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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23. ~Erin~

When I wake up, I find my hand tightly clasped around something.  I unfurl my fingers to find a pretty necklace.  My sleepy brain then remembers the events of New Year’s Eve.  A smile tugs at the corners of my mouth.  I’m the happiest girl on earth right now.

Noah steps into the room.  His hair is damp, and he’s only wearing a towel wrapped around his waist.  My cheeks instantly flush.

“Hey, you’re awake,” Noah says.

He turns to his dresser and pulls out a pair of jeans and a T-shirt.  I sit up and push hair out of my face.  I totally have bed-head.

“Yeah.  I’m going to go take a shower.  I feel so blah after staying up so late and sleeping in,” I reply, standing up quickly.  I want to make a quick exit before Noah removes his towel.

Fanning my warm face, I head down the hall to my room.  It has an adjoining bathroom that’s also attached to Candace’s room.  Thankfully, she’s nowhere in sight, so I hop in the shower.

My happy demeanor fades, though, when I remember that I leave tomorrow.  I need to go back to work.  Icon is leaving in about five days to go back out on tour.  Noah and I are going to have to be apart for a long time, probably until around Easter.

I do a quick blow-dry of my hair and then pull it back in a ponytail.  I dress in casual clothing—jeans, a plain tank top, and a zip-up hoodie.  Then I head off to find Noah.

He’s in his room where I left him (except now he’s dressed).

“Hey, Rose,” Noah greets me, setting his phone aside.  Then he peers closer at my face. “Oh, gosh, what’s wrong?  I recognize that look in your eyes.”

“It’s nothing,” I say with a firm shake of my head.

“I know that’s a lie,” Noah argues. “Please, just tell me.”

I sigh and sink down beside him.  “I have to go home tomorrow.  Who knows when we’ll see each other again?  I don’t want to be apart from you.”

Noah puts his arm around me.  “So come with us on tour.  We’ll all keep an eye out for you, and you’ll have so much fun.”

“I can’t,” I whisper. “Not yet.  I’m not ready for that, Noah.  Besides, I like my job.  It was hard to get.”

He sighs.  “I knew you’d say that.”  Noah smiles sheepishly. “But I wanted to try.  I don’t want to be away from you, either.”

“I can’t blame you for trying,” I reply. “You’re one of the best things that have ever happened to me.  Just promise me we’ll talk on the phone, text, video-chat, whatever it takes to stay together.  And promise me you won’t cheat.”

Noah tucks some hair behind my ear.  “I would never do that to you.  Every girl pales in comparison with you.  Now come on.  Let’s go get some food and then we can hang out with the guys and Candace.”

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