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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14. Family

Grace's POV

When the taxi pulled up in front of my house, I looked over at Liam. 

"Ready?" he asked.

"Yup," I replied, taking a deep breath. I wasn't actually scared of my family; we were very close and they would never hate me or anything, it was just the anticipation of being face-to-face with the people I accidentally forgot to fill in about a major life change. Liam helped me out of the car, shutting the door behind me and taking my hand as we walked to the front door.

I rang the bell; I still had a key but I didn't think it was the best idea to just walk into my house. About thirty seconds later, I heard the deadbolt being unlocked, and the door swung open.

"Grace?!" My younger sister Elisabeth stood dumfounded in the doorway.

"Elisabeth!" I replied. This whole 'surprising' thing was getting a little old.

"And Liam Payne..." she was still in shock.

"Hi Elisabeth, Grace has told me a lot about you," Liam said in his British accent that never failed to make me drool.

"What the hell Grace! When I saw you all over the news, I thought for sure that there must have been some mix-up. You never called Mom or I back!"

"Sorry," I grinned sheepishly. "I've been... preoccupied."

"Obviously," Elisabeth smirked. "Anyway, sorry for that, Liam. I'm Elisabeth. It's nice to meet you."

"No problem," Liam replied. "I understand your frustration."

"So what are you guys doing here?"

"We wanted to come and say sorry for the ordeal in person. And Liam wanted to meet everybody," I couldn't help smiling at the handsome boy standing next to me.

'Well Mom's out grocery shopping and Timmy and Dad are golfing, so you'll have to stick around for a while. Come on in."

I gave Liam an informal tour of the house while Elisabeth went to the kitchen to make lemonade. She wasn't that much younger than me; she was turning 21 and entering her junior year of college. Home for the summer, she helped out my mom around the house a lot.

To the right of the front door was the den."Here's the study, where I spent an excessive number of hours working on homework." Liam chuckled.

We continued through the first floor- the tv room, the family room, the living room, the dining room and the kitchen, until we reached the stairs. I took Liam's hand and led him up.

"Okay, before we go into the room Elisabeth and I used to share, you're gonna have to wait in the hall for a second," I told Liam. I raced into my old bedroom, shutting the door behind me. I climbed on my bed to reach the walls, quickly taking down my old 1D posters. I really didn't want to have that conversation with Liam.

"All set!" I called into the hall. I heard the door open and shut behind me. 

"I like the Union Jacks," Liam remarked, referring to my duvet with polka-dotted, striped, and Union Jack teacups on it. I had also taken a big British flag I bought online and sewn it to make curtains for my window.

"Thanks," I replied, grinning. "I told you I liked the whole British thing."

He smiled in return. "Maybe someday I can take you there myself."

"That would be amazing!" I exclaimed. He sat down next to me on my twin bed, never breaking eye contact.

"Yeah it would," he whispered, as he leaned in to kiss me. I wrapped my arms around his neck, pulling him closer as he held my hips. I fell backwards onto the bed, pulling Liam on top of me as we contiued kissing. I could feel his short curls between my fingers as I ran my hands through his hair. Liam's hands found their way under my shirt, to my bare stomach. I flinched- I was super sensitive about my weight and Liam's touch made me even more self-concious. Before I could say anything though, I heard the garage door open. My mom was home.

I broke away from Liam. "Babe, we've gotta get downstairs. My mom's back."

"Of course," he replied, grinning."Meeting like this would be quite awkward." He got up and stood by the side of my bed as I sat up and smoothed out my hair.

"Let's go!" Together, Liam and I ran downstairs.

We made it to the couch just before my mom walked up the stairs from the garage, her hands full of groceries.

"Hey Elisabeth, hey Grace," she said, distracted as she set down her packages. 

"Grace?!" She did a double take.

"Hey Mom!" I plastered a smile on my face. "This is Liam."

"Why didn't you call me and tell me about this? Or at least tell me you were coming for dinner!"

"Nice to meet you too, Mrs. Masciale." Liam chuckled.

"I'm so sorry hun!" My mom said, her cheeks turning red. "You just caught me by surprise. Grace used to love you as a teenage but none of us every thought she would ever meet you, let alone..."

"Thanks, Mom," I smirked.

"Oh honey, you know I didn't mean it like that. This is just a sudden turn of events. When Elisabeth told me about what everyone was saying on Twitter, I couldn't believe it."

"Well, it's staring you in the face, so you've got to believe it now."

"I do, I do," she nodded. "It might just take me a few minutes. But your dad is going to be home any minute with Timmy..."

"I'm sure Dad will love Liam!" I patted Liam reassuringly on the knee.

Just then, we heard the door to my dad's side of the garage open. A minute or two later, my dad and brother stepped into the room. I was about to say hi when I noticed that his Bluetooth was in his ear.

"No, tell him I'm sorry but we just can't. There's not enough in the budget to build a track around the football field. Alright I'll talk to you tomorrow, bye." My father worked in athletics at a local college. He was responsible for keeping the department running smoothly. He turned to go to the den, still oblivious  to our presence. 

"Grace!" Timmy exclaimed, running over to me to give me a hug. He was 14, so I considered him to be my baby brother. 

"And company," he continued, giving Liam that look that older brothers use to threaten their younger sisters' boyfriends. He was 8 years younger than I was, but he still tried to be protective. It was cute.

"Hey Timmy! Long time no see. This is Liam, Liam, meet Timmy." 

"Hi Timmy," Liam replied. 

"Hello," Timmy nodded.

"What's for lunch?" My dad asked, reemerging from the study, as he finally noticed us.

"Grace!"

"Hey Dad! I want you to meet Liam."

Liam stood up to shake hands with my father.

"Nice to meet you sir. You have a wonderful daughter."

Dad looked satisfied. "Thank you. I trust that you take good care of her. If you don't, there will be consequences"

"Of course, sir," Liam replied. He looked nervous.

"No need to be anxious, Liam. I'm just messing with you." Dad replied, patting him on the back. He had this weird way of using seriousness and sarcasm as a way of communicating. I think he thought it was funny, but his humour was pretty dry.

"Okay, Dad, now that you've thoroughly freaked my boyfriend out, we have an announcement."

"Alrighty." My family sat down around the coffee table in the family room.

"So, the whole story of how Liam and I met is kinda long, but to skip to the big news, I'm helping to write One Direction's new album."

My mom, sister, and brother looked stunned. My dad was the first to reply, a huge smile on his face.

"That's great, Grace, I'm proud of you." He had always been extremely supportive of my music efforts, not that the rest of my family wasn't, but he truly believed in me.

"I also recorded a demo this morning, and Leah, you remember her from when I was in high school, she's my manager."

Everyone eventually spoke up, telling me how proud they were of me, and how exciting it was, and stuff like that. We talked for a while to catch them up with everything going on, until my Dad decided it was time for supper.

Over a pizza dinner, my family really started to warm up to Liam. He told them about life in England the past couple of years, and he shared stories about the other boys. We joked about our first few days in the studio, and we cleared rumours that my parents had seen about us online. It was really nice.

At about 8:30, I nudged Liam. We had to leave soon if we wanted to make the 9:10 train back to New York.

"Let me send you back with some cookies!" My mom exclaimed. She never liked people leaving her house empty-handed.

"Okay, Mom, but I really don't need them," I said, laughing.

"Of course you do!" After she packaged a big Tubberware full of chocolate chip cookies for us, we said our goodbyes. I stepped to the side to talk to my mom alone.

"Thanks, Mom, I appreciate you guys being so accepting of Liam." I gave her a hug. "Love you."

"Love you too, take care of yourself, especially in that big city."

"I will."

I took Liam's hand as we made our way back to the cab. My sister had insisted she could drive us, but we decided to save her the trip.

I collapsed on the seat as I waved goodbye to my family.

"So, whatcha think?" I asked Liam when we had left the house.

"I think you're family's really great. Thanks for letting me meet them."
 

"And thank you for dealing with their craziness!" I replied, a huge smile on my face. The night had been a success.

I pulled out my phone. One new message from Leah.

From:Leah

Hey- record labels got back to me. All said no :(

My heart sank in my chest. Maybe this wasn't going to work after all.

****

A/N 

Hope you like this chapter... just getting to know Grace's family... and a cliffhanger :D

Remember to Comment/Like! I love predictions and suggestions, etc.  

Thank you for reading- it means the world to me!!!

-Katie

P.S. Sorry for any spelling or grammar mistakes :)

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