuckle.  “I understand, Erin,” he replies. “We’ll see how you feel when you’re awake.”

If I was any more conscious, I probably would’ve shoved him right about now.  Presently, my boyfriend seems like just about any guy who just wants one thing—sex.  But I’m too tired to do anything but drift off to sleep.

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