I slammed the door behind me out of frustration as I walked into my apartment. I was returning from class angry, stressed, and tired. I was angry at Jake for sending me over twenty texts so far today, and it was only four o'clock. Seriously, enough is enough. I was stressed from my first day back at school, my nutrition classes are even harder than my psychology ones were. And I was tired from getting awful sleep last night. I kept having nightmares, and Niall wasn't there to sooth them away.
Speaking of Niall, I missed him terribly. We didn't talk much when he was in Ghana, which is completely understandable, but we've only been able to call each other since he's been back in London. It sucked not even being able to see his face on my computer screen through Skype.
I threw my bag on the couch and went to the kitchen to grab a bite to eat. I made myself a sandwich and grabbed a yogurt cup from the fridge, then went back out to the living room curling up my legs underneath my favorite blanket. I turned on the TV to the news and watched a newscaster try to explain why the economy was finally going to get better, not really giving a crap about what he had to say. After finishing my food, I threw away my trash and returned to the living room. I shut off the TV and pulled out some homework from my bag. I turned on my laptop to listen to some tunes while I worked. All in all, I was slowly becoming less annoyed and irritated with my day.
About an hour into my nutrition homework, I stood up an stretched, when I suddenly heard music coming from somewhere else beside my computer. Confused, I turned down my music and looked around. At first I thought it could be my neighbors, but it didn't sound like a studio track. It sounded raw, as if people were singing. I could hear a guitar as well, and I immediately recognized the song as Heart Skips A Beat by Olly Murs, who I absolutely love. I started hum along as I stood up off the couch and started following the source of the music. As I walked down the hall towards my bedroom the sound got quieter, so I turned around and went back to the living room. Then I walked into the kitchen and the sound of the music grew louder, and I could hear someone rapping the part that Chiddy Bang does in the song, while a few other people were laughing. I walked over to the window above the sink, which is where the singing was loudest, pulled back the curtain, and looked outside.
In the parking lot below, standing in front of my jeep, were five handsome boys dressed in their winter coats and jumpers, singing and dancing loudly for all to hear. I could see people down the hall peeking their heads out of their windows listening in. I couldn't believe this. Harry, Louis, Zayn, Liam, and Niall were looking up at my window, serenading me and dancing like fools. A laugh escaped my lips and they all waved when they saw me in the window, except Niall of course. His hands were working the guitar. I ran from the window, grabbed my coat, wallet and keys, and booked it downstairs to the parking lot, running straight into Niall's arms as he handed his guitar to Liam.
"What are you doing here?!" I asked him, still surprised. A huge grin was spread across my face.
"We just thought we would surprise you." He told me as he let go of me, kissing my cheek. I went up to the rest of the guys and they bombarded me with a group hug.
"Raegan we've missed you!" Harry yelled.
"Shut up Harry! The whole world doesn't need to know her name!" Niall said to him. They let go of me and Niall grabbed my hand.
"Right, sorry." He said at a normal level.
"How long are you staying for?" I asked them.
"Just tonight, then we have to return to London in the morning." Liam told me. "It was a stretch just getting management to let us fly here for the night." I pulled them all in for another hug, so grateful I could see all of their faces. Lou tried to give me a noogie and mess up my hair but I escaped quick enough.
"We ready to eat?" Zayn asked.
"Aren't I always?" Said Niall. They all laughed and started walking towards the street.
"Aren't you guys worried about being spotted?" I asked them, we were out in the open, not in any disguises or anything.
"Nah. We've got it all worked out. Don't we guys?" Said Lou.
"Yeeeeep!" They all said in unison. I rolled my eyes and we kept walking towards the exit of the parking lot. Thank god this is a private lot and they didn't get noticed by anyone but my neighbors, who didn't seem to care too much. Lucky is what I would call it. Lou started giggling as we were walking, and so did Niall, as if they were up to something.
"What's so funny?" I asked them.
"Well," Said Liam. "Lou and Niall both tweeted something about landing in London, so people on twitter will think we're in England rather then here." He rolled his eyes.
"I saw that Liam!" Lou yelled. "It's a right better idea than you had!" Liam just ignored him and laughed to himself, shaking his head.
As we got closer to the footpath, a rental car was waiting for us. It was a beautiful black escalade, like the one back in America at my house.. You didn't see many of those around here very often.
We all climbed in, Louis getting the passenger seat. Apparently the oldest has dibs on the front seat.
"Where are we going?" I asked them.
"Back to the hotel for some food, then to see some music. You didn't have plans did you?" Niall said, looking concerned as if he interrupted my night in a bad way.
"Nope, nothing but homework that can be done later." He smiled at me and kissed me on the cheek. I would savor every moment of tonight, since I knew it would be a little while until I saw the guys again, and I hadn't had an opportunity to spend any time with them besides the occasional conversations on Skype when Niall leaves the room to pee or get food. I wanted to get to know them better, because they were like family to the man I loved.
"I still can't believe you guys are here."
"Yeah well, we figured one night hanging with you is bearable." Zayn said sarcastically.
"Yeah well I figure I can grace you with my presence for a night." I said mocking him sarcastically. We all starting joking and talking with each other. The ride to the hotel was extremely short since the hotel was so close to my flat. I would rather have walked but I we all knew that wasn't happening.
We walked in and headed directly for the cocktail bar. It was a good thing that I dressed up a little nicer today because everyone else was dressed in smart casual attire, including the guys. They all looked very dapper, with their collared shirts and perfect hair. We all sat at one of those little tables with the pub stools and ordered our drinks. It was a tight squeeze with six of us, but we managed. I ordered a Guinness along with Niall, and the rest of the boys ordered a Newcastle. Niall rested his hand on my knee under the bar and smiled at me.
"You look beautiful." He said, leaning over to whisper in my ear. I could feel my cheeks burning red.
"Thanks. You look pretty good yourself." I whispered back to him.
"So Raegan. You're coming to one of the shows in Dublin right?" Zayn asked me.
"Yep. I'm wicked excited. It better be worth it." I told him jokingly.
"Oh it will be. I have a feeling it will be the best one of Niall's, that's for sure."
"You think so?" I asked looked over at Niall. He shrugged his shoulders and smiled at me.
"We know so." Zayn said. "Our little Nialler here will be showing off all night. Wontcha Nialler?"
He laughed. "Of course. I gotta give my girl the best show ever." He said, giving my leg a squeeze again. Just at his touch my entire body tingled, right down to the tip of my nose and my fingertips. It was like his own personal wave of electricity was flowing through my body just at his touch. I wonder if he knew of how much of an effect he had on me.
We chatted for the next hour or so, making our way through our pints while we all shared a big basket of chips, or what I would call french fries. I was having a great time, and the guys didn't act like they were famous celebrities at all. I felt like I was just hanging out with my old crew back in America. They were laid back, not big-headed at all, and knew how to give me a fierce laugh. I would be friends with them whether they were famous not. I was having a great time them.
"Did you guys get to see your girlfriends over break?" I kind of yelled. It was getting louder in the restaurant.
"Yeah, Danielle and I hung out a bunch of times." Liam told me with a big smile on his face. It was so obvious how happy he was and I hoped that they would be together for a long time.
"Aww cute! What about you Lou?"
"Yeah, El and I spent some time with my family. She was dazzling as usual." Louis told me. I wished the same thing for him as I did for Liam. He seemed just as happy. It was adorable to see the guys get a little giddy when they spoke about their girlfriends. I looked over at Zayn.
"Eh, I'm not as lucky as those two." He said pointing at Liam and Lou. "Perrie was really busy getting ready for tour, I only saw her once or twice. I'm really proud of her though." He looked just as happy as the two, and I couldn't help but smile. These boys were the sweetest things. No wonder girls fell at their feet.
"What about you Harry? Any new ladies in your life?" I asked Harry, wiggling my eyebrows at him. He laughed and shook his head to himself.
"Not really. Just having fun for now." He said with a cheeky grin. He downed the rest of his pint, and so did the rest of the guys except me and Liam. "Ready to get out of here?" He yelled.
"This ones on me." Niall yelled over the music. The guys all yelled their thank you's and we left as Niall threw some money down on the table. He grabbed my hand and led the way out of the place, and back to the waiting Escalade. Next stop: The Grand Social. It was this concert club on lower Liffey street. It was a hoppin' place and always a good time. We all had a bit of a buzz going, so I knew this was going to be a fun, laughter-filled evening. It's a good thing I didn't have class until noon on Wednesdays, because I would be able to sleep in a bit and wouldn't have to worry about being out late.
The car took us the venue, and we were all super excited. Not even caring about what band was playing, we were just pumped for some live music and more drinks. As soon as the driver pulled up to the front, Niall jumped out, dragging me along with him, and yelled "RACE YOU!" to everyone else. He yanked my arm along with him, and the two of us sprinted inside giggling like little kids the whole way. I loved how playful we could be together. He and the guys were definitely more than a little buzzed considering they had a few more pints than I did at the hotel. Once we got to the bar we were out of breath and waited for the others to catch up. Lou was first to burst through the crowd followed by Liam and Zayn.
"Where's Harry?" Niall asked, looking around for him.
"He got distracted. Some blonde. He wanted to hit on her or something." Liam said panting. Everyone rolled their eyes and ordered their choice in drink. Changing it up, I ordered a whiskey sour, and Niall ordered some shots of Jameson for the guys. Once Harry strolled up to the bar all casual with a smirk on his face, we said cheers, they ordered another round, then headed upstairs to the Garden. We grabbed a table and all sat down.
"If I get drunk tonight, will you forget about anything stupid I say?" Niall yelled over the music.
I started to laugh. I could only imagine what Niall would drunkenly say tonight. "As long as you don't give us away."
"Good." He said with a big cheeky grin, pulling me in for a long kiss. The liquid courage was beginning to flow through his veins, so much for being discreet. The guys all clapped and wooped and hollered. They're such children sometimes.
The band walked on stage and everyone started to cheer and clap. They started their set and everyone was jumping along to the beat and singing the words if they knew them. The guys and I had never even heard of the band before, but we joined in the fun anyways. The guitarist was phenomenal and I made a mental note to look into getting one of their CDs or something tomorrow.
During intermission, the guys all got took some more shots while I just stuck to some soda. I was done drinking for the night, knowing that I would have to get these fools out of this place eventually. As I was walking back over to them from a trip to the ladies room, I nearly fainted at the sight of a pair of hazel eyes staring me down from across the room. Through the crowd of people they were still scary as hell. It was Jake. He didn't come near me or anything but I was completely freaked out, and quickly walked back over to the guys.
"Niall!" I yelled to get his attention. He turned around laughing about something, but his expression immediately changed when he saw the fear etched across my face. Even when he was drunk he was in tune to me.
"What is it Rae?" He asked me.
"Its Jake. He's here."
"What?! Where is that fucker?" He said scanning the room frantically with his eyes. He found Jake within a few seconds. He knew what he looked like after doing his own creeping on facebook and such. "I'm gonna say something to him."
"No, please don't Niall. Lets just go." I said tugging at his sleeve.
"Raegan, I can't just walk away. This asshole has been harassing you!" He yelled over the crowd as Harry walked up to the two of us.
"Who's harassing you doll?" Harry said to me resting his arm on my shoulder. He was quite a bit taller then me and my little frame.
"It's that stalker guy I told you about mate. You know, the one who sends her all that creepy shit? He's here." Niall explained to him.
"Well then lets kick his ass!" Harry yelled with a grin across his face. Oh boy. This was not going to be easy getting them out of here.
"Guys. No. Lets go back to the hotel and chill there or something. Please don't start anything. You'll get in trouble! Management will kill you! And me!" I begged them, trying to tug them towards the exit. Right then Liam, Lou, and Zayn walked up. Lou was very drunk, as was Zayn, but I could tell Liam wasn't at all. He may be able to drink now since his kidney healed up, but he still doesn't drink as much as the rest of them.
"Raegan what's wrong?" He asked me.
"That guy who is stalking me is here and Harry and Niall want to start something with him but I told them not to because they'll get in trouble with the police and probably management too, but they're completely in the numbs and won't listen." I said to him quickly trying to hold it together. I didn't think he would understand me, but he did. I looked over at Niall, he was rolling his sleeves up....this was not going to be pretty.
"Lets get them out of here. You grab Niall, I'll get Harry. Louis and Zayn will drunkenly follow like always."
"Okay got it." I told him. But right as I said this Jake started walking closer, his gaze burning into my eyes. I was terrified at the sight of him and my hands were trembling a bit. He was about two feet away from when suddenly I saw Niall's step forward and his fist hit Jake's face. I covered my eyes and winced a bit as Jake fell to the ground, a flash of the camera going off at the same time. Damn, there's the first picture of the night. The room was so crowded that only people standing really close even noticed what was happening, but I knew someone might call the guards, and whoever took that picture just got a perfect shot. I held up my hand to block my face because the person was still taking pictures. The blinding flash of a camera lit up the scene with each click of the button, and more people started turning around to look at what was going on.
Jakes nose was bleeding and held his hand up to it to stop the blood as he laid on the ground. Niall walked over to him, stood right above him and got as close to Jakes face as he could without tumbling over. I looked over at Liam who looked just as shocked as I was, then back at Niall.
"Stay the hell away from her asshole." He said to Jake, anger and disgust spread across his face as he spoke. Then he stood up, grabbed my hand and started toward the exit. Liam nudged the other boys to follow and we all walked back downstairs quickly. I could see the flash of a camera multiple times out of the corner of my eye as we walked down the stairs. Niall pulled me closer to him and put me in the middle of the guys so my face wouldn't be seen if they got a good picture, but it was probably too late now.
No one said anything, but I think they all understood we needed to get out of there, and fast. We made it out onto the street and immediately got into the car waiting for us.
It was silent at first, but then Harry spoke up. "Well, that was an interesting way to end the night. Well done Niall."
Niall chuckled. "Thanks Harry. Sorry to end the night so shortly everyone." Everyone else shrugged his comment off, leaning back in their seats, but I didn't have much to say. To be honest, part of me felt completely satisfied and okay with what Niall did, but a part of me was also really pissed. I hated being involved in violent stuff like that, and I worried that Jake could now twist the situation to make it look like I was out to get him, rather than the other way around. I was also worried that the little scene Niall caused may have made people notice that who the guys actually were, and that we were spotted. I guess we would find out in the morning when I would turn on the TV during my usual bowl of cereal and chai tea. I don't know how I'll feel in the morning if my face makes the 08:00AM gossip forecast.
Niall squeezed my hand, and I looked away from the car window and into his eyes.
"I'm sorry." He said quietly.
"It's fine." My tone was cold. Yep, I was definitely pissed.
"I couldn't help it love. Just seeing the look on his face....."
"I know Niall." I heaved a sigh. "I know." I was exhausted.
"You're mad." He said, his eyes looking right into mine.
"Yeah. I am. He deserved that punch, like, COMPLETELY deserved it." Niall smiled and I gave him a warning look. "But I'm willing to bet that it will be on the TV tomorrow morning that a member of One Direction punched out a random stranger at a local concert in Dublin."
"I didn't think of that."
"Obviously. And now my face could be splashed across the papers tomorrow! I told you. I didn't want that kind of attention yet. But you just blew it. You do realize that right?" I said, trying not to raise my voice. Zayn and and Louis were already passed out cold in the backseat, and the whole car smelled slightly of booze.
"Raegan. I'm sorry. I messed up."
"Just get me home. I'm tired." He let go of my hand and leaned over to the driver, telling him to take me back to my apartment, sulking as he did so.
"Are you sure you don't want to come back with us?"
The driver made a sharp turn and started towards my flat. The car was silent again, apparently Niall had nothing more to say to me, and I was done with talking to him for the moment. I just needed to sleep off my anger and wake up fresh in the morning with a clear mind. Liam and Harry had fallen asleep too, so Niall and I just sat there in silence until the Escalade pulled up outside my complex. I went to open the door but Niall pulled me back.
"I know you're mad at me right now. But I love you. I promise I'll make it up to you." He said to me. A small smile spread across my face, but hardly lasted because I was still fuming.
"I love you too." I said annoyed at him. "Now goodbye." I slammed the car door behind me and went up to my apartment without a single look back.
"Despite tweeting about being in London, all five members of One Direction were spotted in a club last night in Dublin, along with a young lady believed to be the mysterious woman involved with Niall Horan." The TV droned on, and had been going nonstop about last night since seven this morning, when I woke up.
"According to numerous sources and photos taken at the scene, a drunken Niall assaulted a spectator in the crowd buy punching him in the face, then quickly left the scene." Said the correspondent. Pictures of last night flashed onto the screen.
The first picture was the guys all standing around Niall just looking distracted and drunk, while I was turned around looking at Liam. All you could see was my long red hair cascading down my back as Liam looked at me with a concerned look on his face.
The next photo was of Niall punching Jake, anger spread across his face, as I covered my hands with my face while the guys cheered him on. His fist was mid air and you could see Harry drunkenly clapping behind him.
The next photo was of all of us blocking our faces as we started to leave. You couldn't see any more of me since I was in the middle of the circle/barricade the boys had created around me. The only part of me you could see was my hand peeking out as Niall held onto it.
The last photo was of our backs as we went down the stairs to exit the venue. It was obviously the five members of One Direction plus one. There would be no way to deny it was them. So much for them being in London.
I thanked my lucky stars that my face wasn't visible in any of the pictures. In fact, I don't know how the person didn't get a proper picture of me. It was just lucky I guess, but it didn't mean I was any less angry. Me and Niall's luck would only last so long. Last night was way to close of a call, and I feared that management wouldn't let the guys, including Niall, come see me again. They probably don't care that Niall and I are together, all they see is photos of trouble following me around.
It started to dawn on my that I needed to get used to this attention. Its just part of being with Niall, and I needed to accept that. I was still angry, but this incident is definitely preparing me for what would come later on. It actually made me feel more comfortable about having the whole world watching our every move. I was ready for it. Maybe this whole thing is like a blessing in disguise. A wake up call. Cupid is telling me that everything is going to be okay.
I chuckled out loud at my own thoughts running through my head. They were cheesy but true.
"According to our source, it appears that the altercation came about after the victim of the assault approached the young woman in a threatening manner." I rolled my eyes. If only they knew the whole story... "No statements have been made regarding charges, and at this point it is safe to say no charges have been pressed against Niall Horan." Yeah, only because we got the hell out of there, and Jake didn't want the police at his door for any reason, even if he was the one being hit, because of the whole stalking situation of course.
"All in all, it was an interesting night for One Direction, and hopefully this young lady was worth the trouble. At the moment we know very little about her, considering Niall has consistently told the press he wants to keep it under wraps until both parties are prepared for the world's eyes to be watching them. We certainly look forward to the day when Mr. Horan decides to tell us more about the young woman who has obviously captured his heart."
I heaved a sigh and got up for another bowl of cereal. It would be my third bowl, but I couldn't help it. I was a sucker for Frosted Flakes when I was stressed.
I didn't know how I was feeling at the moment. Part me was very angry, and questioning whether I could handle being with Niall. I wanted to be with him, but I wasn't sure if I could handle anymore of the baggage that came with it. He was worth trying though, and not being with him would probably be ten times harder than dealing with the press would ever be.
I rolled my eyes at myself, ridiculing the ongoing banter in my head. What the hell was I going on about. Of COURSE he's worth it. I would take all the twitter trolling in the world for him. He was worth every second of it. I loved that boy more than anything or anyone.
I was just angry, and I had to remind myself that it was okay to be pissed at the moment, because I'm not going anywhere. I'm allowed to be angry at this, but I won't be mad forever. I'm only human after all, and humans have feelings. He's stuck with me, and I would never leave him over something so dumb.
My cell phone started to ring again, it was the twentieth time Niall called me this morning. I pressed the ignore button again, wanting to enjoy my flakes in peace for the time being. I wouldn't stay mad him forever. He's too perfect.
--Niall's Point of View--
The sound of Raegan's voicemail came through my phone, again. I shook my head out of frustration and shoved my phone back in my pocket. I seriously messed up last night, and she was still angry, and had every right to be. I almost ruined everything, and now I'm freaking out jumping to all the worst conclusions. What if she wants to leave me? What if she won't forgive me?
I looked back up at the guys, who were all sitting on the couch while I paced back and forth.
"Anything mate?" Lou asked me.
"No. She ignored me again." I started to run my hands through my hair. It's something I do when I'm stressed, and Raegan had me freaking out at the moment. The sound of people talking about us ran through the room, coming from the TV. We were all over the stations this morning. Fuck, I was such an idiot. I completely disregarded everything Raegan and I have been working for: normalcy and a simpler, loving relationship. If a picture of her had made its way out, all of that would have been ruined and it would all be my fault. I never would have forgiven myself for that. I was so selfish. I should've just walked away last night like she asked me to.
I sat down next to Zayn on the couch and put my head in my hands.
"She'll forgive you. She's just mad right now." Zayn said.
"I've got to make it up to her." I said.
"We leave tonight at eight. You have 11 hours to apologize." Liam was right. I needed to apologize to Raegan in the best most romantic way possible before our flight left. She was my girl, and the love of my life. I had to make things better. I wouldn't be able to handle losing her because of this publicity getting in the way. If she won't answer my calls, then she'll just have to answer her door...
I sprinted up the stairs, completely ignoring the elevator, not wanting to waste anytime. She had class in a few hours, and was probably getting ready for the day. It was ten now, so I had some time to say sorry to her before she leave.
I knocked on her door with one hand while balancing the cake I had gotten in the other. It was her favorite kind, classic vanilla with lemon frosting. Written in the icing was "I'm Sorry" which was totally cheesy and sappy, but I hoped it would at least make her laugh or something. I wanted to take her out to lunch in St. Stephens Green or something, but I would never ask her to skip school for a romantic lunch date.
No one answered the door, so I knocked again, louder this time, trying not to let my frustration creep up on me. "Raegan, I know you're in there! Please open up. I'm begging." I yelled. Suddenly the door opened and she appeared. My mouth dropped open for a second, but I quickly shut it. She looked stunning. She wasn't dressed up or wearing anything fancy. She was still in her pajamas, which consisted of just her drawers and one of my flannel shirts, and her hair was perfectly messy. She looked beautiful, and sexy too, and for a second, images of waking up to her looking like that every morning, crossed my mind. I hoped that maybe someday those thoughts would become reality. I wanted to scoop her up in my arms right then, and run the whole way to her bed.
"Uh hi." I said, still in awe of how sexy she looked. It was very distracting.
"Hi." She said, looking up at me with a small smile, raising her eyebrows at me. "Would you like to come in?" She had a small smirk on her face. I had the feeling she had picked up on my distracted ways, and that maybe it was her intention all along. Teasing me was a sneakier way of making me pay for last night.
"Sure." I stepped through the door and she closed it behind me.
"You can sit wherever. Would you like some tea or something?" She asked me.
"Okay, I'll be right back. Make yourself at home." She walked to the kitchen, and came back with a steaming cup of tea, sitting on the other end of her couch. She curled up in her spot, resting her chin on her knees, wrapping her arms around her legs, and looked right at me, waiting for me to start saying something.
I looked right into her blue eyes, admiring how beautiful they are. "Rae, I'm sorry. Like really sorry. I fucked up, big time. I never meant for you to be on the TV it's all my fault, I should have listened but I didn't and I just.... I'm sorry." The words just stumbled out of my mouth and I probably sounded like a fool. I looked down at my supras, ashamed a little bit.
"I forgive you."
I looked back up at her. That was it? No big fight? No yelling? No cold shoulder? Wow.... I freaking love this woman.
"You, you do? Just like that?" I asked her, a grin spreading across my face.
"Yep. I do." She gave me a small smile, and her eyes almost gave off a youthful happy feeling.
"But, why? I thought you were mad at me?"
"I was. But you probably tortured yourself about this all morning, which is enough for me." She was still smiling. "Last night you were a total dick. Not to Jake, he deserved it completely. You were a dick to me. In fact, you almost got my face splashed across the TV." I winced a little. She was right. I almost blew it...."But I know you would take it back if you could." She unraveled herself and crawled to me end of the couch, and got about an inch away from my face, glancing at my lips then back up to my eyes. She was very enticing, and it took all of my will not to rip her shirt off right then and there. At this point, I knew she was definitely teasing me on purpose, getting me all wound up. It was like her own little punishment for me, and it was working. I wanted it all, but I knew that wouldn't be happening today.
"Just don't pull that shit again Niall, because next time, I probably won't be so forgiving." She whispered, leaning in to kiss me. It started off soft and slow but quickly got heated and heavy. It was definitely the best kiss we've shared so far, and I couldn't help myself when my hands ended up under her shirt, caressing her body. I started kissing her neck and she giggled a little, trying not to moan. She was absolutely stunning. I loved kissing her. I loved the feel of her soft skin on my hands as I caressed her waist. I loved every single thing about her......I went back to her lips and let the kissing continue...