In Perfect Harmony

Grace Masciale is a young waitress trying to get by on her meager salary in busy NYC. Her true passion is music, so she works hard playing open mics and doing whatever possible to "make it" as a musician. When Grace meets Liam Payne, she is thrown into a life in the spotlight. Can she manage a relationship with Liam, while attempting to follow her own dreams?

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26. Breakdown

Grace's POV

"I think it should go like this, 'I wanna tell the world that you're mine, girl!'" I sang as I demonstrated how Zayn's part should sound to him, emphasizing the riff at the end with my finger. We were in the studio, working on the recording for They Don't Know About Us, the song we had first written together. Zayn was having some difficulty with his parts, so I was helping him work on the pitches and rhythms.

Zayn nodded. "So like this. 'I wanna tell the world that you're mine, girl!'" 

"Whoa, Beyoncé! Exactly." He had sung it better than I could ever demonstrate.

The boy smiled in reply; I could tell he was really pleased with himself.

"Now get back in there and put it on the record!"

Zayn entered the booth and waited for the track to start, bopping his head as the music started in his headphones. His vocals for the refrain were absolutely perfect, and so were the ones for the prechorus we had just rehearsed. As soon as I heard his harmony, I knew the song was finally coming together.

"Yay! That was great, Zayn!" I cheered as he finished the song. "No need to even do another recording of it!"

Zayn looked relieved. Recording could be tedious and extremely tiring. "Yes!" He said, taking off the headphones and rejoining me outside. "Is that all for the track?"

I nodded my head in reply. "Yup, the song is done! I mean, instrumentally it might need some tweaking, but vocally it's complete!"

He did a little dance. "Let's go tell the boys. I have a feeling that no writing is going on out there anyway."

While each of the boys were in the booth recording with me separately, the others were supposed to be songwriting in the lounge. The way we had left them- Niall and Harry on their phones and Liam playing football with Liam (yes, inside), I was skeptical there would be little more on the writing pad than "New Song: By Harry, Liam, Niall, and Louis."

"You're probably right," I replied, and we went out to check on their progress.

To our surprise, Harry was singing Little Bird by Ed Sheeran while Niall accompanied him on guitar. Liam and Louis were deep in discussion about something. So maybe they were doing something musical.

"Hey boys," I greeted the four as I went over and sat next to Liam on the couch. "Whatcha up to?"

"Louis and I have been working on a song idea," Liam beamed. 

"Really?" I replied, eagerly picking up the notebook from the table. Sure enough, there were lyrics scribbled on the page. More than that, they were good lyrics.

"Liam, Louis, I'm so proud of you!" I felt like a kindergarten teacher praising her students, but I was honestly astonished and impressed by their hard work. 

"Thank you Grace, we learn from the best," Louis grinned.

I jokingly rolled my eyes at his compliment, but secretly I was flattered by it. "Aww stop it Louis."

Liam pulled my towards him. "It's true. I think your knack for making words sound so nice together is rubbing off on us."

"Oh boys, stop it." I could feel my face reddening; I really was terrible at taking compliments.

Anxious to change the subject, I turned to Niall and Harry, who had just finished the song. "So, what have you two been doing?"

Niall looked confused. Harry replied, "What do you mean? Wait," his eyes flickered with understanding as he glanced at Liam and Louis. "Did those two try to take all the credit for that song? Because we wrote it with them."

Hmmm. So the truth comes out. I looked first at Liam, and then at Louis. "Is what Harry saying true?"

Liam looked sheepish and Louis was barely able to contain his laughter. "Maybe. In all honesty I contributed one word and then got bored."

"Louis!" I groaned. "You sly little animal."

"What?" Louis shrugged. "I almost got away with it, didn't I?"

I rolled my eyes. I had only spent time with the boys for the past two weeks, but I could imagine what the past 9 years had been like as a band. Crazy and chaotic and stressful, but full of fun and love.

"I say we try to finish this song, all together, and then break for lunch, okay? Oh, and by the way, They Don't Know About Us is done."

The boys cheered, and agreed to my deal. After several minutes of crazy celebration, including Niall attempting to wall twerk, we all settled down to write. We had an album to write, and we had to do it, fast.

****

Liam's POV

We were on our way home from the studio, driving back to Grace's apartment. I still hadn't told her about catching Michael cheating, because I honestly didn't want to distract her, but the guilt was building up inside me.

I parked the car and we walked into her building, the paps snapping pictures of our every move. They literally camped out at my place and Grace's, and there was nothing I could do about it.

As the door of the elevator shut behind us, I turned to face Grace. Her hazel eyes looked up at me, making my heart literally melt. She was so beautiful; I was literally head over heels. Before I could collect myself enough to speak, Grace spoke up.

"I think the album's coming along really well."

I nodded in reply. "Definitely. The songs you've written are brilliant."

"You and the boys wrote them too. Don't go giving me all the credit."

"You know for a fact that 90% of the time you do the writing and we do the goofing off," I laughed.

"Let's just say we mix the work and play."

"That I can agree with," I said as I leaned down to kiss her, pulling her close, and she kissed me back. Her soft lips were so relaxing and calming; I had been with other girls but no one had ever made me feel this good. Her delicate hands played with my hair, and I held her closer to me, cupping her face in my hands. After a breathless minute or two, we broke apart, our eyes never once leaving each other. I quickly glanced up at the wall and realized that we had failed to notice that the elevator had already gone to and left our floor, returning to the lobby. Grace noticed it too, and laughed.

"Looks like we're going for another trip." And with that, we resumed our kissing session, being sure to stop in time to get off on the right floor.

I was looking forward to a evening in with Grace, just the two of us. Being away from her for even one night was tough; I missed her laugh and her soothing voice, and just having her close. We'd only been together for a few weeks, but it felt like we had known each other our entire lives. It sounds cliché, but it's true. I guess when I really fall for someone, I fall for her hard.

"Ugh Liam, I really wish we could hang out tonight," Grace said, digging in her purse for her keys. Wait, what? I thought we were going to stay in at her place. I tried to hide the confused look that was on my face.

"I haven't checked on Andrea all day and I really hope she's okay," she continued. So that was what this was about; I had forgotten that Grace was caretaker of Andrea. 

"I understand. Getting Andrea back on her feet is important."

"Thank you for dealing with my crazy life! We'll have to continue this at a later date," she smiled as she pecked my lips. "Bye Li."

"Bye Grace." I tried my best to hide my disappointment as Grace waved and shut the door behind her.


****

Grace's POV

I had nothing to worry about; Andrea was completely fine. Thanks to cable tv and drowsy pain medications, she had made it through the day. The night was pretty much the same as the one before it; I made soup for dinner and we watched a movie before Andrea drifted off to sleep. I tucked her in and crept to my room, praying that she wouldn't have night terrors again and that I would get a solid night of sleep. A little less than three hours later, though, at 2:45 am, I was awakened by her cries and sleep-talking. I grabbed my phone and a pillow, and made myself comfortable near the sofa. Sleep was now impossible, so I decided to go on Twitter for a few minutes until Andrea settled down.

"@kathgracemusic: hey guys! was asleep for a bit but i'm awake now! what's happening? :)"

After I tweeted I scrolled through my mentions, as I hadn't been on in a while.

"Grace you and Liam are so cute!"

"I ship Lace! #LiamandGrace"

"that Grace girl is such an ugly bitch, why is Liam even with her"

"FOLLOW ME GRACE ILYSM x73"

"look at Grace she literally looks like a fat pig"

"Grace is the most talented singer I know I can't wait till she releases an album omg"

As soon as I saw the comments, I was reminded of why I had started to avoid Twitter more. Having people thrust your insecurities in your face is not exactly uplifting. Yes, I was so flattered by the compliments, but even one nasty remark could offset a zillion nice ones. People were just so heartless. I replied to a few fans and followed some people before looking on the gossip websites. People actually believed this stuff? One said I was arrested for cocaine possession; another said that I had a terrible temper and had gone after a pap like Britney did. A third was a page where the favorite past time seemed to be "let's discuss the sex life of Liam Payne and Grace Masciale," because that seemed to be so important for everyone to know. People were speculating that since we were often seen going into each other's buildings and not reemerging until the next morning, we were up to stuff.  Our privacy was so completely invaded.  What did it matter to them?  Why should they have to care about us in that way? What was important was that we were living as we wanted to, and making music for the people who truly cared about us. I replied to a couple people and followed a few fans before putting my phone down and resting my head on the pillow. I was just sick of reading everything about me that was out for the world to see, especially the things that were completely crazy rumours. The thing that really hurt was that people believed them.

Andrea was still wimpering, so I tried my best to calm myself down from my silent fuming.  I was completely exhausted, and desperate for sleep, but I wasn't sure I would ever get to bed. Just as I was finally somewhat relaxed, my phone lit up. It was a text from Liam.

From: Liam

Hey babe, everything ok? saw your tweet. what are you doing up so late?

From: Grace

Yeah, I'm ok. up with Andrea- she has night terrors from her meds and she cries half the night :/

From: Liam

You need your sleep! anything I can do?

From: Grace

i don't think so... hopefully she'll calm down soon. thanks though

From: Liam

anything for you, G. good luck and good night xx

From: Grace

goodnight, Li :) x

I put down my phone and sighed. It was so sweet of Liam to text me to see if I was okay. Now that I thought about it, what was he doing up at 3 am? My brain was so tired, I couldn't even try to process the answer to that question. As soon as Andrea quieted down about 20 minutes later, I was fast asleep right there on the floor.

****

Liam's POV

I lie awake that night, finding it hard to sleep.  I missed Grace; our time together at the studio was tough because she was always working with us individually on the tracks in the booth, and then she had to go home right after and take care of Andrea.  It had only been two days, but going from practically every second together to only a few hours was a bit anti-climatic.  I grabbed my phone and scrolled through Twitter aimlessly; the nasty comments were really getting old and I only went on every blue moon to save myself from lashing out and tweeting something I'd regret.  After about two hours of Twitter-stalking and watching random YouTube videos, some of them featuring us boys doing crazy things on stage during the old tours, I was about to put my phone on my bedside table when I got a notification about a Grace tweet.  When I saw the message, 'hey guys! I was asleep for a bit but I'm awake now! what's happening?' I was somewhat worried. Once Grace was asleep, there was no waking her.  Something must be up.  I sent her a text, and she replied promptly.  She seemed okay enough, but texting isn't exactly ideal for figuring out people's emotions. When G told me she was up with Andrea because of her night terrors, I knew this couldn't go on every night. Grace had a lot going on for her, and she needed all of the rest she could get.  These shows on Sunday could really help get her started, and if she wasn't at her best, everything could fall apart.  This was exactly what I was trying to prevent by not telling her about Michael.  I could only hope that things would work out in terms of the Andrea sleep thing, because if not, I might need to step in and help her out.  But how?

****
A/N

Dun dun dun... Drama!  Do you think Grace's situation will work out on its own? If not, and Liam has to intervene, what do you think he'll do?

This chapter was a lot of getting into the minds of the main characters... I hope you like it! Comment/Like/Favorite!

Thank you for reading!

-Katie xx

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