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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5. Sort Of Seeing Someone.

Sort Of Seeing Someone

 

“And we’re back with One Direction who have just started their Take Me Home tour. Now, boys, what I’ve always wanted to ask: On your last album, Up All Night, there was a song with the same name, but this isn’t the case with this one. Why Take Me Home?”

I bite my lip and lean forward a bit, munching on the red velvet biscuit in my right hand. After Liam had dropped me off at my room, he had to hurry because he had a live interview. He told me which channel. Which is why I’m watching it.

The lads are crammed up on a pink sofa, all dressed in navy and greys. Like quintuplets. Louis is currently pulling on Harry’s curls and Niall seems to be half asleep. Nice.

“You know,” Liam says, “we’ve gotten older since Up All Night. We’ve grown up in a way. And I think it was more about missing home after all that touring—”

“Don’t get him wrong, we love the touring,” Louis butts in.

“Yeah, we do. But we miss home as well; our friends and family. Also, it’s to do with wanting to find that one person who will take you home. Like a special person.”

“By special person he means you,” Clary comments. She’s sitting next to me on our tiny sofa, just about as squeezed as the lads, watching the interview with me. Probably just because the biscuits are here. But you never know.

“Oh speaking of a special person, there seems to be quite the changes in your love lives. Who of you is currently in a relationship?”

Louis and Zayn raise their hands. I watch as Liam’s hand twitches, but he doesn’t raise it. I crinkle my nose. I realize we haven’t really talked about that yet. I mean, what do we say? What does he want to say? Does he even want this? This whole dating thing isn’t being nice to my nerves.

“Liam, you broke up with your girlfriend Danielle Peazer not too long ago?”

“Yes, the beginning of May.”

“So you’re free and ready to throw yourself out there into the heaps of single ladies?” I dig my fingernails into my palm without even noticing until Clary put her hand on top of mine.

“Actually,” Liam says, “I am sort of seeing someone.”

“You can’t sort of see someone,” the interviewer protests.

Louis mumbles something that makes the boys laugh and Liam blush.

“What was that?”

“Oh, nothing,” Louis grins. “Do continue.”

The interviewer nods, her eyebrows raised. “So what’s the deal with you then, Liam?”

“There’s this girl I really like. She’s great and I think she could really be someone for, you know, the long run.”

“So you’ve found a rebound girl?”

“I’m going to kill her,” Clary murmurs. “I’ve never liked Cecily Manson.”

“Nobody likes Cecily Manson,” I whisper back, leaning forward a bit more to hear Liam’s answer.

“She’s definitely not a rebound girl. We didn’t really meet at the best time, so we’re taking it slow, but this is something more.”

Clary squeals. “You're something more!”

I stare at the screen. “I can’t believe him.”

“That is so cute!”

“Shut up, Clary, I can’t hear.”

“I’d rather not tell you her name just yet,” Liam is answering right now. I silently thank whatever God there is for that unspoken agreement that Liam and I have to keep this secret as long as we can; or rather, until we’re both sure and I’ve made my peace with not having any privacy anymore.

“Very well. Have the other boys met her yet?”

Louis grins. “Oh, we have.”

Zayn elbows him in the gut. “E—she’s a nice girl.”

Nice save Zayn, you go Zayn.

Cecily raises her perfectly arched eyebrows, but doesn’t comment. “So you like her?”

“I approve,” Niall says. “It’s nice to see Liam really happy. He seems a lot more like the X Factor Liam. Only he can’t ever leave his phone be; they’ve been constantly texting and skyping and whatnot while we were away. But she seems like a great person and he’s a lot more relaxed now. Every time he gets a text from her he also smiles like a moron.”

Wow. I didn’t think Niall thought so highly of me. We haven’t even talked properly. And I sure can’t have that much of an effect on Liam, can I?

“Okay then. Sorry girls, someone snatched him right off the market again, as it seems,” Cecily says and her guests go all aww. “So, Louis, are you still with Eleanor Calder?”

“Yup, going strong.”

“Zayn, you’re dating Perrie Edwards from Little Mix, right?”

“That’s right.”

“They have a dog,” Niall says.

“It’s not a proper dog, it’s a rabbit with a fancy blow-dry,” Louis jokes. “Their dog fits into the sink. That’s not a dog.”

“Hachi’s still a puppy!” Zayn complains.

“An extremely tiny puppy,” Harry laughs. “Liam’s got a proper dog.”

“Hey, haven’t you always wanted a dog?” Clary asks.

I squint at her. “Don’t even.”

“I wasn’t gonna say anything.”

“Sure you were.”

She huffs and turns back to the TV.

“So we’ve got some questions from your fans—”

“Don’t call them fans or they’ll hurt you,” Louis interrupts her. “They’re directioners. That’s important.”

She rolls her eyes and I laugh. “We’ve got some questions from directioners. One for each of you and one for the whole band.”

“Shoot,” Harry says, but because of his slow talking it sounds terribly funny.

“Niall, Liz from Killarney wants to know what’s your favourite dish at Nando’s?”

Niall looks like someone just stabbed him in the heart. “You can’t just ask that? What is wrong with you people?” He seriously looks like he’ll start sobbing just about now, which reminds me a lot of Clary when you take away her food. “I can’t answer that. I’m sorry. I just… I can’t.”

“Inner conflict much?” Clary giggles and I bite my lip to refrain from laughing.

“Zayn, then. You wanted to be an English teacher right? So your question is from Addison in Galway, what’s your favourite book?”

“That’s a good one, actually,” Liam says.

“It is a good one,” Zayn nods. “I’m gonna say Harry Potter.”

“Liam, what’s your favourite thing about spring?”

“These questions are really deep,” Harry says. “And weird.”

Zayn nods. “Yeah, four for you, Ireland.”

“You go, Ireland!” Clary exclaims at the same time as Louis says it. I giggle.

“I guess … maybe all the shamrocks around here? That’s really nice. And, I guess, how everything just starts growing; new beginnings and stuff. Also, hot chocolate. Not spilled over my feet, though.”

I blush furiously, getting that he’s hinting at my cocoa mug.

“What happened there?”

Liam scratches the back of his head nervously.

“Liam knocked over a mug with hot chocolate that a girl left in the hotel elevator,” Louis says, grabbing the microphone from Liam.

“The elevator girl?”

“You’ve watched the twitcam back then, huh?” Liam frowns. “Yeah, I want to apologize to the hotel staff at this point. The doors closed before I realized what a mess that had made.”

The boys laugh and even Cecily grins.

“While we’re at it—the cookie girl, Esmée Minton. Liam, you’ve been seen with her a few times already. Is there something going on?”

Again, Liam is saved, only this time, it’s Niall who helps him.

“Yea, a bit. She’s really nice and she bakes well, so I reckon we’re gonna see if we can meet up with her at some point.”

“Well, if that’s what you gotta do to be friends with One Direction then bring out the cooking books,” Cecily jokes.

“This is not a good interview for him, huh?” Clary comments. “I mean, he’s in some deep shit. Not that it’s not cute how he worships you. He’s just in really, really deep shit right now.”

I glare at Clary. “Necessary?”

She shrugs. “Probably not, nope.”

“But is that it? Apparently, Liam, you were seen with her in a tearoom today, looking pretty cozy.” The photo that pops up on the screen is a really bad quality, but you can still recognize Liam from that moment when he took off his wig. You can also see me in a half-profile, a smile on my face. It’s not like we’re kissing or anything, but our hands are clasped together on the table and yes, this looks very much like a date.

I feel all the blood leaving my face.

“Come on, that’s just two people having a cuppa together,” Louis says.

Harry nods. “Just because she’s a girl, you’re making this a date.”

Cecily shrugs. “You are holding hands, aren’t you?” Her hawk-like eyes are fixed on Liam.

“Honestly,” he says, and I’m surprised by how calm he sounds and how smooth the lie flows off his lips when he’s usually such a shitty liar, “this is just a picture taken in the right moment to make completely wrong opinions. So our hands touched; that doesn’t mean anything. Esmée’s a great friend, but don’t go and flood her with hate because that’s all she is.”

Cecily doesn’t look convinced, but she lets it pass. “Well then. Louis, your question is next.”

“Did she just pronounce that Lewis?” Clary asks me astonished.

“I think she did,” I answer, my eyes glued to the screen in wonder as well.

“That is so gonna be on tumblr,” she murmurs, her eyes still wide.

I take a bite from another biscuit, not even looking at it. “Oh yeah.”

Louis finally finishes his sassy response to being called Lewis and lets Cecily—who is deep red in the face by now—pose her question.

“What’s the thing you miss the most about Yorkshire? This is from Emily, Pallas Green.”

“The tea,” Louis answers right away. “Oh, and my Mum of course.” He smiles cheesily into the camera. “Love you, Mum!”

For a moment, I think I saw Cecily roll her eyes.

“Okay, Harry. Amber from Derrynasliggaun wants to know, what’s the best thing about being you?”

“Finding out a place called Derrynasliggaun exists,” he answers with a completely straight face. “No, but seriously, I think it’s being able to be with the boys to spend time with my best mates all the time. Doing what I love and even getting money for it. And the girls.”

Cecily forces a smile. She really is a git.

“Okay, so this is our last question to One Direction before our show ends. What is your favourite place in Dublin so far?”

The boys all look at each other and answer in unison, “There are these tea rooms…”

I turn off the TV in exasperation and sigh.

“I am so done with this. I’m gonna go bake something.”

When I’m stressed, I bake. It’s what I do. It’s a bit like therapy to me. Clary usually mocks it, but it’s not like she minds the extra food. Not Clary.

I hear her laughter when I’m already in the kitchen.

 

 

 

 

Liam

 

“So, how was your datetetetetetee?”

I arch an eyebrow at Niall. “That’s not even a word. And you should know, you crashed it.”

“Sorry not sorry!” Louis screams from his room (where he’s probably still scrubbing his face to remove excess make-up) and I roll my eyes.

“Do you need to speak Twitter?”

“He’s starting to speak Tumblr as well, it worries me,” Harry tells me, literally falling into the sofa.

“Oh, I found out May has a tumblr.”

“Nickname basis? Nice.”

I growl at Louis. “Her birthday is in May and her name sounds like it. Can’t stand it, sit down.”

Niall laughs. “Your girlfriend’s got a tumblr? That is just ace.”

I hit him with a pillow. “She’s not my girlfriend.”

“Yeah,” Zayn grins. “She’s just a friend, a really good friend. With whom you go and have cupcakes in cuddly tearooms. Whom you snog on the open street. Sure.”

“They just get on really well, okay?” Louis says, walking into the room and plopping down on the sofa next to Harry, ruffling his mate’s hair.

I scoff at the awful Harry pun. “That wasn’t even funny. – Wait, how do you know we snogged?”

“You actually did snog on the open street?” Harry laughs, holding his hand up. “High five, mate.”

I groan and ignore his hand.

“Hey, you can’t just leave me hanging!”

“Yeah, Liam,” Louis mocks. “You can’t just leave him hanging!”

I grumble a response not even I can make out.

“Louis, he’s leaving me hanging!”

Louis sighs dramatically and high-fives Harry so that he can finally lower his arm.

“Cheers, mate.” He glares at me. “You have a date with a fit bird and you’re still mean.”

“Leave Liam alone, it was just a friendly coffee,” Zayn grins.

I sigh.

“He came back from that coffee all smiley and giddy and hasn’t stopped humming the Batman theme. Liam isn’t smiley and giddy. X Factor Liam is, but buzz cut Liam isn’t. He’s in love. Case closed.”

“Wise words from Louis,” Niall remarks.

“Yeah.” Zayn laughs. “Never thought that’d happen, did ya?”

“Lurrrrrrrrrrrve,” Louis grins back, not even slightly offended. I hit him across the back of his head.

Harry puffs out his cheeks. “And it’s gone again.”

“Shut it, Louis, Liam can go out with his girlfriend, sorry, the girl he’s madly in love with but hasn’t asked to be his bird yet, without you bugging him.”

I sigh. “Thanks, Zayn. I guess.”

“Oh, so you admit she’s your girlfriend?” Niall asks.

“No!”

“But that you’re madly in love with her?”

I shake my head again. “No! … Yes.”

Harry snorts. “That’s pathetic.”

I throw a pillow at him. “You’re pathetic.”

“Your comeback is pathetic.”

“Guys!” Niall grabs the pillow from Harry before he can throw it back. “Cool it.”

“But for real, how are you in love with a girl you don’t even know properly?” Zayn asks, looking at me seriously for once.

I shrug helplessly. “I don’t know, Zayn. I don’t know.”

“Oh, I know, let’s stalk her twitter!” Niall cries. “We should’ve done that when you started texting her every minute of the day, but now it’s overdue; I mean, you basically just admitted you loved her.”

I blink. “I don’t even know her twitter.”

“The whole world knows her twitter after that sugarscape thing. I just wonder how they find everything out,” Harry muses.

“They scare me.”

I laugh at Louis, but secretly, I agree a bit.

“EsmeeMint,” Zayn announces, fiddling with his phone. I glance over his shoulder as he follows her.

“Oh, read out her last tweets!” Louis squeals.

Zayn grins. “Wait, I’m scrolling down a bit.” He does so, shoving me away with one hand. “I can’t fucking see, Liam, back off.”

I pout, but do as he tells me.

“Ah, okay. I like that one. ‘My type is Batman. Or Liam Payne. I’m not kidding either; you literally have to be Batman or Liam Payne.’ She’s quite funny. Look, ‘I would not buy the 1D UGGs if they were the last shoes on earth and it’s below zeeero outside.’ They are ugly, though. And her spelling almost matches yours. I want to throw a dictionary at her.” I choose to ignore that comment.

“Oh, she posts a lot of pictures of cake on her instagram,” Niall says. He’s on his phone as well, stalking Esmée. Poor girl.

“Can we get some cake?”

I roll my eyes. “Niall, no.”

“But it’s your girlfriend’s instagram’s fault I’m hungry.”

“Haha, look what I found!” Zayn exclaims. “You know the evening of that twitcam, when she brought the cookies to our room? She tweeted ‘People who order cookies and milk at 3 a.m. are the worst kind of people.’ And an hour later ‘Never mind, I like people who order cookies and milk at 3 a.m.’”

“That’s cute,” Niall smiles.

“She’s generally cute,” I say.

Louis gets out his phone and, wordlessly, lets it make that whipping sound again.

Harry coughs. “And he hasn’t even shagged her yet.”

I roll my eyes.

“But look at her insta– oh, she just posted new photo.” Niall clicks on something on his iPhone and groans shortly after, looking as if he was in pain. “That’s not fair!” He turns his phone so we can all see the photo. “It’s chocolate soufflés! Chocolate soufflés!”

“Hey, who’s that guy?” Zayn asks. He’s right, there’s a guy in the picture. Esmée is holding up a batch with the soufflés and next to her, there’s a guy in his late twenties, grinning.

“The description says his name is Nico,” Niall tells us. “What kind of name is Nico?”

I have the strong urge to hit that Nico in the face until I remember Esmée telling me he’s the hotel’s cook who is marrying his fiancé in June. (The one she went to the tattoo parloud with.) Oh. I really do need to tune that down.

“What does it say?” Harry asks.

“’Nico claims this is Boyfriend Baking.’ Hey Harry, what is boyfriend-baking?”

Harry shrugs. “Maybe it’s baking with your boyfriend.”

I glare at him. “It’s not.”

“Ooh, but if she isn’t your girlfriend…” Louis trails off, waggling his eyebrows.

Zayn looks up from his phone. “Boyfriend Baking is apparently the ‘act of baking that some girls fall into when they meet a guy that’s for keeps, or whom they really like’, at least Urban Dictionary says so. They just bake a lot.”

“That’s funny; I thought she wasn’t your girlfriend.”

I glare at Louis and he holds up his hands. “Okay, shutting up now.”

“She did tell me she was going to bake later on...” I trail off because my phone dings. It’s a text from Esmée. I put my number into her phone earlier when I walked her to her flat.

What did Louis say earlier? xx

I smile at how cute she is. She doesn’t even use text language.

“Oh, is it a text from yours truly again?”

I glare at Niall and type an answer.

You might not want to know that.

 

I do.

“Louis, you’re an arse,” I tell him.

“What’d I do?”

“Guess who’s asking me what you said during the interview?”

He smirks cheekily and snatches my phone away so quickly I can’t even react.

“I’ll answer her!” he screeches and my eyes widen in horror. “Harold, restrain him!”

Harry does as he’s told—sure, when does he not take Louis’ side—and the other boys help him tackle me. By the time they let go, Lou has sent the text and all I can do is read it and shake my head. This is not good.

Louis, being the awesome and uber-sexy lad he is, said that you can’t sort of see someone, especially not when all you seem to do is snog in elevators. Which he is right with because we do but I can’t help I’m so in luuurve with yuuuuuuh. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Leeyum

I frown. Great. But when Esmée texts back, I have to grin.

Hi Louis :)

This is why I like this girl.

Sorry for that.

 

No worries. Hey, what exactly are you doing like right now? xx

 

Nothing really. xx

 

Listen, do you want to pick up some cake and stuff later on I went overboard with baking.

I almost scoff and decide to call her.

“Hiya,” her chirpy voice answers.

“Hey, May.”

“Ooh, Liam’s calling his not-girlfriend,” Louis mocks and I throw a pillow at him before leaving the room.

“I still can’t get over you calling me May. I literally makes me blush.” I grin. “So, anyways, if you want, you guys can come by my flat and pick up some food, I did way too much baking. My roommate Clary knows who you are. Then again, half the world knows who you are. But anyways. Go on.”

“Sure,” I start to say but I’m interrupted by the sound of shrill laughter.

“Okay, that’s Missy. She’s Nico’s fiancée and we’re at a tattoo parlour. Again. She’s actually decided so she’s getting one now. Don’t ask what. Oh, look at that, Missy just trashed half the place. I need to go. Bye, love you!” And with that, she just hangs up. I stare at the phone in confusion. Did she … did she just say what I think she said? And if so… no, Esmée is the kind of girl to love everyone and everything. That’s one of the first things I learnt about her.  I shake my head and walk back into the room.

“Niall, Esmée said we could get some baked stuff from her flat, you wanna go?”

The blonde lad is next to me in less than a second. “Sure, can we leave?”

I shake my head, laughing, and we leave the hotel room.

“So,” Niall says, “You really fancy her, don’t you?”

I just nod. There’s nothing to say, to be fair.

“You had that same look on your face when you got together with Danielle. That look as if the world was just sunshine and blowjobs.”

“Don’t swear.”

“I just want to say that I’m happy for you. And she seems like an alright girl. And I know you’re probably over-thinking everything because you’re you and you probably worry that it’s going too fast, but seriously, you’re in deep, mate. And if it's that love at first sight shit, then by all means, go for it.”

I flash Niall a genuine smile. “Thanks, mate.” There is a reason why he’s my best mate, even though I constantly have to feed him. He knows me like nobody else and he’s really supportive. Niall is one of the best friends you could ask for. The best friend.

“I think this is it,” I say, stopping at the lime green door.

Niall rubs his hands together. “Did she say what sort of stuff she made?”

I shrug. “You stalked her instagram, you tell me.”

He has the decency to blush. “That’s not funny. Are you gonna knock or what?”

I do knock, but it takes two repeats and one kick from Niall for someone to open the door. In front of us, there is a violently giggling ginger.

“Oh,” she says when she sees us. “Hiya. Come on in, folks.” Her Irish accent is even heavier than Niall’s.

“You must be Clary,” I greet her. “Esmée has told me about you.”

She rolls her eyes. “Yah, probably only bad things. She’s told me about you as well, though. Like, all the time. I think she has a blog dedicated to your existence.”

“Uhm … great,” I say as Niall snorts trying not to laugh. Actually, it's quite cute. And it means I’m not the only one who’s completely lost.

“Come on in,” she says, stepping aside and walking towards what I know is the kitchen. She is tall for a girl, as tall as Niall, and stick thin. Her strawberry blonde hair, however, is big.

“So Essie said you might come by and pick some munchies up. Personally, I did hope you wouldn’t so I could lie to her and say you had and eat it all by myself, but whatever. She packed boxes.”

Niall grins. “You call her Essie?”

“Yah, she hates it, but do I care?”

“Liam calls her May.”

I groan. I should not have taken Niall.

“Wow,” Clary says. “Has she hit you yet?”

I frown. “Why?”

“Oh God, she must really fancy you, this isn’t even funny anymore. Well anyways, those are red velvet biscuits and over there, that’s Champagne Heart cake. Or well, it was supposed to be a heart, but it sort of looks like an L.” Niall winks at me, what a moron. “She nearly cried. Uhm, I think she made some triple chocolate cookie as well; they should be in the box with the cupcakes.”

Niall gawks at the cake boxes. “You know, Liam, if you didn’t have dibs on that one…”

Clary nods. “I know, I would so starve without that lass. And she’s so nice about everything it makes me want to hug her all the time. She cannot think badly of anyone. Never. It’s a miracle. That’s why I was sort of against her with you.”

Niall’s eyes widen. “Now I know what’s wrong with your girlfriend!”

“There’s nothing wrong with her!” I snap, realizing my mistake a bit too late. “I mean, she’s not my girlfriend!”

Clary and Niall both grin, but they don’t comment.

“She has an accent!” Niall sounds as if he just had an epiphany.

I frown. “No, she doesn’t.”

“Not for you,” Clary says and Niall nods.

“She should have an Irish accent, but hers is British!”

“She’s from London,” Clary and I say unisono.

She laughs and then squints at me. “This is scary. Did you exchange life stories or something?”

I rub the back of my neck. “Something.”

Niall senses my awkwardness and changes the topic, “Nice pyjamas,” he tells Clary. She blushes and tugs on her shamrock pyjama bottoms.

“Thanks.”

I only grin.

“What?” she huffs. “It’s Sunday and I don’t have to work, so I’m doing the usual fuck all. It's not my fault my lousy roommate would rather go on mushy dates or disappear with the crazy fiancenot.”

“I assume that’s Missy?”

Clary scoffs and turns away from me to face Niall, making a face and pointing to me. “Does he always know everything?”

Niall nods solemnly. “One fan once said Liam’s like Jesus. He knows everything. He will find out everything. Liam is Jesus.”

“Ed Sheeran is Jesus.”

“Ed is cool,” I comment. “He’s really close with Harry as well, I guess that’s because of the whole Harry Potter inside jokes. They share a couch sometimes.”

Clary almost chokes. “Does she know that? Scratch that, she knows everything about you. But has she ever told you the only thing she loves even nearly as much as your face is the Ginger Jesus’ music?”

I smile. “She hasn’t actually.”

“She’s done quite the good job not screaming as well,” Niall comments, munching on a cookie.

I squint. “Where’d you get that?”

He blushes. “I …”

“Niall, put the food back.”

“Yeah, blondie, I am the only one taking advantage of Mint’s baking,” Clary jokes. “But seriously, lover boy, if you ever plan on proposing to her, and I don’t know when that might be given the rate of all of this, no offence, get Ed Sheeran to help you and your chances double.”

“That hurts,” I grin.

“Yeah, I think the chances are already like 600% so don’t worry too much.”

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