C'est La Vie

HIM: Niall James Horan. Irish. Boyband member. My best friend. The guy I am hopelessly in love with. All rolled up into one.
ME: Maxime Adelina Mercer. American, but of French descent (cue to my name, in case you couldn’t tell). Personal trainer/physical therapist for previously mentioned boyband. Eternally friendzoned.

Will Niall ever see me as more than just a friend? Or is this just the life I'm destined to live? Being friendzoned by the boy who means more than the world to me.

Find out more in "C'est La Vie"

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10. National Completely Confuse Max Day

 

3 Days Later... 

"Liam come on! Quit being a pussy and finish this set! Just twenty seconds left!" I shouted, laying on the floor in front of Liam as he did his press ups - shirtless, mind you.

"You said twenty seconds...three minutes ago!" He replied in gasps, sweat dripping from his forehead as he struggled to make a complete press up.

"Don't question me Payne, push it! You're almost done!"

Liam couldn't muster a reply as he continued to fight for breath, his arms shaking as he struggled.

"Good! You're almost there! Six seconds left...five...four...three...two--"

"One!" Liam shouted, falling to the ground on his stomach. 

I couldn't help but laugh at poor Liam. I always pushed him the hardest in training sessions, but only because he asked me to. 

I clapped Liam on the back one time, his heavy breathing filling the room. "Atta way Liam, good job." I said sincerely.

As I wiped his sweat off the palm of my hand, Liam rolled over on his back and stared at the ceiling, his breathing beginning to regulate.

"Damn Max. You irritate the hell out of me but you sure are good at your job."

I threw my head back and laughed. "I'm going to ignore the first part of that." I replied, standing up and grabbing a water bottle, tossing it to Liam. He caught it expertly and thanked me. "Seriously though, you've improved tons. That's the toughest set I've given you thus far and you killed it."

Liam took a drink of his water and gave me a crooked grin. "Thanks." He said bashfully.

I started to write down times and numbers in my training notebook from Liam's set as he grabbed a towel and wiped his face. He threw the towel over his shoulder and came up behind me, peering over my shoulder at my organized list. I always recorded information from my own personal workouts, as well as each of the boys'.

"Hey how come Niall's list is blank for the past three days?"

I sighed, continuing to write Liam's information. "Because the little twat hasn't been showing up to his sessions. It's kind of pissing me off, I'm setting aside time for him and he just bails on me."

I finished writing and tossed my notebook on a nearby bench, turning around to face Liam. I put my hands on my hips and peered up at him curiously.

"I don't get it. How can he and I go from being best friends to avoiding each other in just a few days?"

Liam laughed. "Babe he caught you making out with Harry, I'd probably be avoiding you if I were him too."

I rolled my eyes. "That's bullshit though, so what if I made out with Harry? It didn't mean anything."

"Maybe to you it didn't." Liam muttered under his breath.

Woah.

What?

"Excuse me?" I asked.

Liam's eyes went wide and he opened his mouth to respond but it took him a moment to form words.

"I just, you know, I was just saying that Harry, erm, he doesn't really think things through and...and...yeah." He muttered, turning around and grabbing his things.

"Liam what do you mean 'maybe to me'? Are you saying that Harry--"

"Look babe I've gotta get a shower, the whole crew has a meeting later this afternoon about the show tomorrow, I'll see you then!" Liam cut me off hurriedly, kissing my cheek before running out the door, leaving me speechless.

What the hell just happened?

Was Liam implying that Harry had...feelings for me? Other than feelings directed towards my vagina, that is.

There's no way. He just kissed me at the arena the other day to get me to shut up, and because I didn't look like a slug that day. That's all it was.

Right?

Shaking my head to clear all the crazy thoughts running around, I checked the time on my phone. It was six in the morning, and Harry was supposed to come down to the gym for his session in fifteen minutes. Perfect amount of time for me to get a quick run in on the treadmill.

I took my tanktop off, leaving me in just my sports bra and Nike shorts. The gym was totally empty, so I put my headphones in and hopped on the machine. I started off at a fairly decent pace, wanting to get two miles in before Harry showed up.

Things with Harry and I hadn't really been awkward over the past two days. It was just...strange. 

I was so used to him being an arrogant little prick to me and now ever since I cried on him and then kissed him, he's been all...nice.

Which is weird. I would much rather that curly haired prick be a jerk than nice. Because when he's nice he makes me feel all...tingly inside.

And that is not a good thing, ladies and gentleman. Not a good thing at all.

At least he hadn't made any more moves to kiss me so far. That's a good thing.

I think.

I was about seven minutes into my run when I looked in the mirror in front of me and saw a familiar face standing behind me, clad in workout clothes.

However, it wasn't who I was expecting.

I blanched for a minute in shock, losing my footing on the treadmill. In typical Max fashion, I started to go down but caught myself at the last minute on the railing after spouting a few choice curse words.

I turned off the treadmill and stood on either side of the belt as it slowed down, catching my breath. I looked up and saw him trying not to laugh at me and my clumsiness.

"Oh fuck off Horan." I spat, yanking my headphones out of my ears and hopping off of the treadmill.

Niall just shook his head and kept giggling as I tossed my iPod in my gym bag. I turned to him with my hand on my hips, my breathing still a bit staggered. 

Damn, he looked good. He had on low slung green gym shorts and a white tanktop, his hair sticking out everywhere adorably. His grin just made him that much more attractive.

"What are you doing here?" I asked in a not so lady-like-tone. He stopped laughing at that.

"I came to see you." He replied softly.

I rolled my eyes turning and facing the mirror, pulling my hair out of its ponytail. I flipped my head a few times to shake out the mess. My long blonde hair actually looked kind of cool, all voluminized and shit. Is that even a word? Well it is now.

"You know what Niall?" I asked, grabbing a towel and wiping my face. I pretended not to see him ogling my ass as he stood a few feet behind me. "If you hadn't been avoiding me lately, I might have thought it was sweet of you to come say hey." 

I tossed the towel on the ground and turned back to Niall, leaning back against the mirror and crossing my arms.

"But you have been avoiding me." I continued. "So I'm a bit confused at the moment."

Niall sighed and ran his fingers through his hair, looking down at the ground. "I know, I know, I've been a dick since the other day but--"

"Damn right you've been a dick." I cut him off.

He finally looked up at me then and it took every ounce of my willpower to just keep standing. His gorgeous blue eyes bore into mine, and I could tell that he really did feel bad. Ugh, damn him and his perfectness.

"I know, and I'm sorry." He croaked out. He took a few steps closer to me then, still keeping his head down. "It's been killing me to stay away from you, and--"

"Then why are you?" I cut him off, pushing off the wall and striding over to him. "Why haven't you texted me back, or answered my calls? Come to see me? Jesus, Niall, you haven't even shown up to your training sessions!"

"I know, Max, it's just--"

"Just what?" I interrupted yet again, stepping up so close to him we were almost chest to chest. "What could possibly be keeping you away from me?" My voice was rising to an almost shout at this point.

"You know damn well what Max, don't play dumb!"

I scoffed and rolled my eyes. "Actually I don't, but please, enlighten me!"

Niall pulled at his hair and groaned in frustration, turning his back to me.

"Niall just spit it out already before I--"

"It's him!" He cut me off, spinning back around to face me, his cheeks flushed red. I was quiet for a moment.

"What do you--"

"It's Harry! Every time I look at you all I can think about is you kissing him! It sucks bad enough that I had to actually see it, but now it's playing through my head all the time and I hate it!" He shouted exasperatedly.

My jaw dropped. He was honestly still that upset about me kissing Harry? Well, Harry kissing me, then me kissing him back. But it didn't mean anything! Well...it definitely didn't to me. 

Did it?

While I was zoning out, Niall had continued ranting, mostly to himself, and I tuned in to the last part of it.

"...and I just can't stand the thought of you kissing him even though I know you guys are probably  together or something now and--"

"Woah, woah, woah, hold up." I cut him off, holding my hand up. "What do you mean we're 'together now'?" I asked, making air quotes with my fingers.

Niall cocked his head to the side at me. "You and Harry. You guys are like, a thing now."

I was only able to hold back the laughter for a split second. 

"What do...you mean...we're a thing?" I asked, clutching my stomach and talking in between bouts of laughter.

Niall couldn't help but grin at my reaction.

"Wait, so you and Harry aren't..."

"No!" I shouted with a grin, still giggling. "Why would you even think that?" I asked incredulously.

Niall shook his head and laughed, scuffing his shoes on the gym floor. "I dunno, he's just been talking about you so much lately and, I just kind of assumed..."

I giggled at his cute little embarrassed face and stepped up to him, grabbing his hands in my own.

"Niall. I am not with Harry in any way, shape, or form. I haven't even touched him since the other day at the arena."

Niall's smile made his eyes squint up and I couldn't help but smile back at him.

"Max you don't know how happy that makes me." He finally said, wrapping his arms around me in a massive hug.

I giggled, burying my face in his chest as I hugged him back. God I had missed his hugs so much over the past few days.

We clutched onto each other for a few more seconds before we finally pulled back. Niall looked down at me and smiled softly. I giggled at him yet again. Then his face got serious and he reached up, tucking my hair behind my ear. My smile faded as well.

This situation just got very heated, very quickly.

We were chest to chest now, one of his hands on my bare waist, the other touching my cheek softly. He was looking into my eyes like he never had before, and I didn't have the strength to look away.

"I'm going to try something," He said softly, "Please don't hit me."

Then, Niall Horan, my best friend in the world, leaned down and kissed me.

My eyes fluttered shut as his lips made contact with mine. The second they did, it was as if someone had electrocuted me. Sparks flew out everywhere across my body, making my hands shake as I reached up and pressed my fingers to the nape of his neck. 

His lips were so soft, so gentle against mine. He wasn't forceful whatsoever, just oh so tender. His thumb caressed my cheek and his hand on my waist pulled me closer to him.

The kiss lasted only about five seconds, but for all I knew it had been ages. Niall pulled away softly, and my eyes stayed closed even at the loss of contact. A second or two passed and I finally opened them, slowly. The first thing I saw were his gorgeous blue eyes, staring down at me intently. 

"W-What was that for?" I stuttered out with a squeak.

What the hell? I never stutter.

Niall chuckled, skimming his thumb across my bottom lip and making me shiver. This boy was going to be the death of me.

"That," he said, "was my way of getting the image of you kissing Harry out of my head. Now I can think about that instead."

Ouch. So that kiss was only for him to get rid of some mental image? Well that hurt.

Niall must have seen the look on my face because he quickly made a move to recover.

"No, no, no, not like that. I just...I was supposed to be the one kissing you in the first place, not him. So...better late than never, right?" He said with a light smile.

Oh. Well I can handle that I suppose.

And by handle that, I mean mentally FREAK OUT because he wanted to kiss me. Ten points for Mercer.

Niall chuckled again at my still speechless state. Well what did he expect? The guy I was hopelessly in love with just kissed me for crying out loud.

"I'll see you around Maxime." He whispered huskily in my ear, making my knees go weak yet again. 

Then, he kissed my cheek and turned around, walking towards the door, leaving me standing in the middle of the room with a stupid lovesick look on my face.

This is not me! I don't get speechless, I'm always the one with a smartass remark, or witty retort! Yet one kiss from that Irish fucker has my tongue feeling like lead.

I watched as Niall made his way to the door, opening it just as Harry came around the corner.

Of course they would run into each other at a time like this, just my luck.

"Oh hey Niall." Harry said in surprise.

I couldn't see Niall's face since his back was to me, but I would bet fifty bucks that he was looking at Harry with a smug grin.

"Sup Harry." He replied, looking over his shoulder at me and winking before turning back to his friend. "I'll see you later, man." He said, clapping Harry's shoulder as he finally exited the room.

"Uh...yeah, see you later." Harry replied slowly and confused as the door shut behind him, leaving just he and I in the gym.

Well. This is quite awkward.

We stood there for a moment, just looking at each other.

Come on Max, say something!

"Hi." I finally squeaked out, rolling my eyes at myself. Since when do I squeak?!

Harry chuckled, tossing his bag on the ground and walking over to me. "Hey Max." He said.

See, that's what I was talking about! The old Harry would have called me Frenchie, just to piss me off. I wasn't used to Nice Harry, it's just too weird.

"So uh, what's up with you and Niall?" He asked, taking his shirt off and tossing it on a random bench. I turned my head so as not to stare at his abs.

What the hell? What is wrong with me? I'm known for lusting after boys openly, especially my friends! Now I'm turning away to avoid ogling Harry? Everything is so messed up!

"Uh, nothing." I managed to spit out, picking up my notebook and opening up to Harry's page to see what set I had planned for him today. "He just wanted to apologize for skipping out on his session the past couple of days." I lied, shooting Harry a not-so-convincing smile.

Harry scoffed, sitting down to relace his tennishoes. 

"Yeah, right." He muttered.

I turned and looked at him with an eyebrow cocked. "What makes you say that?" I asked innocently.

Harry looked up and rolled his eyes at me. "Oh come on Max, I'm not stupid. He's still pissed at me for kissing you and for... other stuff, too. I've been expecting him to make a move since then, I'm surprised it took him so long."

"Wait...what?" I asked, confused.

Harry laughed and stood up, walking over to me.

"C'mon Max. You gotta stop being so naive. I like you, and Niall knows that. But he doesn't think I'm good enough for you. So he's trying to step in so that I won't ask you out."

My jaw dropped in shock, making a popping sound. 

"What?" I asked incredulously. "That's insane! And what do you mean you like me? You can't like me! You hate me!"

Harry just laughed, completely unphased by my reaction. "Oh Max, you're so oblivious. I just acted like I hated you so you would pay me some attention instead of Niall."

What the hell?! Is today National Completely Confuse Max Day?

"So...wait." I choked, out looking down at my feet and not up at Harry, who was much to close to me for my liking. "Niall doesn't really...he doesn't really like me?" I asked, looking back up at the guy in front of me. "He just doesn't want me to be with you?"

Harry pursed his lips, his adam's apple bobbing up and down as he swallowed in thought. "Yeah." He finally choked out.

I scoffed in disbelief. That asshole! Suddenly, the tingling feeling that was still on my lips from Niall's kiss felt slimy and wrong. I huffed and turned around, grabbing a towel off the bench and wiping my mouth.

"That fucker!" I muttered, turning back to Harry. "He thinks he has the right to fuck with my feelings? Hell no!" 

Why did Harry look so guilty? Oh well, never mind that, I was too pissed off to focus on that.

I began to pace back and forth, my hands on my hips.

"I can't believe it. I thought he was my friend, now he's screwing with my emotions just because he thinks I 'deserve better'. Well who is he to decide who I am or who I'm not with! And who says you're not a good guy!" I shouted, gesturing to Harry. He began to say something, but I cut him off. "Y'know what, he doesn't know anything! I make my own decisions, and I will not be manipulated by him!" 

With that being said, I strode over to Harry and grabbed his neck, pulling him down to me. He was stunned as I pressed my mouth to his. He quickly relaxed though, grabbing my waist and pulling me flush against him, kissing me hard.

I pulled away and looked up at Harry with determination in my eyes.

"Me and you, Styles. We're going to teach Niall a little lesson. That nobody messes with Maxime Mercer. Nobody."

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