Even If.

"You'd love me? Even if it's not you who I choose?" I whispered to him.
"Even if," he swore.

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19. Fifteen.

Song of the chapter: Cold December Night by Michael Buble. I STRONGLY ADVISE LISTENING TO THIS SONG TO GET THE FEELING OF THE CHAPTER BEFORE IT STARTS. 
*_*

The was an underlying awkwardness in the whole thing. Of course, I had fun with my friends, and I got to live my dream at the same time. The problem? At the end of the night I was pretty sure that I'd never be able to face Jack and Finn again.

It all started after I scrubbed, waxed, and cleaned every inch of my home. I did everything I could to make my home presentable. I even went out to the shops with Zeus to buy some new curtains, candles, and rugs for the living room. 

At about 2 o clock, my house was spotless and I had taken a shower and gotten ready for the camera crews to come and set up.

Just as they had promised, at 5:30 sharp I heard a knock at my door. As soon as I swung the door open, the crew poured in and my friends followed behind them.

After we all exchanged hugs and hello's -as for Jack and Finn, they got chaste kisses- we all regrouped into the living room to meet the director.

At first, I was surprised that Haden wasn't here or even helping the director, but then it started to register that Haden Clark is the busiest, most famous man in the music business. Of course he didn't have time to shoot my very first music video.

As the night coursed along, I began to wish the director was Haden. 

The director's name was Max, and it was very obvious from the start that he didn't care at all for me or my music video. 

"So we're all setting up the equipment for a couple of the scenes right now for the beginning part of the video. My vision for the music video is you and your friends decorating a Christmas tree, wrapping presents, drinking hot chocolate, all that kind of stuff to get people in the Christmas spirit. Then, we're going to have to go out to the outdoor mall and shoot some shots of you guys shopping for Christmas gifts and decorations," he said while he was fiddling with the camera, never gazing my way once, his disinterest completely obvious in his tone.

"Cool. I just don't have a Christmas tree or any decorations," I mentioned.

"Got it covered. We've got a guy bringing all the stuff we need. It'll be here any moment," he informed me.

"Alright then," I nodded before I got overtaken by the video's stylist who set up camp in the corner of the living room.

She helped me do light eye makeup with winged liner and nude colored lips and showed me cool contouring and highlighting tips that were perfect for performances. 

Before I left, she straightened my hair and put it in a messy bun with pieces of hair left on the side to frame my face, and I honestly couldn't recognize myself. 

After I rejoined my friends, I figured out that they had also been made up by some of the other video stylists. We all looked great.

"This is insane!" Zoe squealed as Vanessa, my personal (I know) stylist, handed us all our outfits. 

"I know!" I agreed with an anxious grin.

"I can't believe we're all going to be in a music video!" Tanya exclaimed.

"I know!" I laughed enthusiastically.

After that, it was pretty hard to think, breathe, or talk about anything.

The guys had gone shirtless.

I tried not to swoon.

I tried hard not to stare and drool, but honestly, how could you not stare?

Oh holy goodness Jack and Finn are fit, I thought.

Jack caught my eyes on him and started chuckling as I blushed and looked at the ground.

I switched my attention over to Finn, and he was grinning too, knowing I'd been checking both of them out.

"I saw that Stark," Finn grinned.

"Saw what?" I protested.

"You were totally checking me out," he wiggled his eyebrows.

"I was not!" I denied as my cheeks turned a darker shade of red.

"Yeah, she's right Finn, because she was checking me out," Jack laughed, "hey, love, I hate to break it to you, but my eyes are up here."

This caused the whole group to laugh.

"Fine then! I'll go change alone in a room that I won't be judged in!" I huffed sarcastically and they all chuckled as I went to my room and threw on the red Christmas jumper and black skinny jeans that Vanessa handed me, all the while humming the tune of my version of Cold December Night, the song that I was about to perform for the video.

I decided to throw on my old black Converse before returning back to my group to find a new addition.

He was a tall, lean, super handsome brunette with gorgeous brown eyes, and I felt like I'd seen him before.... on a billboard for Jack Wills. This guy either was a model or would have no problem getting the job.

"Um, hi," I blushed. Dang my blush-able cheeks.

He chuckled and showed his brilliant white teeth. What more could be perfect about this guy? I thought.

"Hi," he replied easily with a small smile.

"Oh good Beth, you're back. I'd like to introduce you to your love interest for the video, James Clearfield," Max told me absentmindedly while pressing buttons on his camera.

Oh boy.

*_*


"Wait, what?" Jack and Finn asked him in unison, a look of utter annoyance in their voices.

"Unless you have someone else in mind, Beth," Max added, sensing the tension. 

I hopelessly glanced at both Jack and Finn with a twinge of regret in my expression.

"Are you dating one of these twins?" Max asked.

I looked first at Finn and then at Jack before biting my lip. "It's complicated," I muttered.

"Well if you don't choose, then James will be your love interest, no other options," Max reported, slightly annoyed.

With one glance at Jack and Finn who were looking at me with pure sadness, both of them wanting me to pick him, all I could think of was 4 words. I can't do this.

When I looked at Finn, the memories of long nights on his roof, gazing at the stars filled my mind, and I ached to kiss him. I imagined all the sweet nothings we spent hours talking about, holding hands across the table at Perks, the cafe we found on our first date. I could practically feel the cool rain on my cheeks as we danced and kissed in the rain. I remembered when he told me he loved me at the top of the London Eye, the snow swirling around outside.

But when I looked at Jack, I saw all the penny boarding adventures we went on, him holding my hand, making sure I wouldn't fall. I could see the late night talks we had cuddled up on my couch next to the fire. I imagined the first time we kissed after he told me he'd never leave me, and the last time I'd seen him when he told me he loved me on accident.

I could not imagine my life without either of them.

I moved my attention to James and plastered on a weak smile.

"Well, James, if you're going to be my love interest, we might as well get to know each other. Come hang out with us until they're ready," I offered, and he sighed with relief.

"Awesome," he grinned and walked to the couch with us.

*_*

~Jack's POV~

James could not be harder to despise.

We sat him down on the couch and tried to get to know him.

Of course he does volunteer work. Of course he has a steady job at Teenage Cancer Trust. Of course he's getting a medical degree at Cambridge University. 

And here I was, a kid who makes Youtube videos.

I wanted to hate him. I wanted to dislike him with every fiber in my being. He was getting the very thing I wanted most- to be able to be with Beth, with the whole world knowing it. 

That's all I wanted. I wanted to be able to love her without worrying about not being able to keep her. I travel around the world with her, seeing her face light up every time she saw something interesting. I wanted to take pictures of the cute things she would do and have people reply about how we're their OTP, and we'd laugh as we'd scroll through them and I'd tell her, "I ship us," and she'd laugh and hit me on the shoulder and tell me I'm an idiot before kissing me senseless. I wanted to be able to stay up all night, talking about pointless things.

I wanted her. I wanted every inch of her, every fiber of her being, every dusty corner of her crazy, mixed up soul, to be mine.

And I wanted to be hers.

But I couldn't have that. Not yet. And maybe even never.

It crushed me to think about it.

And now, this guy gets to come in and kiss her under the mistletoe and the whole world would talk about how cute they would be together. It made my blood boil to watch.

I tried to remind myself that James was just doing this because it's his job, and by tonight, he'd be out of our lives. He's a good guy, no matter if I admitted it or not.

But it was still hard.

*_*

(Back to Beth's POV)

"Alright, let's go!" Max shouted and started the music. My rendition of Cold December Night played in the background for inspiration on our cheeriness, and he told us to just decorate the tree and have fun. Smile and laugh a lot! he advised before we began.

Zoe and I unstrung the lights and pretending like we were laughing at a something she said animatedly and the guys ran around the tree stringing the lights, making us all laugh harder than we should have, just for the sake of the camera. Then, we took out the ornaments that they brought for us one by one and started hanging them on the branches while we talked and laughed and smiled too much. Once all the ornaments were on, James lifted me up and I laughed and put the star on top of the tree, just as Max ordered us to do. It was all extremely corny, but the tree looked incredible. 

They wanted to have a set color scheme of red and white with flecks of gold, so the lights on the deep green evergreen tree were golden, while the decorations were white and red in shapes like reindeer and Christmas sweaters.

After we were finished, the cameras shut off and Max praised us.

"That was awesome! You guys looked like you were really having fun and getting along! Nice acting to you all!" he praised and I was annoyed at the fact that he thought we were faking. Who says we couldn't have fun and decorate a Christmas tree, whether a camera was filming it or not?

Then, he wanted us to do a couple other different shots around the house. He stood me in front of the fireplace and had me lip sync the whole song so they could pick and choose what segments they wanted to show. I made super animated motions and made sure to stay lively by not staying completely still.

Then, he had us all go outside and play in the snow. Max placed people on the roof with fans and buckets of snow to blow on us to make it seem like it was actually snowing. We laughed and threw snow at each other and threw our arms out and let the flakes fall on us. It was so cheesy, and it was incredibly hard not to laugh, but I know it would turn out good. Max had James and I sneaking extra looks at each other and throwing extra snow at each other, so it seemed like we were both flirting, and I couldn't help but feel awful.

I felt horrible that Jack and Finn just had to sit there and watch while I had to act like I was in love with another guy, as if they needed any more of that.

After we did more cheesy winter things like pass fake presents to each other and drink hot chocolate, we all loaded up in our cars and drove to the outdoor mall so we could take shots of us shopping.

Here's the catch:

Max said we could actually buy as much as we wanted.

Hallelujah.

All the girls ran to the dressing rooms of Jack Wills as the stylist had us change into different sweaters. 

I was now wearing a navy blue sweater with my hair now flowing down my back instead of in a bun, with a navy blue beanie on my head. The girls were dressed in different, but similar outfits, and we all looked amazing. 

Zoe, Tanya, and I sat in shopping carts while the guys animatedly pushed us around the mall and we would throw our arms up and laugh like we were having the times of our lives, even though it was super awkward having James push my cart.

Nonetheless, we filled our carts with goodies. Perfumes and colognes we wanted, cozy winter sweaters that the girls and I fell in love with, literally whatever we wanted. Max and the crew insisted that the more we fill up our carts, the better. I even grabbed things to give The Crew for Christmas, and I could almost hear my own wallet rejoicing that Christmas was already dealt with.

We drove all around the mall, through clothing stores and department stores, grabbing anything.

Totally cool.

After the guys got tired and the camera crew told us they had enough footage, we bought everything and made our way back to my house.

Then, we had to film the last shot, which was when all my friends hugged me and said goodbye, until it was just James and I under the mistletoe in my doorway.

I tried my best to act like the blushing schoolgirl who loved the attention as she got kissed by the cutest boy in school, but I had to fight bile rising up in my throat as we kissed. 

I would give anything to be kissing Jack or Finn right now.

James' lips were soft, and he obviously knew what he was doing, and I felt like I should have been happy, being able to kiss such a gorgeous guy and being paid to do it, but I felt horrible the whole time.

Once the kiss was over, and we looked into each other's eyes and smiled until we heard a faint "cut!" from inside the house, James rushed me over to the living room.

"Listen Beth, I want you to know that I get that you like Jack and Finn, and I'm not going to get into your business, because this is all being done for you. That kiss, I promise it didn't mean anything. It was just for the cameras. You're beautiful and an amazing singer, but I get that those guys are in love with you, so let's just forget about it, okay?" he told me in a gentle tone and I sighed with relief.

"Thanks James. You're really a good guy, and I'd like to still be friends, okay?" 

"Totally," he grinned. We then exchanged numbers and he said goodbye and left.

I went back to my friends to find Jack and Finn, but they were already gone.

*_*

Author's note:

Ahhhh! This chapter was super fun to write! Sorry if it was hard for you to imagine the music video, but it's super hard to describe something that's best if it's seen instead of read! I tried my best!

So what did you guys think? Tell me in the comments!

Also, tell me who you're shipping, #Backson #Binnegan or even #Bames! (Lol those are the worst couple names ever, but you get the point.)

I'm gonna give it to you straight and tell you that the votes on the last chapter SUCKEDDDD let's get it uppppp for this chapter! Ghost readers are no fun:)

VOTE AND COMMENT

I love you all:)

Stay safe!

-Hannalizzy

XOXOX 

 

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