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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16. Day Off (Part 2)

Grace's POV

"Alrighty," I told Liam as I was walking out of the bathroom, putting my hair in a bun. Liam didn't have a blow dryer, so I would just have to deal with my damp hair later. 

"Now what?" He asked me.

"First of all, can I have a tour of your house? My last visit was a bit of a whirlwind."

"Sure," he replied, hopping off the bed. He led me out the bedroom door and turned left, walking a couple hundred feet before stopping at the door at the end of the hall.

"Here's the study," Liam said, opening the door. On the other side was a huge room, with floor to ceiling bookshelves, a baby grand piano in the corner, and a gorgeous desk in the middle. Behind the desk was a large window, with a view of New York City. 

"Wow," I replied. I really didn't know what to say.

We turned around and Liam opened a door to the left. A massive king-size bed was the major furnishing for the guest bedroom. It also had an attached bathroom with a footed bathtub and a lot of counter space in front of the mirror. We continued back down the hallway. To our left, across from the master bedroom, there was a gigantic bathroom, with double sinks and marble countertops.

"Liam Payne, this is absolutely incredible." His penthouse was truly amazing.

"Well, thanks," he replied. Opposite the tv room was a huge home gym. There were treadmills and a whole bunch of other workout machines, and dumbells against the wall, with space to stretch or do yoga in the corner.  A huge window allowed for a lot of natural light. I took a deep breath- I would definitely prefer this to any public gym.

"I think you'll like this room the most," Liam remarked as he took my hand. We passed the home theater, and walked into the big kitchen, that had a breakfast nook and a center island for extra cooking space. To the right, the room opened into a huge living space, with tons of leather couches and chairs. Two walls were wall-to-wall glass. It was breathtaking.

I turned to Liam, who was grinning. He must have noticed my reaction.

"I'm at a loss for words. This is beautiful."

"I was hoping you'd like it. Now, how about we go grocery shopping?"

"Definitely."

****

Grace's POV

"Should we walk?" Liam asked me as we were descending in the elevator.

"Sure," I shrugged. "It's the middle of July, might as well get some exercise." In terms of being in shape, I was far from it.

"I was more of concerned about the paparazzi..."

"Oh, right. Still gotta get used to that. Eh," I said. "You'll protect me."

I could feel Liam's grip on my hand tighten. "I would never let anyone hurt you, ever."

Before I could reply, the elevator doors opened and we were walking into the lobby. Liam guided me outside, into the fresh air. We managed to get almost a block towards the supermarket before I heard the first click of a camera.

"And they've found us," Liam sighed. He had been living this lifestyle a lot longer than I had, so I could imagine he was sick of the constant attention.

We kept walking until we were inside the store. It was a little shop, a family-owned type of thing, but Liam and I weren't looking for anything other than the basics.

"Okay, I think we'll need some cereal, bread, milk, eggs, cheese, maybe some ham, mayonnaise, pretzels, chips, granola bars..." I typed out a list on my phone as I looked up at Liam.

"Don't look at me," he said as he shrugged. "You seem to have a pretty good list going."

We walked around the store picking everything out, and then walked to the front of the store to check out. 

"Oh dang it, Liam, I think we forgot milk," I said as I was unloading everything from our basket onto the counter.

"I'll go get it," he jogged to the back of the store, returning seconds later with a gallon of chocolate milk.

I rolled my eyes at him. "Leeyuuuum, not chocolate milk, silly, 1% white milk. Like for cereal."

He gave me ridiculous puppy dog eyes. "Pwease, Grace, can I keep dis one too?" 

"Ugh fine," I laughed. He left the milk on the counter and went back to get the other gallon. As our food was being scanned and bagged, the older woman who ringing us up looked at Liam.

"Aren't you Liam Payne?" She asked.

Liam smiled. "That's right, ma'am."

"I hate to ask this of you, but would you sign this for my grandaughter? She's always been a big fan."

"No problem." He took the piece of paper and pen that the woman gave him. 

"What's her name?" Liam asked.

"Marie," she replied, grinning.

I watched as he scribbled out his message.

"Hi Marie,

Thanks for being a fan. Always follow your dreams :)

-Liam xx"

He signed his name and handed the woman the paper. 

"Thank you so much," she said. "This will really make her day."

"You're welcome. And thank you for the groceries." Liam led me out of the store, where there was now a crowd of paparazzi. We marched through them, ignoring their comments, and walked back to the apartment.

****

"Okay, so now that that's out of the way, what should we do?" Liam was leaning against the island in the kitchen while I put the food away in the fridge and the pantry.

"Probably just tidy the house," I said, looking at my watch. "It's 12:45 now. If you want to do that twitcam, you should probably give everybody some advance notice, and do it before it gets too late with all of the time differences."

"Right," he nodded. "I'll tweet about it now, and we'll go live at like 3. Sound good?"

"Works for me!" I smiled. This day off was going pretty well.

Liam took out his phone and typed a bit. Seconds later, I got a notification of a tweet from Liam Payne.

@Real_Liam_Payne

"Day off :) how about a twitcam a little laterrr?"

Seconds later, I got another notification. It was Liam's response to a ton of tweets saying that he would forget.

@Real_Liam_Payne

"Yeah I know I always say I will and then I don't :( but I promise that there will be a twitcam at 3 pm est :) xx"

The tweets already had thousands of retweets and favorites. One Direction had been on a two-year break, but their fans were still going strong.

I clicked on my profile.

"LIAM PAYNE YOU GOT ME VERIFIED?!" I exclaimed.

"Haha yeah, I didn't know it would make you this hyped," he teased.

"OF COURSE IT DOES!" I ran over and gave him a hug before checking my mentions.

"@kathgracemusic and @Real_Liam_Payne are perfect!"

"@kathgracemusic follow me please?"

"they're so happy together i love it! @kathgracemusic @Real_Liam_Payne"

"love you @kathgracemusic"

"@kathgracemusic i wish i had her hair omg she's so pretty"

There were so many cute and kind messages, but it was the hurtful ones that really grabbed my attention.

"@kathgracemusic is fat, why is @Real_Liam_Payne even dating her?"

"@Real_Liam_Payne deserves someone better than that whore @kathgracemusic"

"I bet it's some publicity stunt Liam was put up to to show that the boys don't just date models cuz @kathgracemusic is fat and ugly"

"eww how did they even end up together? @Real_Liam_Payne was probably dared by Harry to ask her out cuz she's so hideous @kathgracemusic"

As I read the tweets, I sank into a chair. I was normally pretty resilient to hurtful comments, but seeing them in text made them that much harder to ignore. I was never comfortable about my weight; it was probably my biggest insecurity. Not that I was obese, I just always struggled with having super-skinny friends. I was a healthy size 10, while surrounded by size 2s and 4s. People were noticing me for my size; exactly what I didn't want them to do. It actually put me on the verge of tears.

Liam was busy scrolling through his newsfeed, until he looked up and saw me.

"Hey, babe, what's the matter?" He asked, taking my phone out of my hands when he realized that that was what I had been looking at.

I watched him as he read the tweets, his face turning to one of anger before he managed to pull himself together and respond to me. Liam pulled up a stool and sat next to me at the table. 

"You can't listen to them. They're completely wrong. You shouldn't even read crap like that," he comforted me, rubbing my back.

"Yeah but Liam, it's not crap, it's true. I am fat," I couldn't hold it in any longer. I burst into tears, burying my head in his shoulder as he pulled me into a hug.

"You are not, Grace. You're beautiful. I've dated toothpick-thin models who look gorgeous on the outside, but literally have no personality. You're the prettiest woman I know, both on the outside, and on the inside." 

I liked to think that he was telling the truth, but it could have just as easily been forced as a way  to calm me down.

"And," he added. "A lot of those models aren't even really that good-looking without all of the crap they put on their faces. You have natural beauty."

"Well, thanks, Li," I said softly. His words made me feel slightly better, but the tweets still hurt.

He added abruptly, "Not that I'm dissing all models, of course, I'm sure many are actually lovely people..."

I couldn't help laugh. "Li, you are just like me. It's impossible for us to ever say anything bad about anyone."

"You got me," he shrugged, grinning.

"You know what would make me feel better?" I asked.

"What?"

"Music!"

I ran into the home theater, where the whole-house stereo system was located. I plugged in my iPhone and clicked on a playlist, before sprinting back to the kitchen. The opening bars of Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer" started as I began dancing around the kitchen.

"DJ Grace is in da house!" I exclaimed as I pulled Liam along for my spontaneous jam session.

He finally got into it, and we literally did the craziest moves as the song continued. I grabbed a broom and used it as a microphone.

"Oh, Oh, Livin' on a Prayer!"

Liam laughed and did the same with the dustpan. It felt so good to just be careless and crazy, without anybody to judge us.

We spent the next hour and a half rocking out and tidying the home theater and the kitchen, before finally collapsing on a sofa in the living room.

"That. Was. Awesome." I panted, out of breath.

"It was," Liam agreed. "We better get ready for the twitcam. We go live in just under 30 minutes."

"Right. I'll get my guitar and do some actual vocal warmups. That was probably not the healthiest method," I giggled, referring to our dancing and singing. "That is, if you still want me to play a couple songs."

"Of course, you crazy girl," Liam chuckled, wrapping his arms around my waist and pulling me close as he kissed the top of my head. I couldn't help but flinch at his touch. "I can't wait."

****

A/N

Another cheesy chapter- hope you find it cute :)

I'm going to update as much as possible, but it might not be every day. Life is getting busier!

It means a lot if you can Comment/Like!

Thanks for reading :D

-Katie

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