Pearl White ~A One Direction FairyTale~

You think you know how the story goes. Snow White meets some dwarves, eats an apple, falls asleep, gets kissed by a prince and lives happily ever after.

If only my life were that simple. My name's Pearl. Pearl White. And unfortunately for me, I'm never even going to get to meet my prince. Because his name is Liam Payne, and he's a member of the boy band One Direction.

Cover made by the amazing user NathanielStanley! Thank you so much!

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9. Routine

Inhale through the nose. Exhale through the mouth. I let the rhythm of my breathing transfer to my feet, moving swiftly in tempo as I run, flying along the salted roads, avoiding ice patching, and I am finally free.

I smile as I complete the five kilometer, drenched in sweat. Searching through the snow near the stairwell, I find my water bottle, kept cool by nature. I take small sips and walk around to prevent my stomach from cramping, taking small moment to look at my watch and smiling at the time. Nineteen minutes. Not bad.

Already, my body is forgiving me for the break I took. I had shin splints over six months ago that made it impossible to run, and spent most of those six months stretching and calf-raising and icing. The cold air burns my lungs and my nose is runny, but I smile as I take a bigger gulp. It's nearly Christmas. I've been knitting the Hopeful Seven some scarfs. I discarded my first two efforts, as they were full of holes at the knitting class. I guess both knitting and cooking taught me to be persistent and not give up after my first couple of attempts.

Suddenly, a large, black car pulls up with tinted windows, splashing icy water from the melted road right onto my bare legs and new sneakers. I yelp, shocked by the coldness, and jump back, slipping on a patch of black ice and landing on my back, smacking my head so hard I see stars.

And then I see him.

Liam Payne, stepping out of the car, oblivious to the fact that his little chauffeur has just knocked me down. Pea coat, thick scarf and sunglasses can't hide the facial features I've come to know so well. Out of nowhere, papparazzi begin flashing photos, so he hurries inside and I follow, seething from his lack of courtesy. Once the doors close on the press, I tap him on the shoulder.

"Hey. Liam Payne. I know it's you, so don't bother trying to pretend it's not with the whole glasses and scarf thing. Didn't you see at all how your driver not only splashed me with icy water but also knocked me down?" I motion towards the muddy slush covering my sneakers and shorts on my now red, frozen knees. "These sneakers belong to St. Mungos. They were graciously donated to me by the charity. What are you doing here anyway?" I accuse him.

He stares me, stunned.

"Uh, well, I'm sorry, I guess, for not noticing that you fell down...I'm a bit preoccupied right now though, trying to check in and all," he mutters, clearly not interested in anything I have to say. He swings by me and starts talking to the receptionist girl, a woman in her thirties who immediately starts flirting and talking about what an honor it is that he's here.

I roll my eyes and take the stairs up, shivering and scowling. I'm frozen, the sweaty high from running wasted. Without even bothering to re-lock the door, I storm into the room, slamming the door behind me and immediately stripping off my sneakers.

"Yo, Pearl, you're going to want to clean that up, or we'll all lose our privileges when they check the room," says Harry. He points to the sodden mess of muck I've trailed into the room.

"Yeah, I get it," I mutter, glowering at him. Harry immediately quiets.

"Are you on the rag or something?" says Twitch. Charlie glares at him. "What? I mean, she is in a right foul mood-"

"What Twitch means," Allen interrupts gracefully, "is we would like to know what happened and why you're suddenly in such a bad mood when you left the room early in high spirits."

"Liam Payne is here," I growl, "and his stupid car splashed this gross water all over me. I was so upset I slipped on some ice and bumped my head." I show the Hopeful Seven the bruise, and Smithy winces.

"Let me grab you an ice pack," he mutters, running down to the first floor.

"Are you sure the bruise isn't from being starstruck from Liam?" teases Thom. I shoot him a withering look.

"I hate Liam Payne," I declare a bit loudly, somewhat annoyed that Thom has struck close to the truth. I can't believe I was saving myself for him at a certain point, how childish and disgusting. "He's a self-centered arseho-"

Smithy interrupts, already in the door.

"Sorry, but this bloke said he wanted to apologize for something he'd done to you, Pearl?" He steps aside to reveal Liam Payne. Great, this day keeps getting better and better. Liam just heard me call him an arsehole and declare my hatred for him. I keep a straight face while inwardly screaming and loathing myself for being too loud-mouthed.

"Why hello, Liam," I say in a vicious manner, unable to stop the bile spewing from my mouth. "Come to apologize for a change?" Oliver and Charlie exchange glances as Charlie's hands convey what's happened.

"Yeah, uh, you know, I'm sorry, I mean I didn't really do anything," he shrugs nonchalantly. "Just wanted to see if you were ok because Smithy over here was getting an ice pack-"

"Yeah, your driver made me fall and hit my head." I part my hair to show the growing bruise, and he gives a quick inward gasp. 

"Sorry about that," he says, giving me a fake smile, and he begins to approach me. 

"Stay away!" I shriek, then cover my mouth awkwardly. 

"Uh, ok, but hey, just gotta ask are you a directioner by any chance? Because I could get you concert tickets or something to make this up-"

His suggestion infuriates me more, and to my frustration, tears begin to pour out, after a good three weeks without crying.

"No. Concert tickets will not ameliorate this. You don't understand what it's like to have nothing," I babble, "You're a stuck up celebrity who thinks throwing around free stuff will fix the world. News flash, it won't."

Smithy shows him to the door while I cover my face with the blanket.

"Yep, she definitely got the hots for him," says Twitch, shaking his head. 

"I do not!" I scream, storming out into the lobby. I grab my knitting and stab each stitch fiercely, getting closer and closer to casting off.

What's wrong with me? I've never acted so peevishly before, much less treated another person like this. I used to obsess over Liam, reading all the gossip sites for the latest news and congratulating him when he had a new girlfriend or secretly cheering inside when they'd broken up. Why is he here? What could possibly bring him here except for some stupid publicity stunt, like Celia's stint in Africa for a week. She came back complaining about how lucky the African girls were to be so skinny, a particularly odious comment because they were starving children that she was supposed to be feeding at a shelter.

I stop knitting for a moment. When did I become so critical and jaded? Why am I judging Liam so much? He has just a right as anyone to further his career. I shouldn't be acting like a spoiled child around him.

As I finish Oliver's scarf, I resolve to just ignore him. If he doesn't exist, I won't humiliate myself again in front of him.

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