One Struck

Gwen Evans is looking forward to summer - until she finds the One Direction, England's top-selling band, hiding in her barn. Now, she has to deal with rock star egos, an unwanted admirer, and the dark force that sent them into hiding in the first place.


8. on camera

Shooting a glare at her sister, Sydney began flailing about, obviously grasping at straws. "Wouldn't somebody else would rather have a turn?" she demanded. Her eyes flicked around the room desperately. "Liam?"
The pale directional lifted his head and grimaced. "Sorry, guys, I'm really not feeling up for it. You go ahead."
Sydney turned anxiously to her last hope, who was reclining lazily in his beanbag chair. "…Louis?"
The boy considered. "Yeah, I'll give it a g–" He suddenly became aware of the shut your mouth expression on Harry's face. "Err… actually, I don't really feel like it. Sorry."
Looking utterly frustrated, Sydney drew in a breath. "Fine," she spat, stepping out of the way so that Harry and Gwen could take the stage.
Suddenly, Gwen wondered what on Earth she had just gotten herself into. She padded over to one of the mats and felt her body go tense when Harry appeared beside her. Glancing over at his profile, she cleared her throat.
"Fair warning," she began in a murmur, "I'm terrible at this game."
Harry looked somewhat astonished to hear her speak in a tone that wasn't laced with hostility. He raised his eyebrows. "Trust me; you can't be as bad as I am."
"Oh, believe me," Gwen returned grimly. "I can be."
"Hazza, Quinn, say hi!" Niall's voice rang out suddenly from behind. Gwen whipped around and found herself staring directly into the circular lens of a tiny video camera, which Zayn was holding in one hand.
Harry groaned. "Really, Zayn?"
"Where the hell did you get that?" Gwen gaped incredulously at the tiny flashing red light in the corner.
"Just bought it from the gift shop in your kitchen," Zayn drawled sarcastically. He rolled his eyes. "Relax, Quinn; I've had it with me all along. Fits nicely in my pocket."
"For the last time, Malik, its Gwen," was her exasperated response.
"Ignore him," advised Harry, shaking his head. "He's got this weird obsession with getting everything on film. You get used to it after a while."
Gwen lifted her brow. "Right."
Zayn continued to film as they selected a slow-paced song that Sydney assured them was the easiest one available and set the difficulty level to basic.
"You ready?" Harry queried, glancing over at Gwen.
She wrinkled her nose. "Nope."
"Relax!" The game said cheerfully as the introduction started to play. "I believe in you!"
At this, Gwen heard a loud snort from Sydney's general vicinity. Ignoring her, she put all of her concentration into watching the little arrows that were floating up the screen. Sydney was right – the song was much slower than Best Song Ever, and she surprised herself by managing to hit the first few steps somewhat accurately. Unfortunately, the tempo picked up significantly soon after this, and suddenly the arrows were an all-too-familiar jumble of gibberish. Gwen moved her feet frantically, hoping that by some miracle she might be striking a couple of correct spots here and there. In between crazy footfalls, she snuck a quick glance at the score and saw that Harry was beating her by a fair margin. This—coupled with Sydney's derisive giggles—made Gwen inexplicably angry, and so she made every effort possible to hit the remainder of the notes.
Unfortunately, this newfound determination was her downfall—literally. Her feet became so tangled up as she desperately tried to step on every arrow that, by the time she reached the final bar of the song and the last note struck with dramatic finality, she lost her balance completely and toppled over. She landed sprawled across a plastic surface and heard various noises erupt from behind her—high-pitched cackling from Sydney, a triumphant cheers from Niall, Louis, and Zayn, and an exclamation of "Aww! No!" from Harry, who was standing right above her.
Right... above her?
Gwen looked up to find Harry smirking and holding out a hand; humiliation spread through her as she realized exactly where she had landed, and she rolled over quickly, ignoring his hand, and jumped to her feet.
"Thanks a lot for ruining my combo, Firecracker," he said, grinning at her.
"All part of my strategy," she said dully, dusting off her jeans. "'Sides, you still won."
Shrugging, Harry cocked his head toward the television screen, which was now flashing their scores. "Yeah, but we both got D's."
"That was bloody pathetic," Zayn announced, shaking his head. "Most half-arsed DDR-in I've ever seen."
"Like you can talk, Malik," spat Sydney, who was eyeing up Gwen and Harry' exchange distastefully. "Harry is better than you. You just broke the mat, that's why he got a D."
"Err, actually, I was playing on your mat...," said Harry, indicating the bright pink "Property of Sydney Evans" sticker in the corner of his controller. Gwen couldn't help but laugh out loud at this.
Sydney's eyes bulged. After standing there for several seconds, looking as though she might implode at any moment, she muttered, "My mistake," in the squeakiest voice Gwen had ever heard before trudging stiffly out of the living room.
"Well, that was a blast," said Harry when she had gone.
"Yeah," agreed Gwen, "you guys got off easy."
"Want to know the best part?" asked Louis, grinning from ear to ear.
Gwen raised an eyebrow; Louis looked positively evil as he pointed at the little silver camcorder perched on the mantelpiece.
"Zayn got it all on camera."

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