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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25. Recovery

Grace's POV

I looked up as Liam returned from getting the apartment ready. The look on his face seemed kind of annoyed and serious, but he put on a smile when he saw me looking. 

"Hey Li! All set?" I asked, curious about his expression.

"Everything's good to go!" He got behind Andrea's wheelchair and pushed her into the building while I took her belongings.

We soon had Andrea settled in the apartment. I helped her onto the couch and propped her up with some pillows while Liam sat at the table, scrolling through something on his phone.

"What do you want to eat, Andrea?" I asked, walking around the room tidying.

"Eh, I'm okay for now, thanks though." I raised my eyebrows. Andrea, the queen of fine cuisine, was turning down food?

I gave her a puzzled look. Suddenly, it all clicked. Fine cuisine. That had to be it- Andrea didn't want my mediocre cooking.

"Are you sure? I can make you some lovely canned soup..."

"Well, yeah, I guess that will work." Ha. I knew it. As much as I adored my best friend, I could do without her snobiness over food.

I heated up the soup and brought it to Andrea on a tray with some ginger ale and her afternoon pain medications.

"Alright! You okay for now?" I asked her, glancing quickly at my watch. It had been nearly two hours since we left the studio, and I didn't want to get Liam in trouble for being back late. He was still on his phone, a kind of annoyed look on his face.

"Yup, I'm all good for now. I really appreciate it, guys. Thank you," Andrea smiled at Liam and I.

"We'd do anything for you, Andre," I replied, gathering my bag and turning to Liam. I hated to leave the poor girl here alone, but we really had to return to work.

Li smiled at Andrea. "Exactly what Grace said. We're here for you." That boy was so genuinely sweet.

We said our goodbyes and walked back out to the car, Liam glancing around the lobby as we went through it. I wondered what was going on in his head; maybe he would tell me later.

****
Liam's POV


After the whole Michael-cheating fiasco, I had no idea what to do. While Grace was getting Andrea lunch, I group-texted the boys, hoping they might have some good advice about the situation. Zayn said that I should tell Grace right away, which Louis and Niall agreed with, but Harry brought up the point that her show was on Sunday, and if Andrea took the news badly, Grace wouldn't be able to focus on her preparation. When we got back to the studio and Grace was settled in the writing room, the first thing I did was pull Harry out so that we could talk.

"Hey Liam, nice to see you too," Harry joked sarcastically at my nearly-forced "kidnapping" of him.

"Sorry Haz, I just need to decide what I'm gonna do about this. I feel so guilty not telling her, but I don't want to completely distract her from her career if Andrea falls apart."

Harry looked at my seriously, with the "thinking" face I had seen him wear so many times before when it came to discussing girl issues. "I think you should just wait until after Sunday. The only thing that's gonna happen if you fill her in now is Andrea will be hurt, and waiting a bit won't make a difference when it comes to that."

I let out a deep sigh. "I guess you're right. What one doesn't know can't hurt them, right?"

"Right," Harry agreed, patting me on the back. "Now let's go record some vocals!"

I just had to hope that I was making the right decision.

We went back into the writing room to wait until it was our turn to record. I had to say I loved the song; it was something we had written with Grace one of the first days we had worked together. Niall was sitting on a chair, his feet up on the coffee table as he scrolled through twitter or something on his phone. Grace was sitting cross-legged on the sofa, writing furiously in her notebook. I took a seat down next to her, while Harry chose a chair near the door. I gave him a nervous look as I bit my lip; I hated holding back the truth from people. Hazza rolled his eyes and mouthed, "Relax." Hoping to distract myself, I turned to Grace, trying to looking over her shoulder to what see what she was working on, but her scribbles were nearly indecipherable. Before I could start a conversation with Niall, I was interrupted.

"Leeeeeeyyyyyyuuuummmm!" Louis called from the room where we were recording. I got up and went into the studio, where Louis and Zayn were standing around, talking with the sound person working the controls. 

"Liam, get your butt in there and put on those headphones. We have an album to make!" Louis commanded, pointing at the microphone. I couldn't help chuckling; we were grown men but Louis still insisted on ordering everyone around. I guess the "Sassmasta of Doncasta" lived on.

"Alright Louis, but only if you say please."

Zayn just smirked as Louis rolled his eyes dramatically. "Get in the booth or I'll post the photo of you sleeping with your teddy bear last month on Twitter."

I should have known Louis would pull something like this. I narrowed my eyes. "You wouldn't."

"Oh I would. And I will. Unless you do as I say. No please involved."

I sighed and entered the booth. Louis was one to follow through on his word, and I didn't want to test him. The consequences could be severe on my part.

Pulling on the headphones, I waited for the engineer to give me the go-ahead. Halfway through my solo, I looked up and saw that Harry had come into the room outside. He gave me a seductive look and I lost all focus on the song, cracking up at Haz. I stopped singing, apologized, and started over. Harry now had his face pressed up to the glass, squishing his nose like a pig. I couldn't control myself; I burst out hysterical laughing. Taking off the headphones, I yelled at the cheeky boy.

"HAROLD EDWARD STYLES CUT THAT OUT! Louis will kill me if I don't get this recorded! And you will probably suffer too!"

"What? I'm sorry, I can't here you!" Harry mouthed through the window. I knew he could hear me perfectly, and was just being smart. The little sneak.

I rolled my eyes and got back in "the zone" for recording. Nodding at the sound guy, I closed my eyes and waited for the track to start. If I couldn't see Harry, he couldn't distract me. 

After a couple of tries I finished my verse solo and my harmonies for the refrain. I loved recording, but it could get tiresome, and this was only the first song of many.

Walking out of the booth, I saw Zayn standing there, biting his lip as he tried to conceal a smile.

"What's up Za-"

"AGHH!" Before I could finish my sentence, I felt someone tug my pants down to my ankles.

Turning around, Harry stood behind me, a huge grin on his face. 

"How's record-"

I whipped around to see Grace standing in the doorway, blushing. I looked down and saw that Harry had pulled my pants down completely, leaving me in my boxers.

"Sorry," I mumbled in reply, pulling my jeans back up. "Harry is quite the prankster."

Grace laughed. "I can imagine. Doing this stuff day after day seems like it would be tedious."

Her empathy and understanding never ceased to amaze me; she seemed to just get what other people might misinterpret. No one else I'd ever met had ever had the same personality, and it made me like her that much more.

I snapped out of my trance before anyone noticed. "I'm finished in here for now, so do you want me to go write with you?"

A grin spread across her face. "Sure... I've got the start of a tune down but I need some help on the chorus..."

"I'll be happy to assist you," I replied formally, in a joking sort of way.

"Well, kind sir, that would be greatly appreciated."

We spent the rest of the afternoon working on Grace's idea, calling it quits at 6:00.

"Want to go get something to eat?" I asked her as we climbed into the car.

"Eh, I wish I could, but I should get home for Andrea." She looked disappointed.

"That's right, no big deal. We can just pick up something on the way."

"You know what, Li, I think I'm okay. Thanks though."

"Are you sure? You've got to eat something."

"I'm really okay, I don't have much of an appetite. I can always eat something from my pantry if I get hungry."

"If you say so," I replied. Grace was really starting to worry me.

We drove to her house in silence; it had been a long day and I think we were both worn out. Pulling up to the curb in front .of her house, I put the car in park and turned to face her. "Want me to come with you?"

Grace shook her head. "That's okay, thank you though. I think Andrea will readjust better if it's just the two of us, nothing personal against you."

"No, I get it, G. I just want to spend more time with you." I reached up and brushed my thumb against her cheek, tucking her hair behind her ear. She blushed, and before she had a chance to reply, I leaned in and kissed her. When my lips met hers it was like the whole world stopped, and time no longer mattered. Grace was the most important thing going on in my life; I cared so much about her I wouldn't be able to explain it if I tried. As the kiss deepened, I felt her hands run through my hair as I wrapped my arms around her to pull her body closer to mine. I never wanted this to end. It seemed like only seconds later when Grace broke away, gasping for air.

"I wish we could keep at this, but I really do have to go."

I pulled her in for one last quick kiss before I let her leave, which she didn't resist. We exchanged goodbyes before she hurried into the building, and I watched to make sure she was safely inside before driving home.

****
Grace's POV


Liam Payne was gonna be the death of me. In addition to being the most beautiful man I had ever laid eyes on, he was ridiculously sweet and a fantastic kisser. Our embrace in the car had left me dazed; his soft lips crashing onto mine was a feeling like no other.

I went back to my apartment with a huge grin on my face. Walking through the door, I was met by a sad-looking Andrea.

"What's the matter, chickie?" I asked.

"Nothing. I just hurt," she chuckled, but I could sense she was trying to hide the pain.

"Well, I'm here now," I replied as cheerfully as I could, which wasn't difficult seeing that seconds before I had been absolutely lovestruck. "I'm sure your pain meds have just worn off." I got up and sorted through her pill bottles to find the right medication to help her. It had been a week since the accident, but some of her injuries had been so severe that she was still hurting.

I gave her the proper dosage and a glass of water, and then sat down with her to watch some TV. Neither of us was rather hungry, so we didn't even think about food and spent the rest of the night channel surfing. The drugs made Andrea drowsy, so by 10:30 she was fast asleep. I fixed the pillows around her and made sure her blanket was on before slipping away to my own room. I was exhausted myself, so it took me no time to put on my pajamas and wash up in the bathroom. I tumbled into my bed, and as soon as my head hit the pillow, I was fast asleep.

****
I was startled awake by the sound of Andrea screaming. My heart nearly pounding out of my chest, I shot out of bed and grabbed the baseball bat I always kept in the corner. Creeping forward, I poked my head around before cautiously entering the main room. Andrea lay in her bed, yelling and crying. Seeing that at the moment there was no one in the room, I rushed over to her side.

"Andrea, Andrea, hey, you okay?" I tried to comfort her.

To my surprise, she didn't respond. Maybe she was just having a really bad nightmare? Having a sudden thought, I ran over to her pain medication and scanned the side effects; one of them was night terrors. Of course. I wish the doctor or someone could have given me the heads-up that my friend would likely spend the night unconsciously yelling and screaming. Oh well; I guess I had to just learn the hard way. I jumped up and grabbed my phone; I had no idea what to do when someone was having night terrors. Responses online seemed to say let her sleep through it, because she'd be startled if I woke her up. So I had to just leave her alone? One website said that trying to softly sooth the person could be comforting, so I made sure Andrea was well-supported by her pillows. I really wasn't sure what else I could do for her, so I grabbed a blanket and pillows and made myself comfortable on the floor in front of the sofa. She was still crying, which was frightening, so I didn't fall asleep quickly, but at least I would be there if she woke up and needed me. It seemed like hours later when Andrea finally quieted, and by that time, I was so tired I fell asleep immediately.

****
"Bzzzz." Seemingly seconds after I had finally gotten to sleep, someone was pressing the buzzer for my apartment. I opened my eyes; the sun shining through the windows meant it was morning. Oh crud. Liam was here to pick me up for work, and I was barely awake. I ran over to the door, and upon hearing his name, buzzed him up. Andrea was still fast asleep on the couch, so I hustled to put my makeshift bed back in my room before Liam knocked on the door. I opened it to find the man looking as handsome as ever, wearing blue jeans and a Beatles black t-shirt, aviators perched on his head. Before he could say anything about my appearance, I rushed to explain.

"I'm really sorry, Li, I was up with Andrea last night and I overslept."

"It's okay, Grace, I can just call Louis and tell him that we're gonna be a little late."

"No, I really don't want to get you in trouble. You go ahead, and I'll catch up later in a cab and take full responsibility."

"Grace, I'm staying with you. That's completely ridiculous-you don't need to waste money on a cab, and it's really not a big deal. Zayn is late half the time and no one ever beat him up," he joked.

"Well, if you really say so. But I'm sure no one has touched Zayn because they don't want to hurt his lovely cheekbones," I kid in reply.

"What are you saying, Zayn is more good-looking than I am?" Liam pretended to be hurt, but soon started laughing.

"Not at all, it's just everyone always talks about his face..." I trailed off. I loved that Liam and I could be silly with each other.

"Oh really? Don't you like my face too? Because I think yours is pretty," and before I could stop him, Liam was planting kisses all over my cheeks and forehead.

"Liam, stop!" I laughed, trying to stay somewhat quiet for Andrea's sake. Eh, what the heck. With the amount of meds she was on, she probably wouldn't wake up. I decided to give Liam a taste of his own medicine.

"Why would I stop?" Liam grinned, still pecking my face.

"So that I can do this," I replied, breaking away from him and quickly kissing his face. Liam was caught by surprise, but recovered fast, and pushed me off of him before pulling me in for a smooch on the lips. I could do this all day. Unfortunately, my mature instincts kicked into gear just then; I had to get ready for work. 

"Sorry, Li, but this girl's gotta prep for studio." And before he could react, I broke away from the kiss and hurried to get ready for the day.

****
A/N


I'm sorry it took me so long to update! Life is kinda crazy! 

Predictions?

Comments/Likes/Favorites are much appreciated :)
Feedback is fantabulous!

Three comments before I update? :D

--Katie xx

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