It's been exactly one month and three weeks since I've seen Niall in person, and I'm going crazy out of missing him. The only thing keeping me from losing my mind is knowing that I would be seeing him in three day over in the States. The last few weeks without him have been relentless. Jake's non stop texting and the increasing amount of paparazzi combined with the work from my summer classes has been dragging me down, and I couldn't wait for my little vacation. I have a week off before my next round of summer classes begin, so I'm going back to Rye for a week during my time off.
The timing was lucky because the week I go back, the guys have a show in Mansfield which is about two hours away from Rye. When Niall found all this out, he immediately sent me some all access passes for my entire family to come to the show. When they came in the mail, I couldn't believe it. I immediately dialed my mum and told her that we could all go if we wanted to. Niall also called my brothers to confirm the fishing trip they've been planning. Basically all the guys, Briley, Erica, Connor, and I were going deep sea fishing the day after the concert before the guys leave for New York late that night. I think the funniest part of the whole thing is that all the guys would be sleeping over my house instead of going to the hotel. Mum personally called Niall and told him that they could stay with us that night, since we'd be leaving out of Rye in the morning. He gladly accepted, and I figured thoughts of a home cooked meal were on his mind. Despite it only being two days of seeing him, I couldn't be more excited. Two days is more than no days.
"Flight 454 to Boston Massachusetts is now boarding rows one through ten." The lady said over the intercom. I stood up and stretched before grabbing my carry-on suitcase in one hand while securing my boarding pass and passport in the other.
"You ready?" Neely asked me. Niall had Paul give him specific instructions to see me off right at the boarding door. I thought this was a little ridiculous, but I enjoyed his company nonetheless.
"Ready as ever." I said to him before giving him a hug. "Enjoy your vacation."
"You too. I'll be right at the foyer when you return." He said to me smiling.
"Thanks." He walked me over to the line and waited with me until I was in front. As the lady scanned my pass we said goodbye once more and then I was off. Walking down the long tunnel to the plane, the butterflies in my stomach were going crazy at the thought of seeing Niall. Just two more days and I'd be able to hug him and kiss him again. Especially after that weekend, I've been craving more than just his kisses if you know what I mean.....all in all, I couldn't wait to see him.
My eyes fluttered open as a male voice greeted my ears. "Uh miss, sorry to wake you, but we're going to be landing soon." I pulled up my eye mask to see a flight attendant looking down at me smiling.
"Oh thank you." I said to him. He offered me some cookies and I gladly accepted them as I started folding up my blanket and tucking my iPod away. As I waited for landing to begin, I munched on my cookies, getting lost in my thoughts. I was so excited to be back in the States for a week. It would be a good time, and nice to get away from Jake and his harassment. He continues to text me repeatedly even though I always ignore him. Neely often sees him hiding in the shadows when we go out which scares the hell out of me.
"Ladies and gentleman, please prepare for landing. All tray tables should be locked in position, seats should be in their original positions and all electronic devices need to be shut off. Thank you." A woman said on the overhead. My feet started bouncing like a little kids from the anticipation and I couldn't help but smile to myself. Just two more days.
Within a minute or two, the plane started descending towards the tar, and before I knew it, the wheels hit the pavement.
"So, I've prepared the whole house for the boys already." My mum said to me. She was the one who picked me up at the airport and we were on our way home.
"You did?" I said, chuckling to myself. My mum really is one of the sweetest mums I could ask for. She is always so welcoming and friendly to everyone who comes through our front door, and whenever people stay over, she goes way out of her way to make them feel at home and comfortable.
"I did." A smile spread across her face. "I cleaned up Briley and Connor's rooms, so someone can sleep in those rooms. I made sure the guest room is clean, so someone can sleep in there. Niall will be in your room I assume, and then the pullout couches in the attic are made up. I even put the tempurpedic mattress toppers on them so they're comfy."
"They're going to be pleased. I think they’re are tiring of all the hotels."
"That's what I figured. I bought all the ingredients to make you all pancakes and anything else you need. And Briley told me what to get for your lunches on the boat."
"Mum, you did not have to do all that."
"I know, but I like to. Besides, I can't wait to meet Niall's friends. Are they as nice as him?"
"Yep. They're wicked sweet. You'll love 'em." I told her as a smile spread across my cheeks. "And they're driving home with us correct?"
"Yeah I talked to Niall on the phone yesterday and he said that everything's been cleared with security and stuff. We'll just have to take more than one car."
"Sounds good honey." She said smiling at me. The ride home felt shorter than usual, and as we pulled into the driveway, I smiled at the sight of the beautiful house before me.
"We're home." She said looking over the house with her eyes, admiring it.
I could get you in America.....don't forget that...
I looked down at the text across my screen as I just laid on my bed. It was the fifth one today, each of them just as threatening and scary as the last. It's been going on since my flight landed, and hasn't stopped since. I've been on edge the last few days here, making my time back home a little less enjoyable. I closed my eyes trying to find my happy place, but instead tears started streaming down my face one by one. Slowly but surely they started falling faster and before I knew it I was massaging my temples with my fingers as the droplets stained my face.
A knock on the door made me open my eyes, and before I could clean myself up my Dad walked in.
"I came in to tell you that dinner is ready… but obviously something is bothering you." He said walking over to me after closing my bedroom door behind him. "What's bothering you?" His voice was kind, gentle, and reassuring at the same time. He sat down beside me on my bed. I sat up to look up at him. He's aged a bit since I've moved away. The lines in his face were slightly more defined, and the grey hair was starting to creep up over his temples. He must have just gotten back from work because he was still in a nice suit. He looked older, and more tired than usual, but nonetheless he was still my Daddy.
"There's something I haven't told you and mum about." I said to him, wiping my eyes with back of my hands.
"And what's that?"
"Back in Dublin, someone I met is stalking me. His name is Jake and it's getting worse."
"How long has this been going on?" One thing I love about my Dad is that he's a great listener. He always asks questions and you know that he genuinely cares about what you have to say, even if it's not something he wants to hear. He has a way of staying calm too, which helped me not freak out even more.
"Since the day after my birthday." I would tell him about the assaulting me thing, but I wasn't exactly comfortable talking about the assault in the jazz club yet.
"Have you gone to the police?"
"Yeah I did a while back. They've been keeping track of all the phone calls and text messages. We keep blocking them but he always finds a way through."
"Is that why you were crying?"
"Yeah. He just texted me again. It's just very frustrating you know? And scary too...."
He wrapped his arm around my shoulder to comfort me. "Why didn't you tell us sooner?"
"I didn't want to freak you and mum out. It's not like you can do anything from over here."
"We may not be able to do anything, but it would be nice to know these things."
"I know, I probably should have told you sooner huh?"
"Probably, but at least we know now. What have you done to stay safer?"
"Um.....well I have a restraining order on him. I put new locks on the doors and I don't have a spare key anymore.....Oh and Niall got very protective and went into this tough guy mode where he had a security hired to tag along with me."
He chuckled before responding. "I knew I liked him for a reason."
"He's something alright." I said chuckling along with him. "It actually makes me feel alot better though."
"Well I'm glad. It makes me feel alot better knowing that you're in good hands over there. What kind of things does this Jake fellow do to you?"
"Well, he texts me a lot, and sometimes he calls. He often lingers around the courtyard at school just far away enough where he can watch me. Sometimes I don't even notice, but Neely always does."
"He's the bodyguard."
"Oh. You're not out wandering around the city now are you?" He asked, concerned.
"Not anymore." I started, disappointed in how long it's been since I just got to go for a good walk. Neely comes wit me running, but it's always the same route. "Neely won't let me." I never get mad at Neely for saying no to this, he's only doing his job. But, it is frustrating.
"Good. How old is this guy?"
"I think he's nineteen or so. I met him right when I got to the city. He asked me out on a date, but when I didn't want more with him that's when he got all psycho."
"That sounds very familiar. I've assisted on cases like these along time ago when I first got out of school. The defendant typically comes off as nice and kind, and then they start to get attached and stalk the victim." I cringed at the word victim.
"Do they ever stop?" I asked him, my voice seeming smaller and more timid than before.
"Sometimes.....sometimes they give up. Sometimes the chase becomes too hard. Sometimes the police find another charge they can arrest the person with. It's different in every case...."
"But...." He started, smiling at me. "I have full confidence in the police over there. I'm sure everything will turn out alright in the end. You just have to be smart and logical about it."
"Thanks." I said to him returning his smile.
"Now, you have to promise me that you'll keep me updated on this situation, and that you won't act rash."
"I promise." He pulled me in for a hug, squeezing me tight the way that Dad's always do.
"Now, c'mon. Your mom's probably wondering why we haven't come down yet."
We both stood up off the bed and made our way downstairs. As I slid down the stair railing the way I always do, I felt much freer than before. It felt good telling my Dad about my troubles, as if a few boulders lifted off my shoulders. I didn't want to tell anyone else before, but I guess the cat's out of the bag now....
The next morning, I awoke to find a handwritten note from my mum next to a small vase of flowers on my nightstand. I smiled at the gesture as I read over the note. My Dad must have talked to her last night after dinner about what I confessed to him. She's probably worried sick now, but she'll never show it. My mom isn't one to show weakness. She and Edin are alike in that way. The smell of sausage greeted my nose as I pulled the covers of my bed off me. I love waking up to the smell of food in the morning.
"Morning sweetie." My mum said as I plopped my butt in the kitchen chair. She set a plate in front of me. A sausage breakfast sandwich accompanied by some home fries. It doesn't get better than that.
"Morning. Where are the boys?" I was surprised by the lack of men at the table. I expected at least Kellan and Rian to already be on their second sandwiches by now. But instead, they were nowhere to be seen.
"They're with Briley and Connor. The four of them went to go renew their fishing licenses."
"Ohhhh gotcha. I've got to do that before tonight."
"Are you excited for tomorrow?" She asked me as she sat down across from me.
"Is that even a question?" I said to her, giving her a silly look, which made her laugh.
"Not really I guess. How long has it been now?"
"Ummm......" I started visually counting in my head how long it's been since I saw Niall last. "....a few days less than two months." She gave me a wide-eyed look.
"Wow. I didn't realize it's been that long."
"You're telling me."
"At least he's worth it." She said smiling at me.
"Yeah, I don't know if I could do it if he wasn't." If I could only see Niall once a year I would probably still stay with him. Because, I know that on that one day he would find a way to make me feel on top of the world and see me more often. He always makes it completely worth the distance.
Mum and I continued eating our breakfast as the sun slowly shined brighter through the kitchen windows. It was going to be a beautiful night for a concert. After taking care of my plate I ran upstairs, answered Niall's usual good morning text message, then hopped in the shower. After getting ready, I grabbed all the all access passes and gave them to my mum. I didn't like having the responsibility of holding them all. What if I lost them or something?
After getting ready I went out to renew my fishing license and run a few errands for my mom. Once I got back, I called Niall and he told me everything at the stage was all set and now the guys were just goofing off until sound check. Sometimes I wonder what kind of things they get up to, but then I remind myself that it might be better if I didn't know. I'm sure they know how to cause trouble backstage. As I pulled into the driveway, I smiled at my mum as she greeted me at the front door. I handed her the groceries I picked up and went to go upstairs and do a last minute check over my appearance. I was wearing some cute but not slutty short shorts with a red loose fitting chiffon shirt that had small polka dots on the back with my simple beaded sandals and a white headband. The whole outfit was simple and not overdone. I'm not really big into doing crazy things with my make up, and I've always gotten the impression that Niall doesn't like it when girls cake on their make up anyways. I'm definitely a natural girl over a caked up one.
As I went to run upstairs the front door opened to my four brothers, Erica, and my Dad all piling into the foyer.
"Raegan!" Connor and Briley yelled as I turned back around to give them hugs. They both pulled me in for a three-person hug, and they engulfed me in their muscular arms as Erica and my Dad chuckled at the sight. Considering they both have their own places now, it was good to see them because I didn't get to see them right when I got home.
"Hi Erica." I said to her as we hugged. "How's the new place?" Her and Briley finally settled on an apartment together.
"It's lovely. You'll have to see it before you go back."
"Alright..." My Dad started, his voice booming over all us kids, even drawing my mom out of the kitchen. “... we need to leave in ten minutes. So, everyone grab whatever you need for the show tonight, and then we can head out..." I couldn't help but giggle at him telling us what to do. He's leading us all, yet I'm the one who knows where to go and how early we should be. He's treating this concert like some family outing. I mean, it technically is a family outing, but we're not a bunch of kids going to the park. That's my dad though, always the one leading. "....Rae, you're taking the escalade, Briley, Erica and Connor are taking Briley's car, and boys you're coming with me and your mother." He said looking at Rian and Kellan.
"Dad, we know." Briley said chuckling.
"I just want to make sure we get there alright." I rolled my eyes and cracked a smile. I don't think he's ever been late for anything in his life.
We all started hustling to grab whatever we needed. I ran upstairs to grab my wallet and adjust my headband while the rest of them all ran around to find their phones and such. Within a few minutes we were all in the foyer ready to go. I felt my phone buzz in my back pocket and I pulled it out knowing it would be either Jake or Niall.
have you left yet? miss you like crazy. can't wait to see you xx
A smile crossed my lips as I read Niall's text. He really is something I tell ya'.....
"Raegan." Paul said giving me a hug as I stepped out of the Escalade, my Dad pulling up in his car behind me, Briley behind him. "How are you?"
"I'm great thanks. How are you? How are the kids?" His wife gave birth to another son in May and I hadn't heard much about him yet.
"Splendid thanks. This must be your family?" I turned around to see the rest of the family walking up to us.
"Yep." I said with a smile. "Paul, this is my Dad Grady, my Mum Noreen, my brothers girlfriend Erica, and my brothers Briley, Connor, Rian and Kellan." I rambled to him. "Paul is basically the guy's babysitter." I explained to the family. They all shook hands and said their hellos.
"Alright," Paul started, getting serious. "If you all could put your passes on we can get going." My mom opened her purse and started handing everyone his or her all-access passes. I handed Paul the keys to our cars and the valet's took them away. We followed him backstage into the arena. The layout of this venue is unique in that half the seats are covered by a pavilion, while the rest are not, and then in the way back you can purchase lawn seats. We would be front row under the pavilion. As we walked through the tunnels of backstage, I waved to the crewmembers, recognizing many of them from the last show I attended. Like last time, everyone was very friendly and polite. Eventually we made it to a door that looked like it opened up to a dressing room. Paul stuck his hand out and knocked on the door, a cheeky smile on his face. I had a feeling he hadn't told the guys me and my whole family had arrived yet. I could hear mumbled voices inside until the door finally swung open.
"Raegan!" Zayn shouted with a smile pulling me into a hug.
"Raegan?" I heard Niall yell before he booked it over to me, pulling me into his chest. I hugged him back as tight as I could, embracing the closeness between us. His cologne smelled amazing and it had been way too long since I've been in his arms.
"I've missed you." He said, his voice muffled by my hair.
"I've missed you too." I told him. He kissed the top of my head before pulling apart to greet the rest of my family. I looked over to see my Dad with his arm wrapped around my Mom's waist, smiling down at her. They looked so happy and it was absolutely adorable. He gave everyone else hugs and hellos before Paul ushered us into the room.
The guys all came over and said hello to me, giving me hugs. I haven't just missed Niall throughout their American tour, I've missed the rest of the band too. All of us were getting really close and I would definitely feel comfortable saying that Louis, Harry, Liam and Zayn were some of my best friends. Louis always calls me when he needs help with getting Eleanor something or just wants to chat when the boys pass out on the bus. Liam calls me when he's upset about his and Danielle's break up. Zayn calls me when the paps get on his nerves, or sometimes talk about Perrie when the boys are sick of listening to it, and Harry calls all the time just to say hello or tattle on Niall for something. They even call just to check up on me and make sure I’m okay. I'm happy to say that in the last few months we've all gotten very close.
"Alright guys. This is my Dad Grady, my mum Noreen, Erica Briley's girlfriend, Briley, Connor, Rian and Kellan." I told them, getting introductions out of the way. They all shook my Dad's hand and my Mum gave them all hugs the same way she did with Niall when they first met.
"We can't wait to have you guys stay with us." My mom said sweetly.
"Well we appreciate you having us for the night. We're tired of the hotels." Harry said to her. He did sound a little more exhausted than usual. In fact they all did. I think some good homemade meals and a warm bed would do them some good.
After talking with my brother for a while, Niall came back over to where I was talking to Zayn and Liam and snaked his arm around my waist while kissing my temple.
"Wanna go for a walk?" He whispered into my ear. I gave him a sly look.
"Guys we'll be right back." I said to Liam and Zayn. They gave each other looks before waving us off. Niall grabbed my hand and yelled to everyone else that we would be right back. When he shut the dressing room door behind him he stopped walking for a second and just stared at me with a smile on his face. He ran a hand through my hair, placing a piece behind my ear gently.
"What are you looking at?" I asked him raising one eyebrow and smiling. "You." He said smiling down at me. "And how amazing you look today."
"Well thank you." I said sweetly to him. He leaned in and kissed me, soft and slow. It was more of a romantic kiss rather than a heated lustful one. In that moment, just looking at one another as happy thoughts whirled through my mind, I was completely content.
"Thank you Mansfield!" Liam said into the mic, a big grin etched on his face.
"You've been a brilliant crowd!" Harry chimed in.
"Really though, thank you all so much. You're all incredible people and we couldn't be here without you. Goodnight!" Niall said into his mic before they all ran off stage. The crowd continued to scream and yelled for a few minutes, and then things started dying down as people made their way to the exits.
"Well that was even better than I expected." Briley said looking over at me.
"I told you, they put on a good show." I said to him, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.
"Are we going to meet you guys back at the house?"
"Yeah we'll all head out in a few minutes. Paul is going to come get us. Just so we don't get bombarded by any fans." Briley nodded showing his understanding, and then turned to Erica to say something to her. My Dad made his way over to me while we waited.
"You didn't tell me they were so good!" He said pulling me into a hug.
"Aren't they amazing?" I asked him, grinning. Their performance tonight was spectacular. They did an incredible job as usual, and I was very proud of them.
"They're very talented. It's not my taste in music but it certainly was a good show."
"Good. I'm glad you came." I told him. This family night was turning out to be a great time. Throughout the show, I often looked down the aisle at my family as they watched. Kellan was engrossed by the guys as they performed. I think he is still in awe that he knows a famous person now. My Mum and Dad both had smiles on their faces as the whole time, along with Erica too. Briley and Connor kept yelling things into each other’s ears the whole time, and I don't think I want to know what they were talking about, while Rian kept staring at the girls around us. Overall, it had been a great night.
"It was very generous of Niall to arrange all this for us."
"It wasn't just him. All the guys wanted everyone to come. Family is important to them." I explained.
"Well we will make sure to treat them right while they're here."
"They'll like that." I said, still smiling. I feel like that's all I do at the concerts. I kept my eyes open for Paul as we waited and within a few minutes, I could see his head bobbing through the crowd with his fancy night vision glasses. He threw them on top of his head as he got closer to us.
"How was the show from down here?" He yelled over the buzz of the people around us.
"It was good!" I yelled back to him.
"Good to hear! The guys are ready to head out when you are." It was hard to hear him over the crowd but I just understood what he said.
"Should I follow you backstage?"
"Yup, stay close behind. If anyone stops you for pictures just tap me on the shoulder if you want to stop."
"Right. Got it." I turned around and said goodbye to everyone. Another security guard would lead them out and I would meet them back at the house for fishing tomorrow morning. I turned back around and Paul started leading the way back stage. As we wove between seats, I waved to any fans who said my name or waved at me. It definitely feels weird to have strangers recognize me because I'm Niall's girlfriend. I even tapped Paul's shoulder once or twice for a couple of girls. It was actually kind of fun meeting them and getting their twitter names for Niall to follow them later. After a while, we made it back to the dressing room to find the guys sprawled out across the couch. Zayn was on the phone, Liam and Louis were wrestling and horsing around, Harry was texting someone, and Niall was on his laptop.
"You guys ready to go?" I asked them from the doorway as Paul tossed me my keys to the Escalade. They all looked up, smiles adorning their faces.
"Yep!" Louis said climbing off Liam who brushed off his shoulder while laughing. Niall looked up from his laptop and smiled at me.
"One second love." He said as I walked over to him. I went to go behind the couch and kiss him on the cheek when he shut his laptop quickly.
"Whatcha doing?" I asked him, curious as to why he was so quick to close his computer.
"Working on a surprise for you. Well two surprises actually." He said leaning his head back looking up at me. I started running my hands through his hair from where I was standing as the guys started grabbing anything they needed.
"Surprises for me?"
"Yep." He gave me a tired smile.
"Can you tell me what it is?"
"Why not?" I asked him giving him a pouty face.
"Cos then it wouldn't be a surprise." He said standing up off the couch. "Besides one of them isn't ready yet."
"When do I get to find out?" I asked him as he made his way over to me.
"Soon." He pecked me on the lips as I furrowed my brow, wondering what it could be.
"Everyone ready?" Paul asked of us. I looked around; everyone was just leaning on various furniture waiting to head out.
"I would say so." Harry said cheekily.
Paul rolled his eyes at him. "Then let's go. I'm sure there are some lingering fans outside which could hold us up."
We followed him out of the dressing room and through the halls of the arena before making it to the lot where they parked the car. I would be driving the guys back to my place, with Paul following close behind where we would have a late dinner then pass out in our beds. We would be getting up early get out on the water early in the morning so we could have more time to actually fish. My Mum had all our lunches packed and everything, so we didn't have to worry about that. All that was left to be concerned with was getting a good night of sleep.
As I got in the driver's side all the guys climbed in, and within fifteen minutes, each of them had fallen asleep, one by one. They looked exhausted and probably looked forward to getting to a bed. I took a glance at Niall in the passenger seat. His hair was messy and falling onto his forehead. It was cute.
The drive seemed shorter on the way back due to less traffic than earlier. As we pulled in, I woke the boys and they all groggily made their way into the house. I helped Paul with the suitcases, along with my Dad who came out to help when he saw us pull in. Paul would be staying with us too, since he was the only security guy coming along tomorrow. As I walked back in the house I found all five guys at the kitchen table being served big plates of spaghetti and meatballs that looked delicious.
I sat down next to Niall and my mum handed me a plate as well. He started rubbing circles on my legs under the table making me smile a little bit. The six of us 'kids' hogged down our food quickly, not really talking much. After dinner, I showed the guys where they would be sleeping and where the bathroom was. They didn't say much as they got ready for bed, their heads hanging out of exhaustion.
I said goodnight to the four lads and Niall and I made our way to my room. It didn't look any different from last time.
"You know, your mum is probably one of the nicest people I've ever met." Niall said to me smiling as I closed the door behind us.
"I have to agree." I said sweetly, pulling him close to me. I rested my head on his chest and he kissed the top of my head. We stood there like that for a few minutes, just enjoying each other's warmth and comfort.
"You ready for bed babe?" Niall said eventually, his voice quiet and tired sounding. "Yeah. Are you?"
"Yep." He unraveled his arms from around me and pulled his shirt off. I did the same, not bothering with pajamas, and the two of us got down to our undies before climbing under my fluffy comforter. I didn't bother setting an alarm, knowing that my mum would wake us in the morning, if we went to sleep that is....