Change Your Life

“Holy shit,” I breathed out, feeling sick with excitement and nerves. Louis Tomlinson was in our hotel... Co-authored by Lozza (author of Laura's POV) & MisfiredSynapse (author of Kate's POV).


23. Kate's POV

As soon as the front door slammed behind me, I was halfway to the car. Niall was already scrambling to get his seatbelt on and I performed a remarkable act of coordination- by which, I managed to get in the car, start it, pull on my seatbelt and shut the door in under thirty seconds, while Niall was still wrestling with the safety-jam on his belt. He pouted when I laughed at him and leaned across to fix it; this gave him the opportunity to poke my ribs while I wriggled in his lap and the look on his face said he’d made a mistake for more reason than one.

“Serves you right,” I huffed, backing out of the driveway as Niall rolled his eyes and started sorting through my considerable CD collection. He skipped straight past the One Direction ones until he came to Bon Jovi- I didn’t see what it was until the first unmistakeable chords of Have a Nice Day started to play. If I wasn’t driving, I’d headbang so hard to this song.

The drive to the Beach House went by quicker than I remembered it; Niall’s voice ringing in my ears the entire way. Stopping at the last set of lights, we could both smell the sea and see the sign, and swapped grins of anticipation.

“Swimming or games first?” Niall bellowed over Bed of Roses. This was the dilemma I always faced at the Beach House; was I too hot to play games, or not hot enough to swim? Since I hadn’t changed into my swimmers yet, I decided to go with it and stick with-

“Games!” I shouted back, grinning wickedly. “I’m gonna kick your arse, Horan!”


I parked the car and Niall grabbed both our bags, skipping around to take my hand on the way into the Beach House. I was aware of several eyes drawn our way, curious people having to do a double-take to see if it really was Niall Horan, because we’d been lucky so far and hadn’t had a media circus figuring out where the boys were. Harry was in LA and keeping them focussed on him- poor lad- and Zayn had proposed to Perrie, which kept most of the tabloids happy enough.

Shoving our stuff into a locker, Niall and I both loaded up game cards with four hours of fun, neither of us knowing when or if Laura and Louis would show up. If they did, great; if they didn’t, I didn’t want to go home and interrupt something. Besides, staying out all day with Niall’s attention all to myself was a very attractive prospect.

For the first hour, we stuck together, trying out all the multi-player games before switching to the racers- out of the eight games, Niall won six, which forced me to buy him a victory slushie. The second hour was spent on the side-show games, each individually trying to rack up the most tickets to earn a prize. Halfway through the third hour- we were back on the racers, I was convinced Niall had cheated the first time and was determined to win- a pair of familiar faces came over.

“Kate!” Laura shouted above the noise. Niall slipped his hand over mine as we faced her and Louis, his arm over her shoulders making me wriggle my eyebrows at both of them. Laura- thankfully, she’d kill me- didn’t see it, but Louis did and rolled his eyes.

“So, what are we doing now?” Niall asked, and even though it was loud in here I could hear his stomach rumble. Okay, maybe not, but mine definitely did and it was then I realised I hadn’t eaten anything besides the few sips of Niall’s slushie ages ago.

“Well, why don’t we go get some lunch?” Laura suggested, Louis’ arm slipping down to mirror us and entwine their fingers. I couldn’t help but grin at the unbelievable way our lives had changed; the guys of our dreams, and it was all because of a chance decision to pick the same hotel.

“Sounds good to me.” Niall almost cheered and his entire face lit up, the two of us hurrying to the door with Laura and Louis tailing behind. There was a Nandos a few streets away and I knew for a fact that Subway, McDonalds and a few other take-out places were all within walking distance. We handed in our cards and the girl behind the counter winked and giggled at Niall as she placed an extension on them, giving us the rest of the day. Her eyes nearly fell out of her head when she spotted Louis; and she frowned when she finally realised that the four of us were very clearly in two groups of two.

Being the angels they are, Louis and Niall posed for a picture with her; Laura growled under her breath when the girl kissed Louis on the cheek, and I elbowed her softly. “Hey, she doesn’t get him in her bed,” I muttered, which caused a laugh and earned us curious looks from the popstars.

“What was that?” Niall asked, eyebrows wriggling suggestively. I slid my arm around his waist as we led the way to the door and across the street to the collection of restaurants. “C’mon, no secrets, please?” he begged, giggling when I sighed in mock-annoyance.

“I said,” I began, leaning up to whisper something filthy in his ear. Laura shot me a suspicious look and I winked, silently telling her that it was nothing too bad, and Niall nearly fell on his arse laughing. Louis pulled him up and gave me a look.

“Okay, two things make Niall laugh like that- sex jokes and booze,” he announced.

I just shrugged innocently and kept walking, making a beeline for Nandos when I didn’t hear any complaints. I did, however, catch the way Laura and Louis were walking close together and the way she looked so sad when he wasn’t looking; it reminded me that today wasn’t just any ordinary day and it hit me like a kick in the guts. They were leaving this evening; each tick of the clock was another second closer to not seeing them for months.

My appetite fled so while Niall ordered himself half the menu- okay, that was an exaggeration, but he did order enough for two people then turned to ask us what we’d all like- I just asked for chips and the cheese sauce. His face fell and he lead me to the table, both of us leaving money with Louis so he could pay for everything in one go. We found a corner table, out of the way of the other half-dozen diners who were thankfully too old to fall into that instant-recognition that the teenagers seemed to have.

“What’s up?” Niall asked, eying off Louis and Laura while they ordered. He was making sure we had enough time to talk, without being overheard. If there was one thing Niall had learned about me, it was that I didn’t speak about what was bothering me very often, and if I did, it was usually to brush it off like it was nothing. He’d learned very quickly that when I said ‘no, I’ll be right’ it meant ‘I’m not alright but I don’t know what to do’. “Katie… love.”

I glared at him momentarily, though it wasn’t a bad-tempered thing, more of a you-know-I-can’t-resist-when-you-call-me-that sort of glare. “Just… look at it,” I pointed at the clock on the wall, which was ticking obnoxiously fast just to annoy me, I was sure.

Niall, the master of understanding my half-sentences, just nodded and he pulled me closer, the two of us sitting as close as physically possible without melding into one person. “I know,” he muttered, glaring at the clock and then pressing a kiss to my forehead. “But hey, at least there’s a definite date this time. I know exactly when I get to see you again.”

I smiled slightly, nodding, and pulled away as Louis and Laura joined us. PDA wasn’t my favourite thing in the world, aside from holding hands and the odd hug. I hated feeling like people were staring. “Two weeks,” I mumbled, and Niall squeezed my hand under the table.

“Two weeks.”


Pulling a hoodie over my head, I tried to avoid looking at myself in the mirror. I could hear Laura still knocking at the bathroom door, telling me to hurry up because the boys had a plane to catch. I wondered what they’d do if I stalled long enough- would they go without me, or would they miss the plane?

Sighing deeply, I washed my face and unlocked the door, shooting a falsely bright smile at Laura that I knew she wouldn’t buy. The fact that I was snuggled into Niall’s hoodie and he’d left his Derby shirt in my room- deliberately, because it smelled like him and dear Lord I was going to miss him- said that I was not prepared for what was about to happen. At all.

Laura disappeared into the bathroom and I joined the boys on the couch, ignoring their cases in the corner of the room and stealing a handful of the cashews sitting on a bowl on the coffee table. “All packed up, then?” I asked brightly, leaning against the back of the couch and finding an arm already there. Niall didn’t move as I snuggled into him, and he tugged at the hood of my jumper.

“This is mine, missy,” he declared, but didn’t ask for it back.

Louis reached into his pocket and pulled out a white envelope, which he handed to me. “Give this to her when we’ve gone, will you?” he asked, almost pleading. His eyes were red and I pulled him into a sympathetic hug. I wouldn’t cry until tonight, though I hadn’t said a proper goodbye yet and the chances were high that I’d crack.

“I’m gonna miss you, Lou,” I muttered into his ear. He hugged me tightly and let go, nodding as he stood and Laura reappeared. He was driving his rental to the airport while I’d follow behind with Niall in my car; the last little bit of privacy we’d get to say our last goodbyes. “Let’s go! I finally get my bed back!” I laughed, and Niall rolled his eyes as he pulled me back against him, letting Louis and Laura walk to the rental ahead of us.

“You love my snoring company,” he whispered roughly in my ear.

Shrugging him off, I spun around and pushed him gently against the wall. “Not as much as you love mine,” I cooed, and Niall closed the distance to steal a kiss. “Now get in the car,” I swatted his backside and locked up the house, skipping down after him. The ride was quiet- no music this time- and Niall held my hand as long as he could.

At the airport, standing outside Customs with the overhead speakers telling us that it was time to go, I stood silently and kept my mouth pressed tightly shut, terrified that if I opened it I’d either start crying or begging Niall not to go. I hugged Louis again, hiding my tears in his collar before letting him go. I didn’t look at Laura, who I knew was already crying and trying very hard not to show it, and finally faced Niall.

“Katie love,” he mumbled, opening his arms for a hug. I held him tight enough to choke him but he didn’t complain, lifting me slightly off my feet so I had to stretch to keep contact with the floor. Any tears I had instantly disappeared into his shoulder, and I trembled as I gripped handfuls of his shirt to keep him as close as possible for as long as possible. “I’ll miss you, you know. Snoring and all,” Niall teased me gently, his voice muffled in my neck.

“Shut up,” I managed to spit out, shivering as I felt him start to let go. “Niall… I…”

“I know,” he whispered, meeting my gaze and gently kissing me one last time. “I know… me too.”

And before I knew it he was gone, waving at me through the glass that separating us from the international departures. Laura and I stayed by the glass, communicating in sign language and written notes on our hands. It was only once they were boarding the plane that we both turned to head sadly for my car, driving home in miserable silence.

Lying in bed that night, I wondered if Niall had known what I tried and failed to say, and if he knew that he had gotten closer than ever before to saying ‘I love you’.

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