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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9. Heat Wave

After driving through the city for about 20 minutes, Liam pulled up in front of an Italian restaurant. It was right on the outskirts of Little Italy, with candle-lit tables outside. I found its rustic charm to be perfect for a date.

"Aw, Liam, I love it!" I exclaimed as I unbuckled my seat belt, eager to get inside and eat.

A smile spread across his face as he shrugged. "It's nothing fancy, but I've been here with Niall before and when he says it's good Italian, I tend to trust his judgement."

I laughed. "I would go by his opinion-he's such a foodie."

Liam nodded. "Yup. And we've eaten in Italy, so for him to consider this to be good Italian is saying a lot. Let me get your door."

He jogged around the front of the car to open my door for me, offering me his hand. We walked to the hostess, who led us to a quiet table in a back corner. Liam pulled out my chair for me before excusing himself. I could get used to this chivalry thing.

"I'll be right back- I have to move the car."

When Liam was gone, I texted Michael.

From:Grace

Hey! How's Andrea? Sorry I haven't been over to visit more :(

He replied a few seconds later.

From:Michael

Not a problem. She's slept almost the whole time- and when she's awake, she's tired and groggy.

From:Grace

Alright. Well tell her that I said hi, and I'll stop over first thing in the morning. Thank you for staying with her! I've recently been offered an opportunity related to my career that has kept me super busy. Hope you can get home tonight and catch some well-deserved zzzs.

From:Michael

No problem! See you tomorrow! and good luck :)

I put away my phone as Liam walked towards me. I felt rude texting in a restaurant, but I needed to check on Andrea.

"Sorry about that," Liam said as he took his seat across from me. His brown eyes made contact with mine, and I swear we stayed that way for two minutes straight, as my face blushed uncontrollably, until we were interuppted by our waiter. I ordered chicken parm, while Liam chose spaghetti and meatballs.

When the server had collected our menus and gone, I started the conversation.

"Tell me about yourself, Liam."

"Okay. My name is Liam Payne, I have a fear of spoons, I was born on August 29th, 1993 with only one working kidney..."

"Not the standard interview info, Liam!" I chuckled. "I want to know about you. Stuff you don't tell the fans."

"Umm... okay. Like what? The fans know pretty much everything"

"Do they, Liam? Do they? How about what your favorite cookie is? Or how old you were when you learned to ride a bike? Or whether or not you like pizza with anchovies? Things like that. The little things that make Liam Payne Liam Payne. The things that only your family and closest friends are aware of. Your fans know the public Liam, not the Liam that I want to know."

****

Liam's POV

Sitting across from Grace in the resturant, I was stunned. No one had ever asked me things like that before. She seemed to already understand my life- that everything about me was so public to the world- and yet, no one really knew me at all.

I nodded my head in agreement with what she was saying. 

"I love Oreos. I learned how to ride a bike when I was 6- my dad put me on the two-wheeler and pretty much gave me a push. I fell down a lot, but I eventually learned how to keep my balance."

Grace giggled, and the look in her gorgeous hazel eyes showed me that she was sincerely interested in my silly life stories. I didn't understand why she was so intrigued, but I appreciated that someone wanted to listen.

I went on,"I've never tried anchovies, but by the looks of them, they're disgusting. My dream flavor of ice cream is Krispy-Kreme, I only wear boxers, and I'm a terrible cook."

Grace was completely mesmorized. "Liam, thank you. Thank you for letting me into your real world a tiny bit," she laughed. 

I had to laugh too. "I never thought that telling someone about my preference for boxers would be that big a deal, but you're welcome." I never thought that spilling those things about me would feel so nice- I loved the fans, but it meant so much more to share my quirks with someone special. 

"Now it's your turn. There's nothing published about you, so tell me everything."

"Well, I could be here all night. You know my basic history from the club. My middle name is Katherine, I was in drama and field hockey in high school; I was, and still am, extremely superstitious. I wouldn't wash my socks if we won a game. And I admit, I still put my feet up when I drive over bridges." She smiled as she shook her head. 

"One Direction made me realize that I could achieve my dream. Ed Sheeran inspired me- I love his music so much, with his heartfelt lyrics and catchy tunes. I'm allergic to cats, dogs, anything with fur, and birds. I hope to someday be married, with kids that I can chase around and devote my time to. And I'm only a semi-decent cook."

I chuckled."So neither of us are experts in the food department. I guess that means Harry can be our personal chef. And we might eat out a lot."

Grace grinned sheepishly, "Yup. And I didn't mean to scare you with all that information- it's just that those are the things that nobody ever asks about, but I always seem to be ready to share."

This girl had serious confidence issues. She always felt that she needed to apologize for one thing or another.

"Grace, you need to relax a bit. I'm not judging you. Part of being in a relationship is being honest with each other," I reached across the table and took her hand in both of mine,"and that's what we're doing. I love learning about you."

I watched her cheeks turn red. "And I love being here with you."

Just then, our food arrived. We spent the rest of dinner chatting about our sibilings- Grace had a younger sister Elisabeth, and a brother Timmy. I told her how Ruth and Nicola, my older sisters, often dressed me up like a girl when I was a little kid. I felt like I already knew Grace better than anyone I had dated before- she was so easy to open up to, and she was comfortable talking to me, too. She made me feel like a whole new person.

****

Grace's POV

When Liam and I had finished dinner, he insisted on paying the check and led me towards the car. Just as  we were making our way out of the resturant, flashes started going off, and people began yelling things at us. The paparazzi had arrived. I was instantly frightened, my grip on Liam's hand tightening. He whispered in my ear,

"Don't worry babe. Just ignore them."

We made it through the crowd, and Liam  helped me into the car..

"Thank you for an amazing time, Liam," I said when he had climbed into the driver's seat. He turned to face me.

"No, thank you, Grace. I think that this was the best date I've ever been on. Sorry about the chaos."

I couldn't stop myself from smiling. "Me too, and that's ok. It's part of the job; I've got to get used to it if I'm gonna be around you," I replied. I checked my phone; I had one new message from Leah.

From:Leah

Just finished dinner- going over to Harry's ;)

I typed back,

From:Grace

Have fun :) on my way home from dinner with Liam. see you in the morning.

I turned my attention back to Liam. "Leah's going over to Harry's house, so you're welcome to come over for a movie or to just hang out."

"Sounds great."

15 minutes later, we were standing in the elevator to get to my floor. As I gazed up at Liam, he caught me looking at him and smiled back. He reached out and tucked a piece of hair behind my ear. His touch made a shiver run down my spine.

"Did I tell you that I love the color of your eyes?" He whispered, holding my chin up so my eyes met his.

"I know that now," I replied. Just then, the elevator door dinged open.

"That's us," I said, taking Liam by the hand and leading him down the hall. I fumbled for my keys, finally unlocking the door and letting him inside, shutting the door behind him. The apartment was dark, except for a low light I always left on over the stove. As I put down my bag, I felt a warm breath on my neck as Liam wrapped his arms around my waist from behind. I turned around, and the brown eyes pulled me in. I leaned into him, and our lips met. He kissed me softly at first, until we were both gasping for air. We didn't stop for long, though. Within seconds I was pinned against the wall, with his lips crashing onto mine again, and his tongue asked for entrance. I gave in to him, running my hands through his short hair as he pulled me closer. He led me to my bedroom, gently pushing me down onto my bed as we continued making out. He tugged at the bottom of my shirt, pulling me even closer as his arms encircled my bare waist. I found the hem of his shirt, and he helped me pull it over his head. I traced his gorgeous muscles as Liam kissed me harder, and I kissed him back, completely lost in the moment. When I realized how intense it was getting though, I pulled away.

"Wait!" I exclaimed, out of breath.

"What's the matter babe?" Liam replied, a worried look on his face. 

This was the part I hated. There was a very good possibility that this conversation could end our relationship.

"I... I... I'm saving myself for marriage," I managed to say. "If you have had enough, I completely understand. I should have told you from the start..."

Liam looked surprised, but not upset, as he collapsed on the bed next to me.

"Grace, do you really think I would leave just because you want to wait?"

I shrugged. "It's happened before." I hesistated before I went on. "My junior year of college, I was really serious with a boy named Lucas. I really thought I might love him. Everything was great, until one night, after a date, I went back to his dorm room with him. Things got heated, but I told him that I wanted to wait until marriage. He went crazy on me, saying that my "purity" was a load of crap. He told me to get out and never come back. I haven't been with anyone since."

Liam looked completely shocked. "Lucas was crazy to let you go, especially over something like that. If you want to wait until you're married, I'll support you."

I couldn't believe what I was hearing- Liam wasn't going to leave me!

"Are you serious?"

"Yes I am, Grace. I would never want to lose you over that kind of decision. In fact, I think that having that amount of self-discipline is sexy."

"Ok, let's not get carried away here. But thank you, Liam." I sat up and leaned over to peck him on the lips, but he pulled me on top of him, continuing our make-out session. After several minutes, I fell onto the bed facing him, admiring his abs while he traced shapes onto the exposed part of my stomach. Together we lay there, lost in our thoughts, until I began to notice how warm it was in the apartment.

"Man, it's hot," I said out loud.

Liam nodded. "We were a bit preoccupied before, but it really is humid. Do you have air conditioning?"

"Nope," I replied. We use window fans, though,"

"Maybe we should get one out."

"Good idea," I got off the bed and went to the closet, returning with the fan. After I had set it up and returned to relaxing with Liam, we waited a few minutes, The temperature still felt like it was in the 90s.

"Grace, do you want to spend the night at my place? There's air conditioning and I've got a spare bedroom."

A/C sounded heavenly. 

"Would you mind? This heat is just really bad."

"Not at all. If you want to pack some stuff for the morning, we can head out right after."

"Thanks babe!" I leaned up and kissed him on the cheek. "You're a lifesaver!"

I grabbed my duffel bag and threw an outfit in for the next day, along with a toothbrush, my contact lense stuff, and a t-shirt and shorts for pajamas. I grabbed my song notebook and wallet and made sure they made it into the bag, too.

"Ready!" I called out to Liam. I locked up my apartment and we were out of there.

After about 10 minutes of driving, Liam pulled up in front of a luxury-looking building. When we hopped out of the car, he handed the keys to the doorman, and lead me inside. We rode the elevator to the 35th floor, where we got off and walked down the hallway to his apartment. 

As Liam unlocked the door and swung it open, we both gasped.

****

 

A/N

Sorry it took me so long to update this! Life has been chaotic.

Hope you liked this chapter :) It took foooorrrreeeeevvveeeerrr to write because I put a lot of thought into it. 

Anyway, thank you to everyone reading :) It means a lot and I hope you spread the word about my story! Honestly, just seeing that one person likes the fanfic is so amazing; there's nothing better than making people happy!!

I have a ton more chapters already written, so comment and like and I'll post a bunch!

Anyone want to guess what will happen next? Dun dun dun... cliffhanger!

-Katie

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