Louis stepped out of his limousine and stared up at the Four Seasons before shaking his head. At least he was making some fan happy. He sighed.
"Why the long face?" asked Liam Payne, approaching him.
"Nothing much, mate, just you know, I asked for a frappuccino and they got me a cappuccino," he joked.
"Aw, you know, man, gotta fight the bulge!" joked Zayn suddenly from behind him.
"Jesus Christ man, you scared the hell out of me," laughed Louis. "Don't do that!"
"What, sneak up behind you like a stalker? I'm hurt," pouted Zayn.
A crowd was starting to gather on the pavement as well as some paparazzi.
"Zayn! Comment on your engagement to Perrie Edwards? Did you two secretly elope and get married already? When's the date?"
The bodyguards began the push against the masses of people and ushered them towards the safety inside.
"Where's Harry and Niall?" asked Louis as they were shoved into the hotel and escorted to a room.
"Oh you know, either sleeping or still in transit," said Liam, rolling his eyes. "Niall's probably got a hangover, oh- wait, actually he's here. Forget I said that."
Sure enough, Niall was already seated inside, albeit with sunglasses.
"Why are you wearing glasses indoors?" asked Zayn suspiciously. "No paparazzi in here. and no sunlight either...are you hungover?"
Niall groaned in response.
"Jesus, mate, you gotta lay off the sake. I know that we got a bunch for free from the Prime Minister, but seriously. You've got a major-" Zayn glanced around and noticed their manager at the door, and quickly changed his tone. "Uhh... a major interest in having a good time!"
Liam whispered, "Seriously dude, we can't keep covering for you. Get help or they're going to get on your ass and we won't be able to help you at all."
Louis didn't say anything. Niall had been confiding in him, how he felt like he was lost and drifting. He wasn't about to give him a hard time. Not now at least. Not when he felt like the same sometimes.
"Alright guys, break it up. We still don't know where Harry is," he said, trying to change the subject.
"He's on his way," said Niall. "I just texted him. He's on Westferry Road right now."
"Why is he late?" asked Liam. "He's always late, and we're always stuck waiting for him. It's unprofessional."
"Well, um, seems he had company last night. Company that didn't want to leave in the morning."
"Ugh, he slept with another fan? Are you serious, mate?" Liam huffed in disbelief, then noted the manager's sudden interest in their conversation before lowering his voice again. "I mean, really, he needs to keep it in his pants. These poor fangirls don't realize that him sleeping with them doesn't equate to a date. It equates to an easy lay."
"He knows that," said Zayn pointedly. "He doesn't care-and look who it is!" His voice changed in pitch as Harry strolled through the doors, accompanied by his bodyguards as well, who promptly joined the other bodyguards digging into the coffee and donuts.
It figures, thought Louis. They can't stop stuffing their faces. Must be an occupational hazard that comes with protecting celebrities.
"'Sup mates?" asked Harry. His t-shirt was askew and his hair more ruffled than usual.
"Long night?" replied Niall pointedly from behind his glasses.
"Ehrmm...yeah," said Harry eloquently. He exhaled. "Let's not talk about it to Mr. Managerie-poo over there, shall we?"
Liam rolled his eyes.
"If you start another scandal, he will find out regardless. Then we'll all have to do some damage control. You don't want to end up like Robin Thicke, do you? We'll get dragged into the muck with your reputation."
Harry looked around nervously.
"Shh...mate, alright, I'll put in a word later, ok? Not a word now, ok?"
"So when are these fans coming down anyway?" interrupted Louis, a bit annoyed.
Zayn checked his massive watch, his pride and joy.
"Well, they should have been here five minutes ago, but-"
Just then the doors to the room swung open. Louis sat up straighter, anxious to catch a glimpse of the two people his schedule was fixed around for the next two weeks.
He was surprised to see a tall, slender girl come into the room with long, limp brown hair. Her dress was faded and at least four years out of style, nothing like she would ever wear. He couldn't help comparing every girl he met to her, an impossible standard in his mind.
Rather than timid or excited, like most of his fans were, she stood tall and proud. He couldn't help but notice how her bones at her arms jutted out. Was she anorexic? Bulimic? Self-harming? He winced.
She looked behind herself, surprised, then spoke to the room in a melodic American accent.
"Excuse me for just a moment, it seems my sister doesn't want to come in!"
Sister? But weren't the fans supposed to be a girl and her guardian?
She poked her head out of the door, and seemed to be having a hurried conversation.
"Sarah, honey, they're all in here, don't you want to come meet them?"
The response was muffled.
"It's ok. I'm here, by your side. Grab my hand." She pulled her head back into the room, and smiled at the crowd of bodyguards and the celebrities.
"I'm sorry, she's nervous," she explained with an equally nervous laugh. The doors parted again and in walked...a kid. With an equally ratty dress and hair braided back, but at least she wasn't bony too.
Louis began to put two and two together. The kid was the fan, definitely. The girl was her guardian? But she looked to be no older than sixteen at most!
Noticing her younger sister's nervousness, the elder girl crouched down and reassuringly put her arm around her sister's shoulder.
"Hey, honey, do you want to introduce yourself?"
The younger one shook her head.
"Alright, then I'll start!" She stood up straight, probably making a show of confidence, and marched over to Zayn.
"Hello, who are you?" Louis was gobsmacked. She didn't even know their names? But she continued.
"I'm Lena, I'm twenty-one-"
Finally, the kid spoke up.
"Leeenah," she huffed. "You're embarrassing me!"
Wow, she certainly had an attitude on her. She strode over to them, nervousness gone.
"That ones Zayn. The one in the messy t-shirt is Harry. Nialls in the glasses, and Liams over here. And this one-" she pointed to him, "is my favorite!"
"Ahh," said Lena smilingly, amused. "That's Louis, then?"
"Yeah, Louis Tomlinson!"
He couldn't help himself. He saw what the older girl was doing, helping break the ice for her little sister and he couldn't help but admire her for it. He laughed, loudly, and grinned.
"And who is this gorgeous girl, might I ask, since you know who all we are?"
"I'm your biggest fan!" bubbled the girl. "I'm Sarah! And that's my older sister Lena!"
Louis shot a quick glance to Lena, and was gifted with a huge smile from her. He smiled back. He'd forgotten how rewarding things like this could be. Maybe this little "vacation" wouldn't be so bad after all.