Chapter 1 - Greeting an old friend
Tessa nervously tapped her red painted fingernails on the plastic armrest, as the sign requiring seatbelts lit up. She turned off the voice of Ellie Goulding that had blasted out of her headset and packed her magazines and a bottle of water in her carry-on. The flight from New York to London seemed longer than normal despite her flying first class, and she had given up on the thought of sleep after a couple of hours. The rest of the flight had been used to read new magazines and going through every single detail she would have changed, if she had worked for Elle, Marie Claire or any of the other fashion magazines she had bought. But luckily she didn’t. She was ecstatic and felt on top of the world, because she recently landed a great job at Vogue - the biggest fashion magazine in the entire world. She wasn’t a stylist or a photographer. She was just a former freelancer with a talent for details - who could tell what the pictures needed to be completely perfect, and that was why Vogue practically headhunted her for a job - she knew everything there was to know about fashion. This was also the reason, why her blog was a worldwide success.
Tessa unconsciously twisted a lock of her long platinum-blond hair between her fingers as she watched her phone screen, which was still completely black. They had told her, they would call before 4 pm and now it was 4.07. This had to mean, that she didn’t get the job, didn’t it? She just didn’t understand it. Vogue had called HER and asked HER to come to the headquarters at Times Square for an interview. She didn’t even know they were hiring. She sighed and rose from the table just as her ringtone broke the silence in her hotel room. She anxiously fumbled with the touchscreen as she recognized the number and took a deep breath before answering. „Hello, this is Theresa Ozols speaking,” Tessa said trying to sound professional and more confident than she felt. „Miss Ozols please hold on for a second, I’ll put you through to Anna Wintour,” Anna Wintour’s personal assistant explained. Tessa nodded forgetting about being on the phone. „I will, thank you,” she then quickly added. She was going to talk to non-other than Anna Wintour, the United States Editor-in-Chief, herself. This had to be a good sign. Unless Tessa had seemed horrendous enough for Anna Wintour to personally want to call her and tell her to stop chasing her unattainable dreams. Luckily that wasn’t the case and right after Tessa had ended the conversation, she had dialed a new number. „You got it, didn’t you babe?” A voice screamed in anticipation. Tessa decided to pull a joke on her very best friend, so she told Perrie, they hadn’t hired her - but Perrie got so sad, Tessa almost immediately told her the truth. „You’re such a bitch!” She yelled, but her voice was full of happiness. „Well that was embarrassing, I probably shouldn’t have yelled that in the middle of the street,” she then laughed at her own silliness and Tessa instantly smiled - in that second it occurred to her how much she missed her best friend, her home.
End of flashback.
Theresa Ozols and Perrie Edwards, yes THE Perrie Edwards, had grown up together in a small town called South Shields in Northern England. They met at their first day of school and had been best friends ever since - they prioritized their friendship very high, and therefore they were able to keep in touch despite both Tessa’s job that involved a lot of traveling, and of course Perrie’s career in the girl-band Little Mix. During their phone call Perrie had begged Tessa to come back to London and stay for a while, since she didn’t have to start work just yet. Tessa had without even considering it immediately accepted the offer and right after she had hung up, she went online to book a ticket back to London, and that was where she was headed now.
Tessa reapplied her favorite red lipstick and put on a pair Ray-Bans in an attempt to disguise her own identity. After her name had been leaked to the press, they hadn’t left her alone - they followed her around more than usual now. Neither Tessa nor Vogue had confirmed anything about their new agreement, but somehow the press had caught up to it anyway. As Tessa step out of the plane she took a deep breath and enjoyed the feeling of fresh air filling her lungs, London air. She smiled at the thought. Home sweet home. Tessa quickly grabbed all of her luggage, and then she headed to the arrival hall. She quickly scanned the place for a young girl with bright purple hair - shouldn’t be that hard to find right? But it wasn’t until she heard the paparazzi, she noticed Perrie wanting for her. „Perrie, who are you waiting for?” ”Did you and Zayn break up?” „Congratulations on the award for best album Perrie!” „Is it true you’re pregnant?” All of the paparazzi scream questions at her and snapped pictures - just watching the scene made Tessa’s heart rate rise. They always made her so nervous, but the moment Perrie’s eyes met hers, she felt more come. „Tessa, you’re finally here!” Perrie squealed and ran towards her, while all of the paparazzi snapped pictures of them. „Who is that?” Some guy, also with a camera, asked. „Theresa, why are you back in England?” “Miss Ozols do you have any comments on working for Vogue?” They started, and then the questions kept on coming. Tessa gave Perrie the biggest hug, and afterwards they grabbed Tessa’s luggage and together they headed towards the exit, where Perrie’s driver was waiting for them.
„I thought we were going to your place?” Tessa asked confused as they drove in the opposite direction of Perrie’s apartment. „Well, yeah we were supposed to but my apartment is being renovated, so I’m living with Zayn in the meantime. You’ll stay in the guestroom,” Perrie answered and sent Tessa and innocent smile. „It’s okay Perrie I can just crash at a hotel. I don’t want to interrupt your time together, now that both of you finally have some recording time right here in London,” Tessa explained. She had been looking forward to crashing at Perrie’s place, and even Jade, Leigh-Anne and Jesy had planned to come and have some girl-time. She had met the other Little Mix girls through Perrie, and even though they didn’t talk as much as her and Perrie, they still had so much fun together. Perrie interrupted her train of thoughts. „Oh, don’t be silly, and actually it’s the boys’ place. They rented it together, so don’t worry - you won’t be third wheeling. Besides, the boys are going to be really busy writing and recording, so they probably won’t be that much around - and most of them will be going home for a break at some point plus your are visiting your family as well, so it won’t be a problem right?” Perrie nervously laughed. „Wait what?” Tessa was shocked. She hadn’t expected to spend time with the boys, and not at all living with them. She had only met Zayn and Niall before - Zayn because he occasionally joined Perrie, when she visited Tessa around the world, and she coincidentally met Niall a couple of times at runway shows such as Victoria’s Secret and Chanel, when he went to support his dear friend Barbara Palvin. They were both nice lads, no doubt, and Tessa already saw Zayn as one of her closest friends, they made sure to update each other about their busy live - but Tessa was kind of nervous to meet the rest. Perrie just sent her an apologetic smile, and then suddenly the driver stopped their car in front of a huge white classic mansion. Tessa’s jaws dropped. She could already tell her hotel room at the Empire in Manhattan was nothing compared to this place.