Safe And Sound (Triquel to Red)

"Elizabeth Ashton was more that just a girl to me. She was my best friend, she was the love of my life, she was my light. Since the day I met her when we were 5 years old there hasn't been a single day that I didn't love her. Without her, I wouldn't be the man I am today. She taught me so many things. She taught me to never give up on myself and to never let anyone tell me who I am, who I want to be. She taught me to believe in myself even when no one else did. Through the 15 years that I knew her, just the thought of her made me smile. Now I can't help but look back on all of the memories we made. The pillow fights, the sleep overs, the ghost stories. She made me happier than anyone else ever could. She put a smile on my face even when I was on the verge of tears and she always knew what to say. So much of the world knows Elizabeth Ashton as the girl who broke free from her past and created a future...

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63. When The Clock Strikes Twelve

***Beth's POV***

In only moments I would step onto a stage, people, fans, the world surrounding me. And above me would be the night sky which would burst with celebratory fireworks in only a matter of hours. Tonight would mark the end of 2018 and a new year would emerge on the strike of twelve. Soon, it would be me against the crowds, me against the night, me against the world.

"You're on in five." A man told me, handing my my microphone.

I slowly made my way to the stage stairs, my heels clicking on the ground below my feet with each step I took. I could hear the beats of the song 'Daylight' as Maroon 5 performed.

"You ready?" A voice asked from behind me and I turned around.

Grace stood there, a smile on her face.

"Yeah. I'm nervous. But yeah I'm ready." I told her.

"Good. And Liam told me to tell you that he'll meet you backstage after the show." She said.

I nodded. "Hey Grace?"

"Yeah?"

"When this is over, I want you to come with us to the party tonight. I mean, who knows, tonight you might find the guy you'll spend the rest of your life with." I told her.

She shook her head. "I really can't. I've got a lot of work to do."

I looked at her. "I'm giving you the night off. Live your life Grace. You won't be young forever."

I looked at her one more time as Maroon 5 made their way down the stairs. I gave them smiles as the five of them walked past.

"Hey, good luck out there. The crowd is crazy." One of the guys smiled.

"Thanks." I replied.

As I was about to make my way out on stage I turned around. "And Grace?"

She looked up.

"I'm not taking no for an answer." I told her.

I made my way onto the stage and soon I found myself in the center of times square. Wind blew through my hair as I took in my surroundings. Crowds filled every corner for as far out as I could see. Tall buildings created walls around me. Lights shined and stars twinkled in the night sky. I couldn't help but smile.

"Hello New York!" I called into the microphone. "How is everyone tonight?!"

They all screamed their responses.

"In only a matter of two hours 2018 will be over and a new year will begin." I grinned. "Who's ready?!"

They all screamed and cheered. 

"Now enough talk. This is Better Than Revenge." I grinned.

I brought the microphone to my lips and I began to sing.
  Now go stand in the corner and think about what you did !   The story starts when it was hot and it was summer And, I had it all; I had him right there where I wanted him She came along, got him along, and let's hear the applause She took him faster than you can say sabotage I never saw it coming, nor did I suspected it I underestimated just who I was dealing with She had to know the pain was beating on me like a drum She underestimated just who she was stealing from   She's not a saint and she's not what you think She's an actress, Whoa She's better known for the things that she does On the mattress, Whoa Soon she's gonna find Stealing other people's toys on the playground Won't make you many friends She should keep in mind, She should keep in mind There is nothing I do better than revenge, Ha   She lives her life like it's a party and she's on the list She looks at me like I'm a trend and she's so over it I think her ever present frown is a little troubling And, she thinks I'm psycho Cause I like to rhyme her name with things, but Sophistication isn't what you wear, or who you know Or pushing people down to get you where you wanna go Oh they didn't teach you that in prep school So it's up to me But no amount of vintage dresses gives you dignity   She's not a saint and she's not what you think She's an actress, Whoa   She's better known for the things that she does On the mattress, Whoa Soon she's gonna find Stealing other people's toys on the playground Won't make you many friends She should keep in mind, She should keep in mind There is nothing I do better than revenge, Ha ha   I'm just another thing for you to roll your eyes at honey You might have him, but haven't you heard I'm just another thing for you to roll your eyes at honey You might have him, but I always get the last word Whoa   She's not a saint and she's not what you think She's an actress, Whoa She's better known for the things that she does On the mattress, Whoa
  Soon she's gonna find Stealing other people's toys on the playground Won't make you many friends She should keep in mind, She should keep in mind There is nothing I do better than revenge,   And do you still feel like you know what you're doing, Cause I don't think you do, Oh Do you still feel like you know what you're doing I don't think you do, I don't think you do Let's hear the applause C'mon show me how much better you are See you deserve some applause Cause you're so much better She took him faster than you can say sabotage

As I finished I looked out at the vast crowd with a grin, taking a breath. I went straight into singing Red as soon as the crowd died down.
  Loving him is like driving a new Maserati down a dead end street Faster than the wind Passionate as sin, ended so suddenly Loving him is like trying to change your mind Once you're already flying through the free fall Like the colors in autumn So bright just before they lose it all   Losing him was blue like I'd never known Missing him was dark grey all alone Forgetting him was like trying to know somebody you've never met But loving him was red Loving him was red   Touching him is like realizing all you ever wanted was right there in front of you Memorizing him was as easy as knowing all the words to your old favorite song Fighting with him was like trying to solve a crossword  and realizing there's no right answer Regretting him was like wishing you never found out love could be that strong   Losing him was blue like I'd never known Missing him was dark grey all alone Forgetting him was like trying to know somebody you've never met But loving him was red Oh red  Burning red   Remembering him comes in flashbacks and echoes Tell myself it's time now, gotta let go But moving on from him is impossible When I still see it all in my head   Burning red! Darling it was red!   Oh, losing him was blue like I'd never known Missing him was dark grey all alone Forgetting him was like trying to know somebody you've never met 'Cause loving him was red yeah yeah red We're burning red   And that's why he's spinning round in my head Comes back to me burning red Yeah, yeah...   'Cause love was like driving a new Maserati down a dead end street
"Well! Only about an hour and a half more until this year is over. Its all gone by so quickly. Hasn't it?" I grinned.

As the crowd screamed I looked around at the brightly lit up buildings. 

"Alright, this is called Forever and Always." I smiled.
  Once upon a time, I believe it was a Tuesday When I caught your eye And we caught onto something, I hold on to the night You looked me in the eye and told me you loved me Were you just kidding? 'Cause it seems to me   This thing is breaking down, we almost never speak I don't feel welcome anymore Baby, what happened? Please tell me 'Cause one second it was perfect Now you're halfway out the door   And I stare at the phone and he still hasn't called And then you feel so low, you can't feel nothin' at all And you flashback to when he said, forever and always Oh, oh   Oh, and it rains in your bedroom, everything is wrong It rains when you're here and it rains when you're gone 'Cause I was there when you said forever and always   Was I out of line? Did I say something way too honest That made you run and hide like a scared little boy? I looked into your eyes, thought I knew you for a minute Now I'm not so sure   So here's to everything, coming down to nothing Here's to silence that cuts me to the core Where is this going? Thought I knew for a minute But I don't anymore   And I stare at the phone and he still hasn't called And then you feel so low, you can't feel nothin' at all And you flashback to when he said forever and always Oh, oh   Oh, and it rains in your bedroom, everything is wrong It rains when you're here and it rains when you're gone 'Cause I was there when you said forever and always You didn't mean it, baby, I don't think so Oh, oh   Oh, back up, baby, back up, did you forget everything? Back up, baby, back up, did you forget everything?   'Cause it rains in your bedroom, everything is wrong It rains when you're here and it rains when you're gone 'Cause I was there when you said forever and always   Oh, I stare at the phone and he still hasn't called And then you feel so low, you can't feel nothin' at all And you flashback to when we said forever and always   And it rains in your bedroom, everything is wrong It rains when you're here and it rains when you're gone 'Cause I was there when you said forever and always You didn't mean it, baby, you said forever and always
As I finished the crowd erupted into cheers and applause and I stood there with a content look on my face. I began sining Heart Attack.
  Putting my defenses up  Cause I don't wanna fall in love  If I ever did that, I think I'd have a heart attack    Never put my love out on the line  Never said yes to the right guy  Never had trouble getting what I want  But when it comes to you I'm never good enough    When I don't care  I can play him like a Ken doll  Won't wash my hair  Then make him bounce like a basketball    But you make me wanna act like a girl  Paint my nails and wear high heels  Yes you, make me so nervous that I just can't hold your hand    You make me glow  But I cover up, won't let it show  So I'm putting my defenses up  Cause I don't wanna fall in love  If I ever did that, I think I'd have a heart attack  I think I'd have a heart attack  I think I'd have a heart attack    Never break a sweat for the other guys  When you come around I get paralyzed  And every time I try to be myself It comes out wrong like a cry for help    It's just not fair  Brings more trouble than it all is worth  I gasp for air  It feels so good, but you know it hurts    But you make me wanna act like a girl  Paint my nails and wear perfume  For you, make me so nervous that I just can't hold your hand    You make me glow  But I cover up, won't let it show  So I'm putting my defenses up  Cause I don't wanna fall in love  If I ever did that, I think I'd have a heart attack  I think I'd have a heart attack  I think I'd have a heart attack    The feelings got lost in my lungs  They're burning, I'd rather be numb  And there's no one else to blame  So scared I'll take off and run  I'm flying too close to the sun  And I'll burst into flames    You make me glow  But I cover up, won't let it show  So I'm putting my defenses up  Cause I don't wanna fall in love  If I ever did that, I think I'd have a heart attack  I think I'd have a heart attack  I think I'd have a heart attack  I think I'd have a heart attack  I think I'd have a heart attack

"Alright New York! How about one more song?!" I called into the microphone.

As soon as I heard the cheers fill Times Square I grin spread across my face.

"Alright. This is Catch My Breath." I grinned.
  I don't wanna be left behind Distance was a friend of mine Catching breath in a web of lies I've spent most of my life Riding waves, playing acrobat Shadowboxing the other half Learning how to react I've spent most of my time   Catching my breath, letting it go,  turning my cheek for the sake of this show Now that you know, this is my life,  I won't be told what's supposed to be right   Catch my breath, no one can hold me back,  I ain't got time for that Catch my breath, won't let them let me down,  it's all so simple now   Addicted to the love I found Heavy heart, now a weightless cloud Making time for the ones that count I'll spend the rest of my time Laughing hard with the windows down Leaving footprints all over town Keeping faith when it comes around I will spent the rest of my life   Catching my breath, letting it go,  turning my cheek for the sake of this show Now that you know, this is my life,  I won't be told what's supposed to be right   Catch my breath, no one can hold me back,  I ain't got time for that Catch my breath, won't let them let me down,  it's all so simple now   You helped me see The beauty in everything   Catching my breath, letting it go, turning my cheek for the sake of this show Now that you know, this is my life,  I won't be told what's supposed to be right   Catch my breath   Catch my breath, no one can hold me back,  I ain't got time for that Catch my breath, won't let them let me down, it's all so simple now It's all so simple now   Catching my breath, letting it go,  turning my cheek for the sake of this show Now that you know, this is my life,  I won't be told what's supposed to be right   Catch my breath, no one can hold me back,  I ain't got time for that Catch my breath, won't let them let me down,  it's all so simple now
I waited a few seconds before I spoke to let the song sink in. "Thank you New York! Happy New Year and have an amazing, incredible night!"

I looked out at the crowd one last time before making my way off the stage. As soon as I reached the bottom of the stairs I scowled at who stood at the bottom.

"Taylor." I said coldly..

"Elizabeth." She replied with the same tone.

She looked me up and down and smirked. "Wheres your little boyfriend? Did he forget all about you?"

"I'm right here." A voice said from behind me in a harsh tone.

Liam came up next to me and gave her a cold stare. "And I would never forget all about her."

"Liam, honestly, you could do so much better than that piece of trash. In fact, I feel sorry for you." She chuckled.

Liam's grip on my hand tightened.

"She is the farthest thing from trash I've ever seen. And you can feel sorry for me all you want but at lease we can keep a relationship. You however have gone through at least twenty guys in the past six years." Liam spat.

She rolled her eyes. "Well call me if you ever need a break from that. I should be expecting a call within the next few weeks."

"Taylor you're on." A man told her.

She smirked at us. "Tell Harry I said hello."

She made her way up the stairs and I glared at the place she stood.

"None of what she said was true." Liam told me, pulling me close to his body.

I sighed. "I know."

"Go to the limo. I'll meet all of you there. There something I need to take care of." I told him.

He nodded before kissing me and walking away. I walked into the hallway of dressing rooms and found mine. I walked in and saw Grace gathring her stuff.

"Where are you going?" I asked her.

She looked up. "Um back to the hotel I guess."

"No you're not. Sit down." I told her, pointing the the stylist chair.

"Bu-"

I cut her off."Grace honestly, its time you stop living my life and start living yours. Your life doesn't revolve around me. You're young. Live your life." I told her.

She looked at me for a moment before a small smile spread across my face. She took a deep breath. "Okay."

She set her bag down and sat down in the stylist chair. I walked over to her and looked at her through the mirror. Finally I took her hair out of the tight bun and let her long, dark hair fall to her shoulders. I studied her features for a moment. Long, dark hair, bright green eyes. Finally I grabbed  some dark brown eye liner and began outlining her eyes. Once I was finished I stood back and admired my work. Next I grabbed some beige eye shadow and dusted it onto her eyelids. I set that down and grabbed a mascara brush and ran it along her long lashes. I grabbed the concealer next and dabbed a little onto her face. I put that back onto the table and grabbed some light blush and dusted her cheeks lightly. Finally I reached for the lipstick and ran it along her lips. Once I was done I capped the lipstick and stood back as I looked at her with satisfaction. A grin spread across my face. I spun her around in the chair so she could look at herself in the mirror. Her eyes widened.

"Wow." She gasped.

"We're not done yet. You still need a dress and shoes." I smiled.

I walked over to the rack of dresses that was sitting in the corner and looked through them. Finally I came across an ivory colored dress with a light gold bodice. I grinned and held it up. I handed it go grace.

"Go put this on. I'll find a pair of shoes for you." I told her.

She looked at the dress and stood up. I watched as she took a deep breath and walked into the bathroom. I walked over to a box of shoes and sifted through it, trying to find the perfect pair of shoes. Finally I came across a pair of white pumps. Grace walked out of the bathroom and I grinned.

"Wow, Grace, you look amazing." I told her.

She smiled. "Thanks."

I handed her the shoes. "Put these on."

She took them and looked at me. "Don't you need to get into your dress?" She asked me.

I nodded. "You're more important now though. All I have to do is slip mine on."

I handed her a handbag that matched her dress and slipped a gold necklace around her neck. I stood back and admired her.

"Grace, let me just say... you're going to break some hearts tonight." I told her.

"Honestly, applying to be your manager was the best decision I ever made." She grinned, looking down at the dress.

"Really?" I asked.

She nodded. "No one else would go to this much trouble just to help me."

"Well I'm not like everyone else." I smiled. "I'm going to go change really quickly. Then we can go."

I grabbed my dress off the rack and rushed to the bathroom. I slipped on my dress and kicked off my previous heels and replaced them with black pumps. I grabbed my performance outfit and rushed out of the bathroom. I dropped it into a bag and looked at Grace.

"Alright Cinderella, we've got to get you to the ball before the clock strikes twelve." I smiled.

She followed me out of the room and I hurried over to the stretch hummer limo. I opened the door and hopped in. Everyone else was already inside.

"What did you have to do that took you twenty minutes?" Liam asked.

I grinned and held the door open. "I was playing Cinderella's fairy god mother."

They looked at me funny as Grace stepped into the limo. Their eyes widened.

"Grace?" El asked, her eyes wide.

She smiled shyly and nodded. Liam looked at me. "Did you do that?"

I nodded. "All it took was a little magic."

"Well, I must say, Grace, you look amazing." Perrie smiled.

"Thank you." Grace grinned.

I turned to her. "After tonight I'm giving you two weeks off. Spend time with your family and friends. You deserve it." I told her.

"Really?" She asked.

I nodded. "Really. You deserve it."

"Thank you." She smiled.

"And on the occasion that you do meet prince charming tonight, don't forget to invite me to your wedding." I grinned.

She rolled her eyes. "I won't."

Soon the limo pulled into the party and I saw a long dark blue carpet lined with paps and fans. I turned to everyone else.

"I'm going to walk in with Grace. All of you go in first." I told them.

"Alright." They replied.

One by one they piled out leaving only Grace and I inside. Soon her and I hopped out. We were immediately blinded by paps.

"Elizabeth! Why aren't you walking in with Liam?!"

"Elizabeth! Did you and Liam break off the engagement?!"

"Who is the girl you are walking with?!"

"Elizabeth, have you and Liam chosen a date for the wedding?!"

Grace and I made our way down the carpet and finally found our way inside. I turned to her one more time.

"Tonight is not about looking after me Grace. Its about you. Find your prince charming." I told her.

She looked at me and smiled. "Thank you. If I don't see you for the rest of the night, happy new year." She smiled.

"Happy New Year Grace." I grinned.

She walked off and I stood there, watching her walk away. An arm snaked around my waist.

"You know, you really are an incredible girl." Liam told me.

I smiled, still watching her walk off. "She deserves it. She's been there since the beginning, seen me on me best and worst days. Its my turn to give back."

"Well you've gotten Cinderella to the ball, now all you've got to do is let her find prince charming." He smiled.

I looked at him and laughed. "This is why I love you."

He pulled me close to him and pressed his lips to mine.

"C'mon. Lets go to the dance floor." He told me.

He took my hand and we walked to the center of the dance floor. 

"15 minutes until midnight!" Someone shouted.

I looked at Liam and smiled.

"Eighteen years. Its almost hard to believe. I've known you for eighteen years." I told him.

His eyes glistened in the dim light and he smiled. "Well for what its worth, its been the best eighteen years of my life."

I smiled and lid my head on his chest as we danced. We danced for a while before someone announced that it was five minutes before midnight. I looked around the room and saw Eleanor and Louis talking with Olly Murs. I saw Niall talking with Justin Bieber, Emily and Miranda talking with Cher Lloyd. Harry Talking with Ed Sheeran. But the one that made me smile the most was Grace. She sat alone in the corner deep in conversation with a guy that looked about her age. Just the look in her eyes told me that she had found him. She had found prince charming.

"One minute until midnight!" Someone shouted.

"Fifty-nine!" 

"Fifty-Eight!"

"Fifty-seven!"

As everyone around us counted down, Liam and I looked each other in the eye.

"The past eighteen years may have been the best years in my life but I look forward to eternity with you. I will never let you go. Ever." I told me.

"You'll have to let me go when we die Liam." I told him.

He shook his head. "When we die, I'll be holding your hand. And in heaven, I'll never let it go."

I looked at him, a grin on my face.

"Five!"

"Four!" 

"Three!" 

"Two!"

"One!"

And as the clock struck twelve, Liam and I sealed off 2018 with a kiss.
 
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