Louis opened the door further, admitting them into the hotel room. A puzzled look was still dominating his features. Evie gestured for Harry to go first and followed him into room 701.
The walls were cream, and the carpet was a plush blue. They walked down a short hallway that opened into a large sitting room. Evie noted the large flat screen mounted on the wall, with a long couch and a couple of arm chairs across from it. She quickly recognized Zayn, Liam, and Niall. She had to admire the way the three boys were able to take up as much space as they did. Niall was sprawled on the tan couch, taking up the entire length. This was made more impressive by the fact that the couch had the ability to fit four people comfortably. Zayn and Liam sat reclined in the remaining chairs, looking bored. They didn’t look like the rockstars that you see performing on stage. They were dressed mostly in sweats and loose shirts. Evie noticed Niall looked particularly nice in the football jersey that hung around his torso. She shrugged inwardly. Can’t stop a girl from looking.
As soon as Evie stepped into the room, the other members of One Direction perked up. They must not be use to strangers walking into their hotel rooms unannounced. She did her best to hide her smirk.
Harry was relieved to be back in the hotel, surrounded by his friends. He had fun exploring, but had severely underestimated the fans’ reactions. His pride was also a little hurt because he thought he had more stealth skills than he demonstrated today.
He looked at Evie. At least something good came out of today. He couldn’t get over the feeling of how real she was. She cut through the famous persona that so many people were unable to see past. When she turns those blue eyes on me, he thought, it feels like she sees me as just another one of the annoying guys she has to deal with in class. He would never be able to thank her enough for that.
Harry looked around at the figures lounged around the room. They were all looking at Evie and him. He couldn’t blame them. Evie was pretty cute, now that he gave her a closer look. She was dressed in simple black pants, and a vintage band t-shirt. Her dark brown, wavy hair fell just past her shoulders. She was looking at him now, with an expression that was difficult to read, but Harry thought he saw a smile forming on her lips. He could not wait to see the expression on the boys’ faces when they hear the way she spoke. She was witty and unpredictable; not afraid to let her opinions known. Yes. This will be fun.
Walking over to Evie, Harry led her into the center of the room. “To answer Louis’ question, and probably everyone else’s, this is Evie. . .” he stopped, a confused looking passing over his face. He turned toward Evie. “What is your surname?”
Evie shook her head at him. He couldn’t tell from this angle, but he would bet that her eyes were closed in exasperation. “It’s Bennett.”
Harry immediately continued. “This is Evangeline Bennett! She goes by Evie.” He put his arm around her shoulders. “As you know, I snuck out this morning, and ⎯”
“Being the absent-minded person he is, he ended up with a pack of crazed fans chasing him all across Mayfaire,” she finished. The rest of the boys laughed at this, yelling out in agreement. Harry looked at them indignantly.
“But,” Harry stressed, “I wasn’t trampled because Evie here saved me.” He shook her shoulders for emphasis.
The boys laughed. Louis spoke from next to him, “Harry, mate, trouble seems to follow you everywhere, doesn’t it?”
“Yeah, well. That is beside the point,” Harry responded, with smirk. “Now, back to the introduction.” He moved forward and stood in front of Zayn. “This is Zayn,” he said. “This lazy sack of bones is Niall,” he continued, walking past a now disgruntled Niall. “And this is Liam.” When Harry turned around to look at Evie, she had a smile on her face.
“Harry, sweetie,” Evie spoke as she walked up and placed a hand on his arm, “I know who they are.” Pushing past him, she faced the boys. “Hey, guys. How goes⎯”
“Wait, wait, wait. Harry!” Everyone in the room turned to Louis. His face was feigning hurt. “How could you forget the most important member of the band?” Louis walked up and grabbed Evie’s hand, which he shook vigorously. “Hello, love. My name is Louis. I am the funniest, most talented, and, as I already said, the most important member of the band.” He winked at her. “Nice to meet you.”
Evie was looking at him with her mouth slightly open. Harry couldn’t get over how cute the gesture was. I get to see her speechless. He had a feeling this didn’t happen very often. All the sudden, she started laughing and covered her mouth with her hand. Louis stood there for a moment, surprised. After a moment, he joined in.
This is going better than I thought. They seem to really be getting along.
After Louis finished laughing, he turned toward Harry. “On a more serious note, Harry, man, you are in some serious trouble.” The heavy sound of footfall reached Harry’s ears. Oh great….
The door way near the end of the room was no longer empty. Paul Higgins, the tour manager and unofficial babysitter of One Direction, did not look happy. He simply raised two fingers, signaling for Harry to follow him, and disappeared deeper into the hotel room. Harry grimaced. He was not going to like whatever Paul had to say.
As he began to follow the tour manager, Harry heard Louis shout after him, “Hey! Do you want your grave marker to be made of granite or marble?” Harry left the room to the sound of laughter. Great. At least they are having fun as I walk to my death.
“What the hell were you thinking, Harry?”
Paul was mad. More mad than Harry had seen him in a while. He knew he had made a stupid choice, but all he had wanted was to forget himself for a couple hours. “That may have been one of your most stupid choices. Ever.”
Wait. Does he know what I am thinking? How can he do that?
“Yes, I know what you are thinking.”
“Wait. What?” Harry was beginning to freak out a little. Paul sighed. Harry began to notice how tired he looked. He suddenly felt a lot worse about putting Paul through all the trouble. “Harry, I have been touring with you guys for over two years now. I know how each one of you think. I just can’t believe you didn’t tell me, or any of the boys, where you went. Didn’t you read any of the messages I sent?” Harry could tell Paul was running out of steam. No matter how angry he was, Paul never had it in him to stay mad for long. The room was silent.
Harry was getting anxious. He didn’t like the tension that was building. “I’m really sorry, Paul.” He walked to the bed in the middle of the room and sat down. “I was just getting so overwhelmed with everything that is going on in my life right now. I feel like I never have time to just think.” He put his head in his hands. “I planned to just walk around for a couple hours and be back. You weren’t suppose to even notice.”
Paul moved from the entrance of the room and sat on the bed next to Harry. “It isn’t fair that you boys are having to grow up under the eye of the world. But you cannot run off like that. Not without someone there to watch you. It isn’t that I don’t trust you. I just don’t trust anyone else.” Paul gripped Harry’s shoulder, causing him to grimace. Harry decided something then and there. His hands could crush a watermelon.
“I promise I won’t leave without telling you where I am going.” Harry stood up and faced Paul. “Are we okay now?” The tour manager only nodded, and ran his hands through his cropped hair. Right before Harry walked out the door, he added “At least, not without texting you first.”
As he walked back to the front lounge, he heard the Irish man cursing after him.
When Harry entered the room, the scene had changed. Now Niall and Evie were sprawled on the couch together, while Louis and Liam were sharing the arm chair on the right of them. Abandoning his chair, Zayn was laying on the ground in front of them. They were chatting away like they had always been friends. Harry had to admire Evie’s way with people. He felt more comfortable around her than he had with anyone for awhile, and all she had done was insult his intelligence repeatedly for the last few hours. He laughed, which drew attention from the others.
“Hurray! You aren’t dead!” Niall cheered.
“Of course not,” Harry jeered. “Paul knows I am the best looking member, and if he killed me, no one would show up to the concerts.”
“I beg to differ,” Evie said. Everyone was laughing at this point.
“Wait, wait, wait. Does anyone else want to hear who Evie thinks is the best looking member of One Direction?” This time it was Louis who spoke. No surprise there. Harry loved him, but he was usually the source any noise, or mischief.
For a moment, it looked to Harry like Evie was blushing. But the moment of weakness was brief. She threw her shoulders back and raised her head high. “I am not telling.” She emphasized her statement by sticking out her tongue. Niall nearly lost it. He was laughing and rolling around on his back, almost kicking Evie with his feet. The others smiled. Harry couldn’t remember the last time they were all able to enjoy the company of someone who was their age, and didn’t try to act ten years older. Though Louis and Niall are really good ten years younger.
Harry walked past the empty armchair and sat down between Evie and Niall. Turning his body, he laid his head in her lap, and threw his legs over Niall’s. Because Harry was so relaxed, laying with his eyes closed, he didn’t notice the scheming look that pasted between Evie and Niall. He wasn’t prepared for when they pushed him off their laps and onto a very surprised Zayn. “Oi,” was all Zayn was able to shout before Harry’s bum was pressed against his face. The room erupted in laughter again.
After Harry rolled off Zayn, he tried to glare at Evie, but she was too busy laughing to notice. He couldn’t help but smile.
Evie was beginning to like the One Direction boys. They were down to earth, and not anything like what the magazines tried to portray them as. She liked Louis and Niall the best, because they were able to make her laugh. Liam and Zayn were more shy, but she was able to speak to them some too before Harry walked in, and thought they seemed cool. She didn’t understand how anyone could write such blatant lies about them. No one has ever taken a chance to get to know them, I suppose… It’s their loss.
After she stopped laughing, Evie looked down at Harry. He was pouting like a child, which made her laugh even more. Her stomach began to hurt after all the laughing, so she tried calmed herself down.
She turned to her right to look at Louis and Liam. Liam had a confused look on his face, so she cocked her head at him, questioningly. He smiled and put a hand on his stomach. “I’m hungry.”
Evie groaned internally. She knew what would happen next. One by one, the rest of the boys perked up their heads and displayed the same, slightly confused look. Before long, they were all complaining that they were hungry too. This is why it is so hard to feed teenage guys. If one of them says they are hungry, suddenly they all are.
“I am so tired of all the hotel food.” Zayn spoke this time, still trying to fix his hair, as though he could feel Harry’s bum particles on it. “It gets old fast.”
Evie couldn’t help but roll her eyes. “What? Tired of all the filet mignon and lobster tails, boys?”
“Trust me when I say it all begins to taste like cafeteria food.” Louis paused, before raising his finger to signal he had an idea. “I know! Evie! You can take us out to eat. You’re from Wilmington, you must know a good place. Take us out! Take us out!” His chant was soon reinforced with the remaining members of the boy band. She couldn’t get over how funny the sight was. This is going to be a long day.