"Are you sure? I can ask one of the family, see if they're up for it. I know you have a lot of tough, jobless guys out there."
My manager, Jamiel, continuously asked me, desperately trying to change my mind. I loved her, but she was being over dramatic. Most of my family was useless and had jobs, so I could't ask anyone in my family. I grabbed my white knit sweater from the sofa in the studio and threw it over my head, letting it warm me up, considering I was only wearing a grey loose tank top. I pulled my brown "HARVARD" sweat pants up a bit, then shimmied them back down so it was at my waist comfortably. Though we were at work and I should really be dressed properly, I couldn't be bothered today. As I passed everyone, they greeted me and I did the occasional "I'm good, you?" And "Hey, what's up?". Jamiel followed hastily after me, rudely waving off anyone who tried to greet her. She wasn't always like this, she was just worried about me and thought no one else concerned her.
"I'm sure, J. I can't just never have a bodyguard anymore, I'm on a hit list, I need a bodyguard. And I already told you, I'd be too concerned for my family, if they were to be my bodyguard."
I told her. I heard her huff and the pause of the clicking of her heels. Compared to my the soft sound from my canvas shoes, her black Gucci heels were ridiculously loud. Jamiel and I were completely different. Where she had luscious, liquid black curly hair, I had long, straight chocolate hair with light honey highlights. Today my hair was up in a messy bun and hers was out, falling over her chest. Where I always wore comfortable, lazy clothes to work, she wore a blue silk blouse with black leather pants, tightening it way around her slim legs. I hated to admit it, but she was so much more skinnier than me. Her skin was shiny and olive, due to the a amount of lotion she uses. My skin was just soft and tan. Just the way I liked it. Her green eyes usually pierced you with authority and knowledge, but not today. Today they were soft and gentle... It was strange to see, yet relieving. I really didn't need her roaring mouth and bossy personality right now.
"Okay, fine. The guy you chose is in the office right now. Do you want me to come or-"
"Hi bum bum!!!"
A child's voice yelled from down the hall. A smile immediately greeted my face, as I swivelled around to meet the pounding features of my little brother, Parker and his babysitter, Leroy, standing right behind him.
"Hey stinky butt."
I called, watching as my six year old brother ran over to me. Leroy followed after him, smiling and holding a back pack. Most likely containing all of my brothers important necessities. When they reached us, Parker tried to jump on my back. I happily pulled him in and let him tighten his grip around my body.
Leroy showed his cute smile. Leroy was actually my best friend. He became Parker's babysitter when I was starting to get worried about how I was suppose to look after him while working. I had been complaining to him about it and he kindly offered his sevices. He's been with us ever since. I don't know where I'd be without him really...
"Hey Lery..." I returned his smile, using the nickname Parker and I made for him. "Thanks for bringing him. I'll see you later, yeah?"
He nodded, saluting me before kissing my cheek. Parker giggled a long "ew", causing Leroy and I to laugh. Before Leroy left, him and Parker did their usual handshake, which always resulted in Parker waving his hand all over the place and slapping Leroy's hand, because he didn't know how to do it.
"As I was going to ask before... Do you want me to come in with you?"
I had almost forgot Jamiel was there.
Leroy asked with excited curiosity in his voice.
"To a meeting with someone. Do you wanna come?"
He nodded vigorously. I chuckled, turning my attention to my make-up covered manager.
"I'm fine, thanks J. I'll let you know how it all goes."
I said before carrying Parker to the office. Parker began explaining to me his day with Leroy, which included a walk to the park, ice cream and school. Parker was my one and only reason I was still in this crap business. The music business wasn't so bad, it was just, when your life is being threatened, you can't hide that from anyone. In some strange way, they find out every single detail about yourself. On multiple occasions, I've discovered rumours about myself through magazines that I randomly picked up. But I guess that's the price you have to pay if you want to be a celebrity. As I stared down at my brother while he talked, I noticed our similar features. The same big chocolate brown eyes and little nose, soft plump lips and big ears. But his hair was a lot more lighter than mine. He was the cutest thing and I was lucky to have him. We reached the glass-walled room where the tall man stood, back facing the clear wall as I tried to get a peak of him. He was wearing a black t-shirt, black pants and black leather boots. The typical bodyguard clothes. I quietly knocked on the door before walking in, just to let him know I was there. He turned around with a hard face, not even a single smile formed on his strong features. He was very attractive. Partly the reason why I asked for him... Probably not the best idea, but it's too late now.
"Hello Liam, take a seat."
I gestured to the two sofa's facing each other with a glass coffee table in between. There were lilies in a vase sat on a black cotton placeholder. The room walls were all glass, so everyone could see what happens in the room. There was no desk, just a water filter with plastic cups, the coffee table and the two sofa's Liam, Parker and I sat on. Liam sat on the opposite sofa to us, while I clawed Parker off of me.
"Parker, say hi to Liam."
I told Parker. He smiled and waved.
He piped. Liam politely waved with a smile and greeted him back. He had a cute smile, I noticed.
"Do you mind having him in here? My babysitter just left and I'm more comfortable when he's in my sights."
I said. Liam finally cracked a small smile towards me, his eyes scanning around the room for a little bit. This guy liked to look around a lot, didn't he?
"No, I don't mind."
He said. I smiled and handed Parker my iPhone and headphones.
"Don't even mutter a word, Parker. We're in a meeting and until I say so, you don't talk. Okay?"
He nodded with a small smile, his attention already on the game he was playing. He plugged the headphones in and turned the music up loud. Now he couldn't hear a thing and we could talk about anything.
"So!" I began. "I hear you're very good at your job."
He finally rested his chocolate brown eyes on me, nodding slightly, before returning his gaze to around the room.
"I'd like to think so."
He muttered. I sighed, wanting to get straight to the point. I didn't know how else to get through this meeting.
"Look, I know you probably think I'm just a stupid celebrity who's just over-exaggerating everything, but I'm not doing this for my benefit."
I said, my tone changing from kind and soft to strong and serious. He nodded again.
"I understand that. I'm sure, by the way you are with your brother that you're doing this all for him. I'm guessing it's to make sure you're here to look after him, watch him grow up."
He stated. His voice was strong and deep, very alluring. I felt like I was being drawn into his world, or at least, I wanted to be in his world. His eyes had rested back to me, this time, he didn't move them and suddenly I felt a bit insecure. He was completely right, though. It was all for Parker. Like I said, he's my only reason to exist.
"Exactly that. If I die, he has no one. I can't have that. After my parents died, he hasn't left my side. He hasn't even slept in his own bed. He cries every fucking night because he see's that dreaded monster that ruined our family in his nightmares! He relives that day in his dreams and I'm the only one who can comfort him. I have to take him with me everywhere because we're both too scared that that bastard is coming back. He doesn't eat anything unless I cooked it, he doesn't drink anything but water. His whole life has been altered because of one stupid fucking dick!"
I blasted at him, unintentionally. My breathing was heavy and I was starting to get worked up. It wasn't Liam's fault. I just haven't been given the opportunity to really talk about all that's happened in the past month. Unless you include the interviews with hosts and detectives, then yeah, I've talked about it a whole load of times. I released a breath, attempting to release my frustration. He watched my every movement, while I was breaking inside, he was watching, examining. And for some reason, I felt secure.
"I don't want to get close to you. I don't expect us to be friends. I just want you to keep my brother and I safe. That's all. But I need to know I can trust you. I need to know you won't take Parker away from me too."
I said calmly. He hummed and remained quiet for a second. I let him take in what I just said, hoping it didn't scare him off and make him think this job would be too difficult.
"It's up to you, whether you can trust me or not. I completely agree with you though. To me, you're only my boss. To you, you're bodyguard. But I have one question for you."
I nodded for him to continue.
"How could you hire another bodyguard, after your former one killed your parents and tried to kill you and your brother? How could you trust after that?"
It was a question everyone was asking me and for the first time ever, I actually answered.
"Because the only thing I can think of to help me feel a little bit better about everything that's happened, is moving on. If I don't move on, then I'm stuck in this same awful place forever. I don't want that. I don't want that for either of us."
"Okay." He said. "You can trust me. I promise."
I let out a breath before nodding and thanking him.
I stopped him before he stood up.
"If it comes down to it and Parker and I are stuck in a situation where it's either him or I. You save him, okay? No matter what. You make sure he gets to safety before I do. Don't even think about me. It's him first, okay? Parker first. Deal?"
I stood up and held my hand out. Liam stood up afterwards, staring down at my hand. I could tell he was still delaborating whether or not he should agree. Soon enough I felt his strong hand grip my soft ones and the deal was set. But something inside me told me there was something different about this man. Whether it was good or bad, I wasn't sure yet.
I smiled and nudged Parker. He looked up at me and took his headphones out.
"Parker," I looked at Liam, "meet our new bodyguard. Liam Payne."
Dear God, please tell me this is a good feeling.