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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12. The Spotlight

Grace's POV

As Liam and I walked out of Starbucks, our hands full of everyone's drink orders, we were swarmed by paparazzi.

"Grace tell us how you met Liam!"

"What are your true intentions for this relationship?"

It took all of my personal restraint to keep from attacking them. These were people, who, for a living, practically stalked celebrities to get a good photo. It was actually almost pathetic. And they were so insensitive to the fact that Liam and I had a private life-that our relationship wasn't for publicity. It was all disgusting.

We finally made our way through to Liam's car, slamming the doors behind us.

"My gosh, Liam. I don't know how you ever get used to this craziness."

"I don't," he replied. "I've just learned to deal with it I guess. But listen to me," he said as put his hand on my chin and turned my face towards him, "You can't listen to what they say. People are rude and stupid, for a number of reasons, and they will never know the real you. So keep that in mind, alright?"

I nodded my head. "Yup."

We arrived at the studio, where everyone was already gathered. After distributing muffin and coffee orders, I plopped down on the couch next to Liam, and opened the twitter app on my iPhone. I had 8,000 new followers!

I looked at my mentions.

"Grace would you follow me? It would mean the world!"

"GRACE IF YOU SEE THIS TWEET CAN I HAVE A FOLLOW? LOVE YOU!"

"Follow me Grace?"

What the heck. I had spent so much free time as a teenager trying to get follows from my favorite bands and singers, I owed it to my followers to do a follow spree. The fact that they wanted a follow from me was astonishing.

I typed out a tweet: 

@kathgracemusic  

"Thank you for all the amazing followers! I'll do a follow spree now for you lovely people :) xx #followmegrace"

Within seconds my mentions were blowing up.

It was so weird having this kind of attention. I quickly scrolled down the list, following anybody that said something nice about me.

I looked up as I heard Louis chuckle. "#followmegrace is trending worldwide! Nice going Gracie."

I smiled weakly, color coming into my cheeks. "Why thank you, Lou." I was still hitting the blue button for as many people as I could before I hit follow limit. 

@kathgracemusic 

"Sorry guys! Hit follow limit! I promise I'll do another one soon- and maybe get Liam to do one too ;) much love xx"

Twitter went ballistic. Liam only went on once in a while, and it drove the fans crazzzzyyyy.

Liam peered down at my phone from over my shoulder.

"The fans have given us a name. We are now 'Lace.'"

Zayn was amused. "How masculine," he replied, rolling his eyes.

I locked my phone and set it down on the table. "So who's ready to write some hits?"

The seven of us-Liam, Niall, Zayn, Louis, Harry, Josh and I-worked hard until lunchtime. Niall looked at his watch. "It's 1:00, can we break for food? Pleeeeeease?"

I chuckled. "Sure, Niall. Hour break for lunch? Everyone be back at 2:00 please."

"Grace, why don't we visit Andrea? She seemed lonely this morning," Liam reminded me.

Harry stopped, midway out the door. All of the boys, who had been right behind him, knocked into one another. "We can come too," he said. "Cheering people up us fun."

"Okay," I shrugged. "If you guys don't mind, I think she'd love that!"

"Alright then. I'll drive Louis, Zayn, Niall, and Josh, and you can go with Liam. We'll meet you there." With that, the guys filed out of the room.

"Thank you!" I called out to them. By that time, they probably barely heard me.

I turned back to Liam. "Maybe we should go... So they don't get there first and trash the hospital." I was partially joking, but anything was possible, especially with those boys.

"Yeah, probably," Liam smiled in return.

As we exited the studio, we thankfully avoided being seen by any lurking cameras. The boys' album was secretive, so I didn't want the media to become suspicious.

****

As soon as we were on the ICU floor, Liam stopped in the middle of the hallway as his phone buzzed. "It's Harry," he told me as he opened the new message. I peeked over his shoulder at the conversation.

From:Hazza

Hey what floor is Grace's friend on?

From:Liam

ICU. you guys almost here?

From:Harry

Coming soon 

As Liam locked his phone, the elevator dinged behind us. Seconds later, I felt someone jump on my shouders.

"WHAT THE-" 

"Ha! Gotcha!" Niall laughed. I rolled my eyes.

"Nice one, Ni- very mature in a hospital." Niall shrugged.

"Eh, whatever," he replied. I turned. Harry was carrying a pink "GET WELL SOON!" balloon. Aw, he was sweet. All of the boys were here; now I had to get them down the hall to Andrea's room without damaging anything.

"She's this way," I led everyone to her room.

"Now just stay outside for a minute while I make sure she's up to visitors." I trusted that Liam would keep them out of trouble. I mean, they were in their mid-twenties now, so it shouldn't have been too hard.

I walked in the room, smiling. Andrea was propped up in bed, and looking much better.

"Grace! You're back already!"

"Told ya I'd make time to visit my best friend. And I brought a couple visitors that might cheer you up too..."

Andrea gave me a look like 'What are you thinking, Grace?!'. "With the amount of surprises you gave me this morning, I think I can handle one more."

"You sure you're ready? Okey dokey..." I stuck my head into the hall. "C'mon guys."

Seconds later, six boys rushed into the hospital room. Once more, Andrea was lost for words.

"OH MY GOSH YOU'RE IN MY ROOM HOLY CHEESEBALLS!"

"Cheeseballs? Where?" Niall was starting to drool.

"We wanted to stop in and say hi, love," Louis told Andrea.

"Well I'm definitely surprised! Grace talked so much about you bunch in high school. I admit I was never a diehard fan like her, but your songs are catchy and your video diaries were great."

"Thanks, Andrea." Harry flashed his signature smile. Always the cheeky one.

"So I hear you guys are working on a new album? That's awesome!"

"Yeah, we're pretty pumped. Hopefully with Grace's help it will be the best one yet," Zayn replied.

My face turned red as everyone turned to look at me. I shrugged.

"I just want to make this record great. Something the fans will remember forever."

"And you can get your career going too," Liam added, wrapping his arm around my waist.

I looked up at him, smiling. "That's an added bonus."

"Eh em," Josh cleared his throat. "I hate to interuppt you two lovebirds, but we actually do have to go back to the studio if we want to finish this album."

"Right," I replied.

After everyone had chatted with Andrea for a few minutes, and Harry had given her the balloon, we said our goodbyes and headed back to the studio, stopping for McDonalds on the way.

****

"Good job today, guys. See you all Monday." I gathered my notebook and looked at the clock. It was 5:15.

I raced over and cornered Niall before he could get out the door. Seconds later, I felt Liam at my side.

"Niall, we have to talk to you." We had to get this Ella plan to work.

"About what?" The blondish-brown haired boy furrowed his brow.

"About your love life," Liam replied.

Niall sighed. "I've told you, when the perfect girl comes, I'll know it."

"If you never go on dates, Ni, you'll never meet your perfect girl," Liam reminded him.

"What do you want me to do, Liam? It's not like I can just go out and meet girls. Everyone knows me. Or at least they think they do. Everyone. Even the slimy people." He sank down onto the couch.

"But that's why we want to help you," I said, sitting down next to him and patting his shoulder comfortingly.

"Grace called an old friend. She wants to meet you for dinner tonight."

"Dinner? Tonight? Me?" 

"Yeah, Niall, tonight. Her train gets in around 6:15."

"She's taking a train to the city for me?"

"Yup. So what do you say?" Liam had a hopeful look on his face.

A grin slowly spread across Niall's face. "Well ok, I guess I will. I mean, It's not like I'm busy."

"Yay!" I exclaimed, hugging Niall. "I promise you'll like her Niall. She's shorter than you- I know you always say you won't go out with anyone taller- and she's got dark brown hair, and she smiles a lot. Just like you."

"She sounds great. I hope you're right Grace."

"Me too. So, Liam and I will pick her up from the train station, and we'll drop her at the resturant of your choice."

"Okay... hmmm... I choose... Carmine's!" 

Carmine's was a nice Italian eatery.

"Carmine's it is. Now run along and make yourself look nice!" He practically ran out of the studio.

I turned and gave Liam a high-five. Success.

****

Liam's POV

"Ella!" Grace called to a brown-haired girl wearing a pretty red dress who had yet to notice us in the craziness of Grand Central Station. When she turned and saw Grace and I, she squealed and ran over, embracing Grace in a hug.

"Eeek Grace it's so good to see you! And you Liam!" The smile on her face seemed to be permanent.

"Nice to meet you, Ella. I've heard a lot about you."

"And I've heard a lot about you!" She replied, laughing.

"Niall's probably waiting at the resturant. You ready?" Grace asked.

"As ready as I'll ever be for a date with the Niall Horan!"

"I hope he's as fun as you think he is, Ella," I replied, chuckling.

"Of course he is! I'm sure of it."

****

After we got in the car and drove through ridiculous New York traffic, we made it to the resturant. Ella opened the door of the backseat and hopped out.

"Thank you so much guys! I'll text you later."

"Have fun Ella! Bye!" Grace waved to her as we drove off.

I turned toward her as we were waiting at a red light. "So... what do you want to do tonight?"

She shrugged. "I have no idea. I've been so worried about everyone elses' plans," she chuckled.

I sighed. Grace was so worried about making everybody around her happy, she barely made time to think about herself.

"How about bowling?" I was in the mood for some fun.

"Sound's great! You better watch out, Payne. I'm a mean, lean bowling-machine!"

"Oh, I bet. Let's see what you're saying after I throw 5 strikes in a row."

"Only 5? I thought you were better than that Li," Grace teased.

I shrugged. "I don't want to beat you that severely."

****

After bowling two games (I had won the first, and Grace beat me the second), we were in the tenth frame of the final game.

I needed a strike to secure the win.

As I was about to throw the ball, Grace called out, "No pressure, Liam!"

Hearing her voice distracted me the tiniest bit, and as I released the ball from my hand, it had a slight curve, and only knocked over 6 pins. Dang it. I tried for the spare, and missed one pin.

I glared at Grace playfully. "You sneaky girl!"

Grace grinned and stepped up to the lane. Before I had the chance to divert her attention, she released the ball and got a strike. My jaw dropped. 

She started dancing around. "I win, I win, I beat ya Liam, I win, I win!" 

I wrapped my arms around her waist and looked into her eyes. "Nice job Maciale."

"Thank you Payne." Being with her just felt so right. She liked to joke, but knew when to be serious. She was smart, but silly. And every time I was around her, the feeling I got inside was like being high. I just wanted Grace. I leaned down as our lips met. We were so happy being with each other, we didn't care how many people were watching.

****

"Now that was fun!" Grace giggled as we got back in the car. 

"It was. It was even better because I got to spend it with you." I watched her cheeks turn red. I just couldn't help making her blush.

I looked down at my buzzing phone. One new message:

From:Niall

She could be the one.

My face spread into a grin. Grace looked up from her own phone and noticed my expression. I handed her the phone.

"Yes! We did it Liam!"

I was so relieved that Niall had finally found someone that could make him happy. I typed back a quick message.

From:Liam

So happy for you Niall.

I got a message back seconds later.

From:Niall

She's just amazing. I'll have to tell you more later.


I replied before turning my attention back to Grace.

From:Liam

Yeah, we'll talk later. Have fun :)

I locked my phone and turned back to Grace. Now she was the one grinning like a kid in a candy store.

"What's up?" I asked her.

"Leah just texted me. She wants me to record a demo tomorrow for some record labels."

"That's great!"

"Yeah, I mean, I'm so excited I don't even know what to say!"

"I'm proud of you babe. I can't wait to hear it- do you want me to go with you to the studio?"

"Oh Liam would you really? That would be amazing," she gushed.

"Sure. I had no plans for tomorrow anyway."

"Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you!" She gave me a peck on the cheek. "I guess you better drop me home. I need to get my guitar and stuff to be ready for the morning."

"No problem." I started the car and drove towards her flat. Grace was silent for most of the way, likely deep in thought about recording her demo.

When I pulled up to the front of her building, Grace looked at me. "Thank you for an amazing night Liam. I've got it from here." She leaned in for a quick kiss before hopping out of the car.

 

"I'll pick you up around 8:40, okay?

She nodded."Sounds perfect! See you tomorrow!" Grace waved as she walked towards the doors. I waited until she was safely inside before driving off. I was really falling for that determined girl.

****

Grace's POV

When I opened the door to my apartment, Leah was inside, eating a grilled cheese sandwich.

"Hey!" I greeted her, collapsing on the couch.

"Hey! How was studio?"

"It was good. The guys were crazy like always. How was your day?" I replied.

"It was amazing! Harry dropped me at the mall this morning, with his credit card."

"No way?! That sounds like it must have been fun."

"Uh huh," Leah shook her head. "I have more clothes for work, and for play, now then I've ever owned in my life!"

"I can imagine. Do you think Harry likes you?"

"I'm pretty sure of it. I mean, why would he be so nice to me all the time? But who knows? It could just be the Styles charm."

"I think he might like you, Leah. That's simply my opinion, but I'm pretty observant."

"I hope you're right, Grace. Oh, how did the whole Ella thing work out?"

"Niall told Liam that she 'could be the one.'"

"Aw, that's great!"

"Yup. Seeing him sad was just so depressing. Anyway, I should probably go to bed. Tomorrow's a big day."

"Right. I'll come with you to the studio to work everything out."

"Okay, Liam's driving. He'll be here around 8:40."

"Sounds good! Goodnight!" Leah said as she went back to her late-night snack.

I said goodnight and went off to my room, quickly changing into a t-shirt and shorts. I brushed my teeth and washed my face in the bathroom. When I went back to my room, I collapsed onto my bed, but lay awake for what seemed like hours. I couldn't wait for tomorrow.

****

A/N 

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Thanks for reading :)

-Katie

 

 

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