The Cookie Girl. (edited version)

(A One Direction Fanfic) From the author of Cats, Kisses, And Wagon Wheels, here's Liam's story--The Cookie Girl!!! Esmée Minton knows a lot of things. Liam Payne isn't sure he knows anything anymore. When the two of them meet; it’s the worst possible situation and they are the worst people to meet. Or are they? ...

Actual real-life reviews I do not kid you:
"I am so captivated by this story! It's beautifully and amazingly written!" - "[Esmée] is my girl crush and she doesn't even exist!" - "This has to be the most adorable perfect thing I've ever read." - "I'm more invested in thsi story than in my own life. I love this; don't talk to me." - "I'm addicted to cocoa now."

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7. Songwriting.

Songwriting

 

On our way back to the hotel, Harry keeps whining about his tattoo, but he still won’t tell me what he got, which only serves to make his complaining more unnerving. Ed and I keep chatting, though, so it’s not like I mind the walk. I mean, imagine talking to one of your inspirations and tell me if you’d mind a childish nineteen-year-old’s pouting. Yeah. I don’t think so.

“So I just said that if anyone found my phone and found a contact on it of a person they’d like to call to just go on and then give it back,” Ed finishes and I laugh.

“Did you ever get it back?” I ask.

He shakes his head and holds the hotel doors open for me only to let close them quickly enough for them to slam into Harry’s face. The ginger chuckles at the glare he gets and turns back to me.

“I guess it’s just lost.”

I shrug. “But it was a nice try.”

“Wasn’t it just?”

I spot Leila at the other side of the foyer and wave at her, but she doesn’t seem to notice me. She’s talking to someone on her glittery phone and probably freaking out about something. Oh, right. I’m still a weird ginger. No offense to gingers but it’s not my best look either.

Clary’s here, too. She’s talking to some elderly couple so loudly that I can hear it from the entrance. I don’t envy her for her job, really. She catches me looking at her and pulls a face, making me laugh.

“That’s my friend Clary,” I explain when I notice Ed looking at me questioningly. “Mad one.”

She’s waving the room keys under the old man’s nose right now and looks quite angry. I flash her a brilliant smile and she glares at me while I just point at Ed and mouth his name.

That’s when she almost chokes and ends up spitting in that man’s face and that’s also when I decide that now would be a really, really good time to leave.

“Yeah we might want to go now,” say, pulling Niall after me with my right hand while pulling off the awful wig with my left.

I tap my foot nervously while we go up because, well, no matter what happened, I still don’t like elevators too much.

Harry grins deviously and I almost know what will happen next.

“Did you know that Esmée and Liam all but shagged in one of the hotel elevators?”

The other guys snort and I roll my eyes. “You’re so immature. And we did not. There was snogging, max.” I’m probably blushing a furious red right now that would clash horribly with my wig.

“You were basically creating a vacuum between you,” Niall argues.

I squint at him. “Since when do you even know what a vacuum is?”

“Change of topic,” Ed interrupts what could have become an argument I would have so lost. “What stuff do you even write, Esmée?”

I shrug, but I’m really grateful for the change of topic. “Oh, you know. Crybaby stories, chick lit, that stuff.”

“No song lyrics?” He sounds a bit disappointed and I guess he really is desperate.

I laugh and shake my head. Which is sort of a lie, but not really, since they’re not song lyrics per say. Just fragments, thoughts, crappy poems, stuff I would’ve used for songs when I was in Sixth Form music as well, but that’s something vastly different from Ed’s songs. So I don’t really feel like sharing with a lyrical genius, to be quite honest.

“You finished something yet?”

I nod. “Yeah, I’ve done two smallish novels and one I left unfinished. I’m on one now about this girl who’s seeing a boy her parents don’t know anything about. She has anxiety problems and he has a brain tumour and they meet up in secret and talk and they make each other better. And then her parents think she’s just imagining him because they’ve never met him.”

He raises an eyebrow and the other boys seem quite surprised as well.

“That’s deep, in a twisted way,” Niall comments and I shrug.

“I think I’ll have to make her die.”

“You what?”

“I’ll kill her off,” I repeat, looking at Harry as if he’s deaf.

“Yeah, I got that the first time but why?”

Awe, little Harry’s a bit of a romantic. “It’s a good ending.”

“It’s a terribly sad ending,” he argues.

“Doesn’t mean it can’t be a good one,” Ed helps me out and I nod.

“Thanks for that.”

“Why? What happens?”

“She’s convinced he’s stuck somewhere inside her, in her body, so she cuts herself to let him out and bleeds to death. Epilogue sees him totally healed talking to his therapist who tries to convince him he’s just imagined her.” I make a dramatic gesture.

“Wow, that’s weird.”

“Very John Green,” Ed comments.

I flash him a smile. “Cheers!”

“You’re both so messed up,” Niall groans.

“Actually that’s really romantic though, that she heals him by dying.” Harry’s slowly getting it.

“You all need to think about what you just said,” Niall huffs.

I just shrug. “So what’s the deal with your creative block then?” I ask Ed as we exit the elevator and walk down the corridor to the boys’ room.

He shrugs. “I’ve got a bit of a melody and I sort of know what direction—that pun was not intended, don’t even start it—to go in, but I can’t write anything. I was hoping maybe the lads could help me.”

I smile at him and make room for one of them to swipe the room key. “I’m sure they will. Are you all gonna sit in a circle and exchange ideas then?”

He laughs and nods.

Harry’s barely opened the door when he’s attacked by Louis.

“Hazzabear!”

“Loubear!”

I almost have to shield my eyes at their hug; it seems like I’m disturbing their privacy or something.

“Every time,” Ed mutters to me and I laugh.

“Finally,” I hear an exasperated Zayn shout from the main room (a living room of sorts) and I make my way over there to see him sitting on the floor with a PlayStation controller in his hands. Another one is lying next to him, probably abandoned by Louis the second that he noticed Harry was back.

“Niall, would you please play?” the quiffed boy asks, only sparing me a short nod.

I haven’t even noticed the blonde lad entering the room behind me, but he pushes me aside gently to get to Zayn now and sits down on the floor next to him.

“Sure. Lou’s too bad?”

Zany nods and shakes his head. “I keep winning; it’s no fun.”

“He was cheating!” Louis complains.

Zayn raises an eyebrow. “Mate, beating you isn’t cheating.”

Him and Niall become easily drawn in by the game—I’m about eighty-three point one percent sure it’s Fifa—and ignore the rest of us.

“Zayn’s being mean,” Louis whines to Harry who then tugs his sleeve and pulls him into the tiny kitchen to make him a sandwich and probably kiss it all better, what do I know?

“Wow, they get distracted easily,” I mutter. “Hey, anyone seen Liam?”

Zayn shakes his head like in slow motion while still being all fixed on the screen. “Went out,” he says slowly. “Gym.”

Then he goes back to ignoring us.

“Nice,” I draw the word out as long as I can to prevent an awkward silence.

“I know that you were lying earlier, just by the way,” Ed mentions. “I mean, not that I mind a lot, I just thought I’d let you know.”

I almost choke on my spit. “What?”

He hands me a tiny piece of quite dirty lined paper. “Look what I found,” he says with a grin. I unfold the paper even though I’m pretty certain of what is written on it. And that I kept that in the pocket of my coat.

“You got that out of my pocket?” I screech.

He shrugs. “Well, no, it fell out when we were sitting on the couch.”

“Oh.”

“I did nick this one after that, though,” he says, holding up another piece of crumpled paper.

“Thanks.” My voice is about as dry as firewood.

“It’s nothing. But, I mean, this is genius! Be my last first kiss, be my forever, be my love / Let me hold you ‘cause this could be what I’ve dreamt of here and now / I could fly, I could move all the mountains and / I could uproot all trees if not, let’s pretend / That you’ll be my hero and I’ll be your queen, so / Let’s make this forever,” he reads off, beaming at me. This is my death.

“Stealing is a sin, I hope you know that.”

He shrugs. “So is lying, so I guess I’ll see you in hell.”

We stare at each other for a while and burst out laughing.

“No, on a more serious note,” he says when we’ve calmed down enough to form a coherent thought again, “that stuff is good. I mean, I read the first one and I loved it so I thought I might look what you’ve got.” He pauses. “That sounded so wrong and extremely sexual and I’m actually begging you not to tell Liam.”

I snort with laughter.

“No, I mean that. Have you seen his biceps? That bloke could crush me and I’m pretty sure he would. He really likes you and I’m only a defenceless chubby person,” he says.

I blush (I do that quite a lot lately) and shake my head, but it makes me smile. “Thanks. But you already said that.”

“I write songs because I notice people and because I’m good with feeling and all that mushy shit, and he talks about you in a more romantic way than my brother talks about the woman he married not too long ago.”

Wow. I really don’t know what to say to that so we stay silent for a while and watch the two boys in front of us get really emotional over a video game, until Ed turns to me.

“So, d’you reckon you could help me with that song?”

“Honestly?”

“I’m already halfway through making a song out of one of your poem-thingies, so yes, please.”

I smile widely. Get that. You go out with Niall Horan, experience Harry Styles getting a tattoo and Ed Sheeran asks you to write a song with him. All. In. One Day. Where’s Liam to make this one perfect?

I walk after Ed who’s already gotten his guitar out of nowhere and we finally decide on the gigantic bathroom because of ‘acoustic reasons’. I’ve never been in the bathroom of one of the suites and let me just tell you that the tiny flat Clary and I share is roughly the same size. I’m just saying.

“So how about you play what you’ve got until now?” I suggest because I’ve obviously never written a song before so I don’t really know how you usually do this stuff. But he nods and starts playing a few chords and then he plays a cord sequence that actually reminds me of something and I start to hum along. He eyes me carefully as if he know that I’m about to have an idea.

Everything is me is buzzing and I feel like I was just dipped into a whirlpool and I know that feeling from being in a phase of writing really well. It’s as if electricity is punped through my veins and it’s really hard to explain, but when I’m about to be really creative, when something’s about to happen, it’s as if my senses shift into a new pattern and all of a sudden, it’s a subconscious action. The writing, and now the music.

“Those cords really fit and idea I’ve had a while ago…” I trail off and Ed grins at me.

“Can you make all of it a bit slower, let them drift a bit, I don’t know? Bit more folk in a way.”

He plays it again and again, adding closer harmonies to what seems to be the chorus and I smile. After a few runs through the sequence, I close my eyes and start humming along and that’s when we have that spark that you get when you’re really good at something and it’s just flowing and you know you’ll definitely get it right.

“Fancy giving it a go?” Ed asks me.

I glower at him. “I suck at singing.”

“Well, good thing you’re not gonna record it later then, innit?”

I shake my head, smiling, but I do give it a go.

“The snow won’t stay forever and the sun will shine for you

The stars, they mean forever and forever will be true

Just take my hand and walk with me, spend a moment by my side

Be yourself and be yourself with pride.”

Ed goes on to the verses and then breaks it all off and hugs me spontaneously. “You are a genius!”

I snort. “Hardly.”

“Nope, you are!” He laughs like a maniac and I question his sanity for a tiny moment before I remember that he’s Ed Sheeran so there’s no way this bloke is sane.

“And you’ve had that for a while?”

I nod. “It was something I’ve been thinking about. Irish sayings in a poem about friendship. Or a song,” I add, smiling.

He shakes his head. “What did you use?”

They say take time for happiness, it’s the music of your soul?” I sing, using what seemed to be the melody of the verse.

His eyes spark.

If that is true then you are blessed with a song so beautiful

The birds will want to sing along and the mountains move for you

Cause you’re by far the happiest, you’re by far the greatest of all,” he continues with the verse, altering the melody for the last two lines a bit and I laugh in weird way because I realize that this song might just be something really good.

“Where did you get that?”

He shrugs. “Being a genius isn’t something that’s left for you.”

I shake my head. “The greatest friend, the greatest foe, the greatest person that I know

And maybe if I’m lucky enough, you’ll let me listen to it all.” I change the melody a bit further now, but let the chords stay the same again.

“I’ve never thought of writing a song about Irish blessings and sayings, but they’re practically all done material,” Ed ponders.

I shrug. “Well you don’t actually live here so how would you know?”

“I’m ginger after all.”

I nod. “True as well.”

He repeats what I made the chorus and nods as well. “Yeah, that fits. That’s good. I like that. Love it!” he exclaims and messes my hair up. “Can I keep you?”

I laugh and shake my head.

He starts to play a half-picked, half-strummed rhythm, still using the same chords, though, nodding contently as he plays.

“That’s so much better,” I breathe as he sings the chorus again.

“Wow, I like the compliments, too. I might actually keep you.”

I stick out my tongue like the stupid child I am.

We jam through the chorus a few more times, alternating the lyrics to what Ed’s sure he’ll use as ‘final chorus’ and even managing to work out two (and a half) more verses. Ed’s smile widens with each run; and tells me he’s definitely going to loop that one.

We’re interrupted by a sharp knock on the door.

“Ed, mate, I’m happy you’re here and all. But do you need to use the bathroom for your songwriting?” a tired voice asks that I can definitely identify as Liam’s. “Because I desperately need a shower and I thought you had a writer’s block or something?”

I probably look way too happy judging from Ed’s laughter.

“You look like a lost puppy that just found its owner again after getting lost in the park,” he jokes.

I glare at him and he holds his hands up almost defensively.

“Shutting up now.”

“Good,” I say and stalk out of the bathroom (which really did have a nice acoustic, in case I forgot to tell you that) to have my face collide with a very warm, very muscled chest. Wow. Smooth skin. Slightly sweaty. Shirt sticking to skin. A heartbeat that’s getting faster. I like that. Sort of. Hey, I’m a girl, I’m allowed to drool over things like that.

I look up to see Liam (well of course, what did I expect?) looking down at me and smiling.

“You know we could just meet normally next time,” he comments.

“Normal is dull.” I hate to distance myself from his warm chest but this might look weird so I step back. Fortunately, he seems to think the same thing as me, so he pulls me in for a hug.

He smells a bit like sweat and deodorant and a lot like Liam. His heartbeat is going fast now and that makes me smile because it’s nice to know that I have a similar impact on him to the one he has on me. Because, let’s face it, with him being Liam and looking like that and being Liam (I know I already said that but it deserves the repetition) this relationship is probably unhealthy considering the time I spend being clinically dead.

 “How’ve you been?” he asks quietly when we finally manage to pry ourselves apart.

“Okay,” I breathe.

“She was crying this morning.” Niall’s voice sounds way too close to my liking and sure enough, they’re all watching us like we’re an exhibit in a zoo or something.

“Loveosaurus rex, the last existing mated pair, extremely into body contact,” Louis jokes and I realize I must have just said that out loud.

I pull a face in his direction and he stares back, cross eyed.

“You’re such a twat, Louis.”

“Thanks.”

They still don’t move.

“Would you fucking mind?” Liam says and they scatter quite fast. Liam isn’t oen to swear a lot. Or at all, actually. Not really. Not the f-word.

He takes my face in his hands. “Why were you crying then?”

“Shouldn’t you shower before you catch a cold?” I try to avoid the topic. (Which, by the way, is ridiculous to try because it did happen on a social networking site after all, but never mind.) “You being all sweaty and all.” All delicious and muscly and wow, this is getting out of hand; this is not me talking here.

“I want to know why you were crying,” he says sternly and pulls me down on a tiny bench in the bathroom (yes, it’s that big).

I avoid his eyes. “I wasgettingsomemeantweetsandgotabitupset,” I rush.

He takes my chin into one hand and turns my head to face him, causing me to automatically get lost in his eyes. Have I even already gone on about his eyes? Because there is well enough reason to. They are an incredibly deep chocolatey-brown colour and framed by long lashes I really envy him for and it’s so easy to drown in them, well, it is for me.

“What happened?” he asks calmly and I can’t even lie to him or anything because, well, his eyes.

“I was getting some mean tweets from fans. Upset me a bit. That’s all. No big deal,” I say quietly and frankly, it doesn’t seem like too big a deal to me anymore. I have Liam and why should I care what a few girls out there think of me?

The thing is, I do care what people think about me, I do that a lot, and I know I will again when Liam leaves me alone for just a second and I’m out of reach of this calming effect he has on me.

“That is a bloody big deal!” Liam looks really angry and that scares me a bit. Liam is an awfully nice person and I haven’t seen him get angry at all. And now he’s fuming.

“It’s okay, Liam.”

“It's not okay,” he roars and I shrink back.

His eyes grow wide and he immediately realizes that what he just did was too much and that he scared me a bit. He takes me into his arms and presses me into him, probably calming him more than me.

But I like that.

“I’ll try to do something about that, okay?”

I nod. “Okay.”

“Do you … do you want me to tell them we’re going out?”

I bite my lip. “I’d rather not?” It sounds like a question. He looks a bit disappointed—Liam is a very honest person and I understand that he wants to put all his cards down as soon as possible—so I add quickly, “You know, just until they can get used to me a bit and I can get used to this whole thing about you basically being public property.”

He nods, but we both know that’s not the real reason. The real reason is that we’re rushing into this too much and that not making it public is our chance to bail. Whoever one of us might. And whatever Liam might think now, it could just as easily be him to break everything off; well, not that there’s much to actually break off. Still, I know he’s not happy with it and I know he hates lying. And I feel horrible for playing the card I know I’ll have as my ace—the card that says that he’ll do what he thinks I need, that he’ll do almost everything to please me with this. I shouldn’t play that card; I shouldn’t even have that card to play.

“So about Friday…?” I change the topic to something I know will lighten him up. And it does.

He grins. “Not telling anything.”

I frown. “Liam! I have literally no idea!”

“You said you’d fancy Chinese,” he offers.

I laugh. “You damn well know that’s not it! Can you at least tell me if I need to wear jeans or a dress?”

He shakes his head. “But bring a coat.” Then he gets up and I know this conversation is over. “So would you excuse me while I shower?”

I don’t move.

He’s in the middle of pulling is shirt off (and I’m in the middle of fainting, let me tell you) when he realizes I’m still here.

“What is it?” I chuckles.

I cross my arms. “At least tell me something!” I beg.

“You might need a coat,” he repeats as if he’s talking to a four-year-old.

I snort. “Great. That only tells me we’re not staying in the hotel.”

He beams at me “Exactly. Now I told you something. Now run along,” he makes a scurrying motion and threateningly lowers his hands to the waistband of his trackies when I stay, pondering if I should try to get more information out of him. I almost squeak and I’m out of the bathroom faster than a rocketship.

I can still hear his laughter over the sound of the shower when I’m ushering out of the hotel room, followed by the curious glances of the others.

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