That Direction

How exactly do we pick our favorite boys in boy bands? Its weird, if you think about it. We just point at a face on the album cover and say that one is mine. With no real claim, having never met the boy, we choose. And then we fall in love. And then we obsess.

We thought we were getting too old for One Direction, but still we shamelessly listened to their albums and bought tickets for their tour we simply could not afford.

I don't know if I believe in fate, or true love, or any of the other crap that is written about in my favorite novels. They said we had a one in a million chance of meeting them, and a one in a billion chance of them falling for us. But I guess, sometimes, you just get lucky.


13. Chapter Thirteen

“So we basically have to create a brand for the two of you,” Mariah and I sit in an even smaller office than the one we were in arguing with Rachel last week.  Our new manager, Randy is sitting across from us, his hands clasped in front of him and I hate to admit how much I love him.  “Which, you two have basically already done for yourselves.  These girls are just eating up the videos you post on Instagram and Vine.”

He clicks something else on his tablet screen and turns the screen so that the three of us can see the ridiculous video of Mariah and I running through Paris.  I don’t pretend to forget the reason I have so much traffic on these videos; if it weren’t for my new status in the world, no one would have seen the videos. 


Mariah and I both have our arms crossed over our chests.  We are being snobs; we know it.  But we don’t like the idea of having to answer to anyone, even the awesome guy in front of us.  His light purple shirt and black and white polka-dot pants should have warned me of the problem he would cause to my stubbornness.


My phone vibrates in my lap.


*i like him…* I keep my smile at bay as I read the text message from Mariah. 


*i like him too!  i guess we can just try to be good?* I send her another text and she nods after reading the silent messages.


“We think you two can really be something, even apart from One Direction,” I tune back into what Randy is telling us,” I tune back into what Randy has to say as he presses the palm of his hand on top of his head to make sure his perfectly gelled hair is still in place.  “Lucky for us, the radio show you two did was not really bad for either your image or One Directions.  Rachel had her panties in a bundle for no reason.  I actually ran a few numbers and conversation over Twitter, Instagram, and Vine increased for One Direction after the interview.  Rachel was just being a bitch because she doesn’t like the two of you.”


“We guessed as much,” Mariah comments, crossing one leg over the other. 


“She’s a fun one,” Randy rolls his eyes.  “Don’t get me wrong, she’s great.  But she takes everything way to seriously.  This is supposed to be a fun job!  I think working with the lads during the early days really took its toll on her.  Apparently they did everything that they were specifically told not to do.  I think its awesome, but it wore her down I think.  She’s the only one still with them from those days, everyone else has transferred or taken on different clients.  She was just an assistant when they started.”


I think about all of those videos of Harry, Liam, Niall, Louis and Zayn being as annoying as they possibly could; the five of them running away when they were told to get dressed.  I wish I had been around for those days, the days when they still couldn’t believe what was happening to them and they wanted to take advantage of every second. 


They still love what they do; more than anything else.  But the excitement has died down in small ways for them, at least that’s what I can see.  The interviews and early wake up calls seem to be more of a chore now; its no longer about the fun they are having but about the amount of money the five of them can rake in for their brand.


“So your platform,” Randy focuses his attention back to the meeting at hand, “is that the two of you were fangirl’s thrown into this life and you just happen to have the personalities to thrive here.  You are having fun and aren’t listening to the rules–”


“I like this,” I say, completely interrupting his pitch.


“I figured you would,” Randy smiles a Cheshire cat grin.   He’s really quite handsome; lean muscle and dark hair combed to perfection.  “I want you two to be you, I just ask that you run any ideas past me first so I can plan a promotion for it.  I am going to set up interviews and get you two on the map as the girlfriends but also as your own people.  I really think we can turn you into something.”


There is a knock on the office door and we all turn around.  I hadn’t noticed how much I was sitting on the edge of my seat.  I like Randy; I like him a lot.


A blue open toes stiletto steps through the door and Rachel follows the heal; her brown hair could not be tied tighter on top of her head.


“I just wanted to make sure we are all getting along just fine with the plan we have set up for the two of you,” Rachel glares at Mariah and I, her gaze settling on Randy with an appreciative smile.  I look between the two of them and fight the urge to laugh.  She is so barking up the wrong tree.


“They will not do or say anything without running it past me,” Randy says.  I glance at him quickly but keep my face neutral.  I like him more and more as the seconds tick by.

Rachel nods, takes one last glare at Mariah and I, and walks back out shutting the door behind her with a load click.


“Anyway, as I was saying,” Randy rolls his eyes after a few silent seconds as we all wait to ensure Rachel is not in earshot.  “I trust the two of you, you know what you are doing.  I would like to do some publicity workshops with the two of you.  We do classes on interviews, posing for pictures, and stuff like that.  The most important I think is the interview one.”


“I’m fine with that,” Mariah answers, looking to me. 


“Is there like a makeup class to go with the posing for pictures class?” I ask after nodding in agreement with Mariah.  Its not that I don’t know how to do makeup…I know the basics.  But other than eyeliner, mascara, and a crappy smoky eye I cannot do much.  It would be great to learn a few quick tricks to make sure I look halfway decent in random pictures taken of me.


I hope that it doesn’t get to that point anytime soon; I don’t know if I am ready to deal with people taking pictures of me when I am not with Liam, but that is what it seems like Randy wants to go for and I would be lying if I said that it didn’t excite me.  I want to be known for myself, not just as a One Direction girlfriend.


“I am sure Lou would be willing to help you out with that,” Randy says, grabbing his phone off of the desktop he scrolls around before handing the phone to me.  “Write her number down and you can set something up with her.  I will call Elisa and get an interview and posing workshop set up for next week.”


“I like you,” Mariah says; point blank.  The three of us start laughing and I can tell that this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.




 “Why are you blushing?” Niall asks from across the table.  Harry is next to me, his arm around my shoulder annoyingly, and for some reason I still cannot get the image of him standing stark naked in our apartment out of my head.


“She’s seen me naked,” Harry shrugs.  No big deal.


“I want to laugh every single time I see you!” I cannot hold in the laughter now that we are talking about it.  Mariah is laughing as well, under Harry’s other arm, and Niall is just looking at the three of us like we are insane.  Which, maybe we are.


“Why are we still talking about this?” Liam asks, returning from his quick bathroom run.  I am only too happy to lean into him instead of Harry as the waitress comes around to ask if we would like to look at the desert menu.  I am stuffed as it is and we all respectfully decline and ask for the check.


“Don’t be jealous you haven’t seen it,” Harry says, winking at Liam.


“I have seen it one too many times, actually,” Liam laughs, handing his card to the waitress.  She walks away after staring at Liam too long for my comfort and then gives me a side smirk as she sashays away.  I curse her out under my breath and ignore the confused look Niall gives me.


When we all get outside I am not even surprised that there is a small gathering of girls and photographers.  We all ease into our separate cars while smiling briefly to everyone the restaurant valet is trying to keep at a safe distance.


“You’re like an old pro,” Liam comments as he starts to pull away from the curb.  I wave to the girls that are waving hysterically from the curb, being held back by the valet.  We cause a mess wherever we go.  Liam reaches over and wraps his hand around mine. 


I turn to look at him and just smile, knowing that he really is mine.


“How was your meeting today?” He says after pressing his lips to the top of my hand.  “Were you a good girl?”


“Never,” I wink at him.  “No we were both on our best behavior.  Our managers name is Randy and he basically is going against that bitches wishes and letting us do our own thing as long as we keep him updated.”


“That bitch is Rachel, I am assuming?”


“Yes,” I laugh.  I really should at least try to be nice.  “Randy liked our interview and he loves all of the videos I post all over the place.  He thinks we are hilarious.”


“You’re really not that funny,” Liam teases.


“I am so!” I argue, pulling my hand out of his grasp. He isn’t the first guy that has tried to tell me that I am not funny–while laughing at me mind you­.


“Whatever you say, babe.”  He chuckles as he parks under the building.  I slam the door behind me, adding in the dramatic effects of walking ahead of him and getting in the elevator.  He runs up, now laughing, and pushes me back against the back wall in the elevator as the doors close. “Where do you think you are going?”


“To bed,” I stick my tongue out at him, unable to keep up the façade that I am actually mad at him.  He places his hands against the cool of the metal, on either side of my head and presses his forehead against mine.  He stares into my eyes, too much humor behind the eyes that make my knees go week.  It isn’t fair how damn sexy he is.


“My bed,” he whispers, his breath hot against my cheek as he leans closer to me, brushing his lips along my jawline.


“And I’m going to sleep,” I say, air wisping around my words pathetically; my body reacting to this sexy play boy side of him.


“Since when do we ever go right to sleep?” He laughs against my collarbone.   I laugh now because well, it’s true.  There is no right to sleep with us, not anymore and I honestly hope there never is.


He grabs my hands and pulls me into the penthouse as the elevator doors open.  Instead of heading towards the bedroom, however, he starts unbuttoning my shirt as we walk over to the couch.


His hands roam down over my body, grazing over my breasts lightly before sliding down my sides.  He unbuttons and pulls down my jeans quickly, stepping out of his jeans almost as quickly.  I climb on top of him as he sits down and our lips meet, our tongues brushing against one another.


I bite down lightly on his bottom lip and he groans into my mouth as I grind against him.  He lifts his hips and pulls his boxer briefs down off his legs and then lifts me to pull my panties off before positioning himself at my opening.


“I think you should move in,” he says as he pushes into me.  I grasp onto his biceps for leverage as he fills me deliciously.  “You’re here all the time anyway.”  I moan as he lifts his hips and sits back down, pushing in and out of me slightly.


“Is that a yes?”


“Can we talk, holy shit, later?” I ask.  I look at him and he is grinning from ear to ear, his eyes dark.  He starts to move faster after chuckling quickly and before long his fingers are digging into my hips and the kisses he presses to my neck become sloppy as we begin to fall apart.


“Fuck,” I cannot hold it together any longer as my body begs for the release it craves.  I fall apart gloriously and Liam moans my name a moment or two later as he comes.


“Move in with me,” Liam says, again, minutes after finishing.  I lift my head from his shoulder and roll my eyes at him very deliberately.  “Please?”


“I’m not moving in with you,” I tell him as I stand up and collect my clothes off the floor to throw them in the laundry hamper.  He follows suit and then follows me into the bathroom.  I turn the shower on and wait patiently for it to heat up while he asks me why I won’t move in with him.  “Liam, I don’t live here.  If I move in with you and something happens between the two of us, where am I going to go?  The apartment Mariah and I got was a steal.”


“Nothing is going to happen to us,” he says, his beautiful lips curving into a frown.  “But you could just move back in with Mariah.”


“I would never ditch her, she’s my best friend,” I wrap my arms around his hips.   His body twitched between us and I love that just the slightest touch between our bodies has him ready to go all over again.


“I’m your boyfriend,” he whines, brushing his fingers down and up my back, each time getting lower and lower. 


“Yes you are,” I break contact with him and step into the shower. 


“And you love me,” I ignore him as he steps into the shower behind me.  His hands graze all over my body as I scrub shampoo into my hair; his touch sending a tingling sensation to all corners of my body.


“You are so frustrating,” he complains when I don’t turn to him again.  He reaches around me for the shampoo and stay quite a few more minutes.  I turn around and keep my eyes locked on him as I rinse the shampoo out of my hair.


“Now you’ve done it,” he growls with that smile I love.  He turns us around and presses my back up against the wall, lifting me slightly and grabbing one of my legs to place around his hips.


“Feisty today,” I giggle as he pushes into me, ignoring the subtle pinch.


“Always babe.”




Mariah and I head back to our apartment after class Wednesday.  I feel like I haven’t spent more than two hours here in the last week or so.  My bed has not been touched, and my clothes are in disarray with half of them tucked into Liam’s closet.


“What is the point of this apartment?” Mariah laughs as she joins me in my bedroom.  “I haven’t been here all week except to grab clothes.”


“I was just thinking the same thing,” I laugh.  “Liam asked me to move in with him.  I said no.”


“Why?” She asks. 


“Because we’ve only been dating a month?” I say as I lean back against my headboard with him.  I can’t move in with him.  Not yet at least.  One day, one day soon, I will be okay with it.  But for now there is too much risk in moving in with him, too much too lose for me.


“Do you think the two of you are going to last?” Mariah asks.


“I hope so,” I say, my volume lower than I intended.  I can see myself being with Liam for a long, long time but I am so afraid to jinx it.  I have never been able to see myself with a guy for the long term, it’s always been short flings and I always knew it. 


I might be young, but at nineteen I knew that I didn’t just want to date any longer.  I wanted the thought of something more and with Liam and I can actually feel that something more.


I feel myself falling for him more and more every day.  I should just come out and tell him I love him because deep down, past all of my reservations I know that I do.


“What about you and Harry?”


Mariah shrugs without saying anything or giving any hint to what she is thinking exactly, but I get it.  Why get our hopes up when it could all crumble within the next three months.


Mariah’s phone vibrates in her pocket and she pulls it out. 

“The boys have a small concert thing?” she says after reading the message.  “Harry is coming to get us in an hour.”  We both look at each other quickly and then sprint to the bathroom to get ready, our shoulders getting us stuck between my doorframe for half a second in our rush.




Watching show from balcony seating is much different then being on the floor, sweating out of my clothes.  Everyone is here, including family members.  Nicola is here with Karen, Harry’s mother Ann is here with his sister Gemma, Zayn’s cousin is here and Niall’s brother is here with his son.


“How old is he?” I ask Gregg, holding Theodore in my arms.  It has been so long since I have held a baby so small.  His little blue eyes stare up at me, his hair is dark and thick on top of his head and he is probably the most adorable thing I have ever seen.


“Seven months,” Gregg says, taking a seat.  I take the seat next to him and continue to talk to the baby.  “You’re really good with kids.”


“I have seven younger brothers and sisters,” I always forget that people aren’t used to kids my age being so comfortable and confident with children.  Not too many people have so many younger siblings that they got the chance to learn from and take care of.


“Oh my god,” Greg nearly chokes on the water he is drinking.  “That’s a lot!”


“Yes, yes it is,” I laugh, still smiling and staring at Theo.


“You would steal the baby,” I glance over my shoulder to see that Andy has now joined us in our private box and has decided to take a seat next to me.  “Hey Greg.”


“Hey man,” Greg laughs, reaching around me to shake Andy’s hand.  I sit Theo up on my lap and grab both of his tiny little fists in my hand so that I can play with him.  He starts giggling as I make him dance to Midnight Memories.


“I’m going to grab another water, would you like anything?” Greg asks me.


“A water would be great,” I say before turning my attention back to the baby on my lap.  He is reaching his tiny little hands to touch my face and I keep pulling back, making him erupt into another fit of giggles.


“Are you sure you are okay with him?”  I nod and laugh as Greg leaves me alone with the baby.


“You’re really good with kids,” Andy tells me and I nod.  “Nature or Nurture?”


“Both,” I laugh, raising an eyebrow at him.  He shrugs and puts an arm over the back of my chair.  “You are weird Andy Samuels.”


“I have been told,” He laughs.  I think of something very suddenly and reach into my back pocket for my cell phone.  I turn Theo around in my arms and hold the phone out in front of me to snap a picture of the two of us.  I snap a few and find that I cannot reach far enough to get a good enough picture.


“Let me take it,” Andy offers.  I hand him my phone and hold Theo up.  He puts his little fists on the sides of my face as I look up at him, which makes me laugh as Andy snaps pictures.  “That’s actually the cutest thing I have ever seen.”

I take the phone from him and look at the picture he got of Theodore and I.  I have to agree, it is the cutest picture I have on my phone at the moment.  I miss my family more than I have at all as I look at the picture.  I post the picture to instagram and immediately send my mom a text message telling her I want to talk to the kids later.  With the time difference, by the time I get back home it should be the perfect time for us to talk.


“Kayla put the baby down we want to get a picture!” Eleanor scolds me just as Greg rejoins us.  He laughs as I hand Theo to him reluctantly and go join the people my own age.  “Andy!” Eleanor calls him over.  “Take a picture of all of the girls!”


Andy does as he is instructed and fits all of us into the small camera frame.


“Send that to me!” I instruct Eleanor just as the boys get ready to finish up this littler concert with What Makes You Beautiful.


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