You light up my world like nobody else
Surreal Reality - A Liam Payne fanfic

N.B. English isn’t my first language, so I’m sorry for any mistakes! If you like my fanfic please promote it! And don’t forget to leave feedback, it’s much appreciated! xxx

http://amazingonedirection.tumblr.com/ask


Chapter 1

I was so happy I finally found a job. A job that is to my liking. About 3 months ago I applied for a job at a Law Firm, and just a month ago, I got the acceptance call and letter! I was overjoyed; Law has always been my thing. I was notified that my job, for a couple weeks, consisted of being a secretary, more like, a helping hand really, to one of the leading attorneys. This was just for training, to study more closely what the job, at the particular firm consisted, as of course, I still had no experience.

As I walked through the busy streets of London, on my way to my new work, I couldn’t help but think of all that is bound to happen. I was kind of scared that I wouldn’t fit in, or find someone I can call a friend…oh if I only knew.

Once I arrived into the building, and smiled as I went in the elevator, pressed ‘5’, and then proceeded to walking to the floor reception after the elevator door opened.  The sweet receptionist, by the name of Ruth, gave me a paper and told me which office to go to; there I will find the person I will closely work with through the coming weeks.

I did as asked, and knocked on the written office. When the door opened, I raised my eyes from the floor, to the eyes of the person in front of me. I held my breath. ‘Wow’, I thought.  The person who would mentor me, turned out to be a rather young man, handsome, flawless, and a little bit familiar.

“Hi, come in”, he said breaking the silence.

“Thank you”, I said. I looked briefly around the room. Welcoming.

“My name is Liam Payne, and you must be Lauren Greene, am I right?” he said smiling.

I simply nodded to his previous statement and question. Although, I couldn’t really not notice his name. Bingo! ‘That’s it!’ I thought. Liam Payne… the guy I had a massive crush on, and was in love with really, back when I was a teenager. He was in a band that goes by the name of One Direction. They were massive, they blew up the charts, sold millions of records, had sold out tours, won many awards, including a Grammy, and even sold out Justin Bieber, who back in the day, was pretty much breaking every record. Though after a few years, Bieber got his record sales back after the band said they were going their separate ways. None of them were in the music scene again really, in spite of the many pleads and twititions that were made. The five boys disappeared off the music world.

I remember I was so devastated when they said they’re over. I cried for countless hours. As I said, I was a huge fan. I’m not saying my new work colleague is the same Liam Payne that is on the countless posters in my room back in my parents’ house, but it is a possibility. After all, they are particularly are alike, and share the same voice…

I was sat in front of him, and he was talking about how this is a hard industry, and that I have to work hard to get to places. Gosh, I just couldn’t help but look at his face and pick out the similarities of the guy I had a crush on a few years ago. I quickly took every thought out of my head though, as I remembered I’m here for work.

“I look forward to working with you, Ms. Greene, and teach you”, he said through a beautiful smile.

Oh you have no idea how looking forward I am to be mentored by you, I wanted to say, but the words that came out of my mouth were, “Same to you Sir.”

“You can call me Mr. Payne. Although I already feel that I would let you call me by my first name between us in a short time, as I think we may be great friends”, he said and added a wink after that.

I blushed and he chuckled, I may be developing a crush here too. Is that a bad thing?

He started explaining to me first what the firm wants from its employees.

“Here, it’s truly all about the client. As you may know, in our job, we may meet up with circumstances, where we have to defend the one who’s to blame. Whom we already know will be sentenced, yet we still have to look in to more depth. The firm is one of the most popular ones, so we have all kind of cases. Most common, just to give you a heads up, are divorces. There’s something going on I think, as the divorce rate is getting higher as the time goes by. Although, as you will notice, all are a total different case. For example, the case I have right now, that you will help me with, is a divorce between John and Adelaide Brown. They have 3 kids   They both want the full custody and the house. We’ll be speaking in the name of Mrs. Brown. Here’s her files, take a look at it closely, and tell me what you think of it, okay?”

“Got it”, I said, and started reading the file.

After about a few hours of discussing it, it was time for break, and Liam kindly asked me to go take something with him.

He drove us for about 15 minutes, and got to a cafeteria. He opened the door for me, such a gentleman and went in, found a table and sat down.

“So tell me something about yourself, we will see a lot of each other, not that I am objecting, but I’d like to get to know you better”, he said smiling a smile that just gives me butterflies… oh boy…

“Well, not too much really. As you know I am Lauren Greene, 25 I am originally from Manchester, but have been studying here for a couple of years. I lived with both my parents, and my dog. I left them all behind. I love reading a good book and listening to music. If I may be lucky in anything, certainly not in love.” I really don’t know why I said that last bit. I quickly said, “What about you?”

He took a deep breath in and started, “I’m Liam Payne, 27, from BIRMINGHAM, been living in London for about ten years now, lived with my parents back home too. I love music too, and I don’t mind books either. And for me, not that I’d been that unlucky with love, just haven’t found that one person, who was real to me. Maybe it won’t be long until I find her”, he smiled another smile that made the butterflies to my stomach.

I smiled back, and wondered, why didn’t he mention his musical past? I’m sure it’s him from the information he just said now. I mean, does he think that I cannot be trusted? ‘Hmm… I have to make sure that it has to change then’, I thought looking at him.

—-

Chapter 2

A few days passed and work was going great. December was nearing its end, and I still didn’t know what to do, where to go, or with whom I am celebrating New Year’s Eve.

 

As I walked through the office doors on my last day before Christmas break, Liam and I exchanged our “Good mornings”, and started our day. We were meeting Mrs. Brown again today to continue talking to her. The first appearance in court is in the third week of January. We haven’t gone far. The woman is hard headed, and try  as we might to explain to her that the Judge’s final say may not be what she wants, she still demands full custody of her children and the house. I honestly don’t know how she will be in the court room.

 

“I hope you realize, that both Ms. Greene and myself are doing our very best to make you happy. Just keep in mind, that you cannot shout and act like this in front of the judge, it will make matters worse.” Liam explained for what seemed like the 100th time later that morning.

 

I added, “Mr. Payne is right. We also know for a fact that you are a great mother, so at least we are sure that you will get a good share of the custody. Now, if Mr. Brown will, in some way be pleaded as not an honest and good father, than it’s an upright for you.”

 

She nodded. I’m glad we got to this point. Then, she left, but still had all her divorce problems on our desks and minds.

 

During lunch that day, we talked more about each other.  We learnt more of each other everyday like, hobbies, favorite things such as type of music, shows, movies, books, cars and more. I got to know how he had an obsession over turtles at some points. Just these little things that made me fall harder for him. He still didn’t mention the band though.

 

As he was driving us back to the office, and advert on the radio about NYE came up. He suddenly asked me about my plans for that day.

 

I said, “I honestly don’t have any. I don’t know why, usually I have everything planned. All I have ready is my dress this year.” We laughed, and then I added, “What about you, do you know what you’re gonna do to end the year?”

 

He simply said “no”, and continued the car ride in silence.

 

Later that evening, after I took a nice warm bath, when my phone started ringing and his name marked. He never called me before.

 

“Hey, it’s me, Liam- I mean Mr. Payne, sorry if I’m disturbing you”, he said.

 

“No, no, it’s fine. Is something wrong Mr. Payne?” I hated using his last name.

 

He answered, “Everything’s good Ms. Greene. I was just thinking about our brief conversation about the New Year we had in the car. Did you make any plans by any chance?”

“No, why?”

 

“Good, I mean, I wanted to ask you. Would you like to spend New Year’s Eve with me? You know, since both of us have nothing to do and no one to spend it with, I thought it’d be a great i-“

 

“Yes, I’d love to!” I answered a little too excitedly. I heard him chuckle and said our goodbyes.

 

Great, I hope he doesn’t think I’m crazy. But I really cannot wait for our little… date?

—-

Chapter 3

I actually woke up before my alarm. Wow, was I that excited for the evening? I got out of bed, made some breakfast and then watched some television. Suddenly I got a text message. It said: ‘Hey :) So, pick you up at 8pm? Oh, and don’t eat, we’ll go have dinner first. Just send me your address.’

I texted him my address and then looked at the clock. 10 hours more left.

I made some chicken and ate it at around 2pm. I then decided to watch a movie to kill some time. I scanned my DVD’s and picked up ‘The Back up Plan’. Love that movie.

When it finished, I took a long warm bath, then started getting ready.

I was wearing a short, gold sequined strapless dress.

(http://www.edressme.com/gold-sequins-2408.html )

My make up was towards the natural colours. I left my hair down. I checked myself one last time and wore my high heeled shoes and coat.

At exactly 8pm, my doorbell rang. Punctual. I like it. I went over to the door and opened it and I looked up at him. Wow. He cleans up nicely. After about 5 seconds of staring into each other’s eyes, he broke the silence, which strangely wasn’t awkward and said a simple, “Hi”, and smiled his signature smile.

I smiled back and we proceeded to his car. We didn’t say anything, but we did have a conversation at the restaurant. We sat down and ordered. He started the conversation and said to me, “You look beautiful… more than usual today”. Gosh, that smile and wink. Thank God I was sitting down.

“Thanks”, I said through my blushing and complemented him by saying, “You look good yourself”.

We started talking about our Christmas day. He spent it with his family. So did I. “So what did you get?” he asked.

“I got an iPad and some vouchers to spend”. We laughed and I asked him back.

He said, “Nice, I already have it. I got a new watch, like it?” he showed me this watch his wrist.

“Wow. I love it”

“Thanks” Then, the food came. We still had a conversation going.

After dinner we took out to where the main celebrations of the night were happening in London.

We danced along with the rest of the crowd to the music, and then it was finally time for the year to end. I was getting nervous. We’re here together, and normally those like us would be on a date, kiss as the clock strikes midnight.

As the countdown began, he surprised me by grabbing my hand.

“7, 6, 5, 4, 3”

We looked at each other.

“2, 1, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!”

He suddenly leaned down and came closer to me. My breathing was getting faster. “May I kiss you?” he whispered. “Yes” I said.

He leaned closer and his lips met with mine. Sparks flew through me, just like the fireworks that were happening marking the New Year.

We pulled away and looked at each other’s eyes. “Happy New Year”, I said.

“Same to you, beautiful”, and kissed me again.

—-

Chapter 4

We stayed there for a while, dancing to the music with the mass of people. It felt good. We danced together and sang to the songs. It was such a pity that I couldn’t hear his voice over the loud music flowing through the air.

None of us spoke during the car ride back. We let the music fill the silence, and it was comfortable. When he pulled up to my house, we got out of the car and he walked me to my door. We looked at each other. God, his eyes always make me feel so weak in the knees.

“So…” I said.

“So…” Ha-ha, funny, Payne.

“Thanks for tonight, I really enjoyed it”, I said. It was the truth.

“My pleasure. I also enjoyed myself.” He smiled, and I smiled back. I love his smile, it’s honestly beautiful.

“Are you… doing anything tomorrow?” He asked.

“No, I have nothing planned.”

“Do you want to go to lunch?”

“Sure, I’d love to”, I said smiling.

“Cool. So pick you up say at around, 11.30pm?”

“Perfect.”

He started to lean in again, and once again, those butterflies came again, and went crazy when our lips met. He then pulled away and said “goodnight”, and left.

I stayed outside until he was out of sight. I was smiling like an idiot. No one is to blame me though, I did just kiss the guy I’ve crushed on for so long, and clearly had feelings for him. I tried to tell myself not to be too attached, as we only just kissed, ‘it’s not like we’re together’ I thought.

As I got ready for bed, I wondered if he had feelings for me too. I wondered if he thought of me as much as I was thinking of him. With those thoughts, I slept like a baby.

That morning I chose to wear a cute blue knitted dress, with black heels. I again left my hair down and moved to my make-up. I kept it simple, yet flattering. I put on a scarf and coat and looked at the mirror. I liked what I saw, and hoped Liam would too.

Once again he was punctual, and this time he kissed me on the cheek when I opened the door. We moved to the car, and drove silently to the restaurant.  It was a nice restaurant, and the food was good too. We talked about various things, just like we always did, but this time, there was something different. Since we kissed, it’s been different. Good different.

“Do you feel like catching a movie after this?”

“Yeah, a movie sounds nice”, I said. I haven’t been to the cinemas in months. That also meant more time with Liam…

“Cool, let’s go then” He payed the bill and we left. On our way, he grabbed my hand, and I smiled biting my lower lip, looking forward for the rest of the afternoon.

—-

 

Chapter 5

We walked into the cinema and got tickets for “The Notebook”. The cinema had some movies from a few years back re-showing. It is such a romantic movie, my favourite! As the movie was into its time, I felt Liam’s arm move to find its place around my shoulders. I did the next thing, which was out my head on his shoulders. I was smiling from the inside.

He made me feel like a teenager again. All the feelings you get when you’re on your first date and he makes all the moves. What was this guy doing to me?

When the movie ended, we made our way back to the car talking about the movie.

“I don’t know if it’s weird, but I actually liked it.”

“I told you!”

“Yeah you were right. I never really got all the hype about it.”

“Well, at least for me, it’s the romance between Noah and Ali. How they still loved each other so much till they got old and died. I wish that can happen to me, you know? Me and my future husband, loving each other when we’re old as much as we did when we first met.” I said. God, I ramble too much.

He chuckled softly and whispered, “Girls”.

“Hey! I like romance, okay?” I giggled and he chuckled too.

“I can be romantic, you know. John Mayer and Nicholas Sparks aren’t the only romantic guys.” I looked at him weirdly than he looked back at me and laughed. “My cousin is obsessed with them, and always rants about how romantic they are and how guys should be as romantic as them. I mean, come on!”

I laughed at that true statement. “Hey, your cousin is right, they write romantic novels and songs, I love them too!”

“Oh God,” I heard him mumble, and continued walking. He suddenly stopped and turned facing me. “Do you want to go official?” He asked me. I replied with a “What?”

“I mean, we’ve known each other for a couple of weeks now, and last night confirmed the feelings I’ve been wondering about these past weeks. I really like you, so, I want to ask you, do you want to like, be my girlfriend?”

“Yes, I’d love to be your girlfriend.” With that he smiled and kissed me, with more passion than the few kissed we’ve shared. I thought he’d never ask.

“Sorry if it was cliché or anything. It sounded better in my head.” He said looking down for a minute. I smiled at him making him feel more comfortable.

“It’s okay, we’ve established what you wanted to say, and I said yes. That’s what’s important.”

When he pulled up in front of my house, he walked me to the door again. “Thanks for today.” I said looking into his beautiful brown orbs.

“It was my pleasure. So, pick you up tomorrow at 7.30?” He asked me. I smiled and agreed then he added, “Wear something nice, like you always do.” He winked at that statement. He then kissed me goodnight. Our lips stayed there on each others’ lingering for a few moments. Once he pulled away, he walked to his car and was gone.

As I took a bath and set a little dinner for myself, I thought how happy I know was that we were official. I took my cup a soup to the couch and turned on my TV. I was flipping through the channel and left it on MTV. “Teenage Dream” was on, and I was thinking, how he, Liam Payne, was making me feel like I was 16 all over again.

—-

Chapter 6

A few weeks had gone by and everything was going great. We decided to keep our relationship on the down low at work, fearing they might stop us from working together or something. That was something neither of us wanted. Even though, we did steal a kiss or two at work, but we had a lot to do anyways.

Still, we refer to each other by our first names, when we’re alone, everywhere but at work basically.

The divorce of the Browns’ was to be finalized in February, as it got delayed due to some issues from the Judge’s side. Not to worry though, it shouldn’t be a problem as we had made contact with Mr. Brown’s attorney, Mr. Howard and exchanged some information. This is just to lessen the pressure and thinking, on our and the judge’s mind.

“We got a call from Mr. Howard, saying that your husband is ready to give you the house”, Liam said on our last meeting with Helga Brown, before the court appearance next week.

“Oh thank goodness”, she said in relief.

“Still,” I began, “We do think that there must be some kind of…catch. Like, he may not be happy with your custody requests, and wants more visits of the children. Of course, this may not be true.” I finished. She gave me a weary look this custody battle is crazy, poor kids.

We spent the hours when we weren’t working together. Hanging out, talking about everything, kissing. That was one of the best parts, the kissing. We didn’t go too far, up to now anyway. I didn’t really mind, we haven’t been dating for that long anyways. Last time I did something with a guy early into the relationship, it ended badly.

That Saturday, he took me to a posh restaurant. It was to celebrate our first month together. Not that he never took me to nice restaurants; he was quite the romantic type.

“Wow, this is such a nice restaurant, you shouldn’t have.” I said as we took our sears, ushered by the waiter.

“Hey, only the best for my beautiful girlfriend, who by the way as, always, looks flawless tonight.” He said winking, and I instantly blushed. “You’re cute when you blush”, he said making me blush even more.

Between the main course and the dessert, we exchanged our gifts. Even though it’s just been a month, we still decided to give gifts.

“I go first”, I said handing him his gift. He started unwrapping the paper. “Wow, thanks this is amazing’, he told me as he put his new watch in the box and kissed me lightly. He liked watches, so I thought I’d buy him one.

“Your turn”, he said and gave me his gift. I started un-wrapping. I gasped when I opened it.

“Liam! This is beautiful, thank you so much! You really shouldn’t have, I mean it’s only been a m-“, he shut me up with yet another one of his amazing kisses.

“You ramble too much”, he said and took the niece piece of jewellery and put in it round my neck. When he finished locking it, he pecked my neck and I smiled instantly.

That night we had to go straight home as the next day was to be in court. I had such a good sleep, dreamed of a certain guy I’ve been dreaming of for the past month.

—-

Chapter 7

“Thank you so much, to both of you for your work”, Helga said as we got out of the court room. The judge gave her the house and an equally shared custody of their 3 children. Of course, Mr. Brown has to pay his now ex-wife in order to take care of the children. The 3 kids were heartbroken seeing their parents’ divorce be finalized. They love both so much.

“We’re doing our job”, Liam said smiling at her. They continued to talk while I went to see the kids.

“Hey”, I said, earning a sad look in their eyes. “It’s not going to be easy, but both your parents love you, and want the best for you.” I tried consoling them.

“Thanks for caring”, the eldest, a 15-year-old boy said. “We just hope they won’t make it harder for us.”

“They love you. The both wanted you guys for them, but worked out a shared custody, to spend equal time with you. You’ll get used to it. Just remember that there are others who are going, or went through, the same things as you.” I hope I helped. I didn’t even know why I went over to them. I guess as it was just too sad to see them like that.

***

“It was so sad seeing the kids like that. They go through it, and feel worse than the parents.” I said that night on his bed as we were watching some television.

“Yeah. Get used to it though; you’ll be seeing lots of it in your career. Unlike the case we start next month. No children”, he said.

“Another divorce, huh?” I asked and he nodded in reply. “So many lately. I don’t know what’s wrong with all these separations and divorces.” I paused then asked, “What are we going to work on Monday?”

“Shh baby. Let’s not talk about work here.” He said. Then, he leaned down and kissed me. I instantly kissed back and put my hands around his neck and he put his around my waist. He deepened the kiss and I deepened it more. He pulled me on his lap and continued our make out session. After a few minutes we both were out of breath and pulled away. Our make out sessions were just amazing. The passion was very strong.

He kissed me on the cheek, lips, then moved to my jaw line and went down to my neck until he found my spot. I leaned back and gave out a little moan. His hands went under my shirt and mine went through his beautiful locks as we kissed again. We pulled away again and I leaned my head against his chest. We never went further than that as none of us wanted more for now.

I ended up spending the night there. It wasn’t the first time. When I woke up to the smell of bacon and eggs, I smiled instantly. His cooking was amazing, even if it was just breakfast.

“’Morning”, I said wrapping my hands from behind him. He turned around and wrapped his arms around my waist as my hands moved up around his neck.

“’Morning beautiful”, he said and pecked me on the lips. “I made you breakfast.”

“Oh really? And I thought where did that bad smell come from.” I said playfully.

“Oh” he said acting like was hurt by my remark. “Then I guess I have to eat on my own.” He tried to hide his smile.

I giggled, “you are a bad actor baby”, I said and grabbed my plate and sat at the island and he followed my actions. We sat there and had a nice conversation and after we made plans for that evening, I went home. I was falling for him more and more each day. He was, perfect.

—-

Chapter 8

“God, just ask him. If I were you I would’ve already bombarded him with questions”, my best friend said when I called her that afternoon. She moved from London a year ago and went back home. We called every day.

“But Emma, I cannot just ask him. If he wanted me to know, he would’ve told me.” I answered. I told her about Liam, and how he’s the one from One Direction. At least that’s what I came with. She told me from day one to ask him about his musical past. I just never brought myself to do it. “It’s not that big of a deal anyway. I’m dating him for him, not for his famous days.”

She sighed and said, “Whatever you want. It’s just that you’ve told each other everything, and he left out a major fact about him.”

She was right though. “Well, I’m not sure if it’s really him anyway. Maybe someone who looks a lot like him and has the same name…?” This was going nowhere.

“Uh-huh yeah. Tell yourself what you want honey. If you’re happy, than so am I.” Yeah, I am happy, even if he didn’t tell me anything yet. “I have to go now, still got to go grocery shopping. See you soon?” she asked.

“Yeah. See you soon”. And we hung up. I went upstairs and opened my closet and chose my outfit for that night.

We decided to do what we did almost every Saturday night. Go partying after dinner. I chose a navy blue short dress with lace, and paired it up with black heels, and a black purse. I didn’t do much make up, even Liam doesn’t like too much of it. “Spoils your natural beauty”, he says.

We went to our favorite club and got a few drinks. I got a vodka coke and he got the same. We started dancing the night away to the beat of the music coming out of the speakers. Suddenly, someone tapped Liam on the shoulders. Apparently they know each other. They were having a conversation and I was standing looking at them, looking at the figure talking to Liam. Curly hair and dimples was all I could see.

“Who was that?” I asked Liam as soon as he came back to me.

“No one. Just an old friend. He’s coming to the office next Monday. A new client filed for divorce.” He replied.

“Oh,” I said. At least I was going to meet him. We continued to dance on the dance floor. Liam is such an awkward dancer, but I didn’t care.

None of us were drunk when we got out of the club. During the car ride back to my house, we were making plans for the next day.

“Do you like picnics?” he asked.

“Yes.”

“I was thinking we should go for a picnic tomorrow. Do you like it?”

“Yes. But at around 1 so we can prepare and stuff.” I said.

“Okay, pick you up at 1 then.” I haven’t been to a picnic in a long time.

***

“Why did you bring a football with you?” I asked him as I noticed the football in his bag while we were eating a sandwich.

“To play football duh. With you.” He said like it was the most obvious thing. I stared at him. “What?” he asked with a little laugh.

“I don’t know how to play football.” I said. I only used to watch it with my brother and father when I obviously had nothing to do.

“Don’t worry I will teach you.” He said. So he did. He started passing me the ball, and I passed it back. After a few minutes, he told me to play a little game. I had to run with the ball, and do some tricks and not let him take it. I failed though. He came and he caught me and started tickling me to the floor. I couldn’t stop laughing, and tears starting coming out of my eyes!

“Stop….it….please…Li…am”, I said in between laughs.

“Say that I am the cutest, hottest guy you’ve ever seen and I’ll stop.” He said. I tried not to, but it was too much. So, reluctantly, I had to say it, “You’re the cutest, hottest guy I’ve ever seen.” He stopped and I was breathing hard.

He kissed me and then continued our day.

***

The next day at work, we were waiting for our next client. I still hadn’t seen his file. There was a knock on the door and Liam said, “Come in.” The door opened and a curly haired boy walked in. I looked up from my desk and gasped a little. That guy was Harry Styles.

—-

Chapter 9

As he walked through the door he looked at me, and winked on his way to greet Liam. I felt myself blush and I looked down for a bit.

“Hey man, how have you been?” Harry asked as they hugged.

“Good man, what about you?”

“Well, if you take away the divorce, it’s been pretty good too.” They laughed a little. “And who’s this beautiful lady here?” he asked.

“This is Lauren Greene. She’s working with me for a few months to learn some things about the occupation. She’ll have her own office in a few weeks.” Liam answered. I swear Liam wasn’t too happy with how Harry referred to me.

“Please to meet you Mr. Styles.” I said as he shook my hand, then kissed it lightly.

“Pleasure is all mine, Ms. Green,” he said.

I gave Liam a brief looked and he was looking at us with no expression on his face. I was confused myself. I wasn’t too surprised though, even during the band days, he was the flirt, and loved all the attention he was being given by girls.

We then sat down around a circular table. Liam and I were close, so Harry could be opposite us. Although today, Liam was a little bit closer than other meetings. Maybe because it was an old friend. Or maybe because he’s jealous. I shook of those thoughts and focused on the case of Harry Styles and his soon to be ex-wife, Nicole Styles.

“So, Harry, tell us a little why you filed for divorce. The reason placed in your file is “reconcilable differences. Explain please.” Liam started and he handed me the file and gave it a brief look than focused my attention to Harry.

“Well,” he started, “We were all happy and such, but she couldn’t handle it, you know? I wanna get back to the scene; it’s what I love to do. The number one reason that I ended my career was because she didn’t like all the fans. I loved her too much that I let go of what I really wanted. It’s been too long now, sacrificed enough.” He paused and sighed.

You may need to know, that Harry actually had another year of stardom, as a solo artist. He did well, but not as good as the band. When he got married, he disappeared just like the other four. I quickly got what he was on about. I felt Liam being a little uncomfortable. He was tapping his foot silently because of his nerves. That’s how close we were. I could feel his legs moving up and down against mine. Could he feel this way because of the fact that he never mentioned the band to me?

Harry continued to talk, “Then, it started affecting other aspects in our life too. You know how I’ve always loved kids, right?” He asked and Liam nodded. “So I thought maybe having kids would put my mind off my career. I always wanted kids if I ever got married. So when I confronted her about it she declined saying that she was scared of having kids. Not just because she would gain weight and have to carry a baby for nine months, or even the birth process, as I asked her. She is scared of the responsibility.” His eyes were sad.

He still had those beautiful blue-green eyes, yet, they were masked with sadness. He did love this woman, I could see it, and really had wanted kids. I kept looking at him. He still had those gorgeous brown, curly locks that suited him perfectly. His dimples were still there too. He still looked the same, only older and more mature. Looking at his pictures had always made my heart skip, just like what looking at Liam’s pictures made me do. Their perfection was just….well, perfect. It amazed me how 2 different people from their appearances would make me go crazy. Although, Liam always had a more, special place than Harry.

Now, looking at Harry of about ten years later than when I was a teenager, was kind of different. He looked mature, yet still had a cute look. The word “beautiful” still fitted perfectly. He then excused himself to use the bathroom. I scanned him quickly. Yep, still as fit as ever. Maybe even more, I could notice, through the fitted shirt he was wearing.

As the door closed I looked at Liam. I was kind of ashamed, as I had really looked at Harry, and honestly liked what I saw. But who wouldn’t?

“You know, don’t you?” he asked, “You know who he is and everything.”

I looked into his brown eyes that I deeply loved and said, “How can I not, Liam?”

He paused and opened his mouth to say something, but closed it again as the door opened and Harry appeared coming in. We continued to talk until the meeting ended and set up another appointment.

When he left we packed our things and left to the car. I was going to his house after work. Not a word was said since the moment Harry was excused. I guess everything was going to be said when we arrive at his house. I honestly didn’t know whether to feel scared or not. I just hoped it would go well.

—-

Chapter 10

He opened the door for us and went in. We hung our coats on the coat hanger and went to the living room. We sat on the couch and looked at each other. He was looking at me deeply into the eyes, like he was finding some answers through my eyes. I was trying to figure out what was going on.

“You knew, all along, since we met, didn’t you?” he asked.

I hesitated a little, searching for the right answer, but all I could say was, “yes.”

He sighed loudly and leaned his head back, then shook it a little bit. Oh how I was praying if I could have the power to read minds at that moment.

“I should’ve known. You’re not stupid, and it’s not like there are that many guys with the same name, and same everything. Including the same friend.” I kept looking at him all this time, figuring where this was all going.

I decided I should say something. “Well, I wasn’t a hundred percent sure at first, but I confirmed my thoughts through the days and as I got to know you better. I was a huge, massive fan and I liked you in particular.” I looked down blushing, embarrassed of what I just confessed to my own boyfriend. “I just hope you know that I’m with you for you, and not who you’re supposed to be, or the guy I liked when I was fifteen.”

“Yeah,” he said and then looked at me and grabbed my hand. “Look, I’m sorry; I should’ve told you at one point or another. It’s a big part of my life, and I was going to tell you, just not like this or for now. But Harry kind of said things about the past, unknowingly, and I now think you should know.” He said.

I squeezed his hands a little to make him feel more comfortable and to encourage him to keep going.

“Well as you know everything, I can start to why and how we broke up, okay?” he asked me. I nodded and started to listen intently.

“We were doing great, as you know, but we were not feeling great. We started out as solo artists, auditioning, hoping we could be the next big artist. Then, through it, we ended up together. At first we were shocked but learned to love it; and we did. But how can you feel the same after all those years? When, we all still had that desire of being in the spotlight.” As he said this, I was having some flashbacks. I wondered how many he was having too.

“The more time went on, the more we started to argue on who got the next solo. Some were complaining that they weren’t getting enough solos. They once even turned against me and Harry, just because they thought we got the most solos. But that would blow over quickly. It was a little thing to append.” I remembered that. Even we fans used to complain a little about that.

Liam continued, “The worst parts were when we used to argue on who had the most fans. Every time, it was like a competition between us. I was the least to argue about it. And so did Harry. I was all about the music and making the fans happy. So was Harry. There was something different though. Harry clearly had the most fans, and was even voted on a poll on a very famous gossip site, ‘most likely to have a successful solo career’ and it erupted into yet another argument.”

I also remembered that. I had voted for both Liam and Harry, though Emma voted for Harry a gazillion times. I smiled in my head knowing that she would be so embarrassed and guilty if she was hearing this coming out of Liam’s lips. She’s going to feel like that when I tell her, I thought.

“Why were you the first to leave?” I suddenly asked.

“I was really annoyed and fed up. We didn’t have that same anxiousness and excitement amongst us as before. I decided to leave and the others followed my steps. We kept in contact, just for a few years, and then lost it again. It saddens me, you know. I really had inputted my all in that band, so did the rest, but somehow it flopped along the way.” I could feel the sadness in his voice. I leaned into his chest and he wrapped his arms around my shoulders and started moving his hands up and down my arm. I shivered, but I liked it.

“I don’t get it,” I said, “Harry had a solo career, if you loved it so much, then why didn’t you go for one yourself?” he looked down for a few seconds than looked straight.

“Well, I gave up. I wasn’t that jealous of Harry, at all. I was happy for him, even when he got married. In fact, I’m kind of sad now knowing he’s divorcing.” He said. “I know her a little, his wife; they dated while we were still a band.”

I couldn’t believe he was admitting all this to me. Finally. “Thanks for telling me everything.” I meant that. I had a thought and asked Liam, “Do you wanna have a career again?”

“Sometimes I miss performing, but my life is settled now, I have work, and I have you.” He said looking at me.

“Hey, I would let you have a career, I wouldn’t be like Nicole.” I answered. He chuckled and said, “maybe in a few months or years time, but not for now, really. And thanks baby, I know you wouldn’t.” He kissed me lightly but I deepened it a little.

He pulled away and looked at me and said, “You said that you liked me, did you like Harry too?” he was eying me curiously.

“I did, yes, everyone did Liam.” I thought that was a good answer.

“Do you still like him now?” he asked in a more serious tone.

“He hasn’t changed that much. Liam, I cannot say no, but I don’t have feelings for him, okay? You don’t have to be jealous.”

“I’m not jealous. I’m just asking.” Somehow, I didn’t believe those words.

—-

Chapter 11

As I was getting ready for bed, I remembered the day’s events. Actually, the afternoon’s events. After that talk with Liam, we continued our day just like any other day. Watching TV, cuddling, kissing, and talking. Only, there was something different, from both sides. He was more passionate and demanding, as if telling me something; telling me that he really does want to be with me. I was confused. He said he wasn’t jealous, yet I kept getting these feelings like he is. I tried to not think though, and drifted off to a sleep.

At the office the next day, Harry was to come for another appointment regarding his divorce. I was alone in Liam’s office as he had to go get some papers from court. There was a knock on the door and I said, “Come in” as I continued to sort out some papers. I look up and see Harry walk in.

“Hey there,” he said casually, adding a wink. I felt myself blush and gave him a little smile.

“H-hi Mr. Styles,” crap, I stuttered, but I still continued, “I’m sorry but Liam isn’t here at the moment…he went to pick up some papers but he’ll be back soon…although…you are here a little early.” I said.

“First of all, call me Harry; I don’t like formality, besides we’re all friends here, right?” I nodded and he continued, “Yes, Liam is not here he texted me he was to go for the papers. I also am aware that I’m early, I made myself do that.”

“Do you need something? Like a tea or something while you wait?” I said trying to sound as professional as possible.

“No thank you. All I want is to sit here and talk. With you.” He said casually.

I raised my eyebrow at him, “O-Kay…” What was he saying? I thought.

“Look,” he started, “I know that you’re a smart woman and know who I and Liam are. He’s my best friend, he still is even after all this time, and told me.” Interesting, I thought. “I also know. Am I right?”

God, one was enough. “Yes, you are.” I honestly didn’t have a clue to where he was getting at.

“Good, just wanted to clear that one out, beautiful,” he said as he once again winked at me.

“Excuse me,” I said as I got up to go get a glass of water. I felt like I was sweating, for no apparent reason. Just Harry talking to me made me do that. He surprised me by getting up too.

“Need any help?” he asked and I answered that I didn’t. He still came behind me, and asked, “Did you like me as you liked Liam during the band days?”

As I turned around I said, “The band had five attractive lads, I liked all of you.” We were standing in the middle of the office, our faces not too far apart.

He proceeded to whisper, “Liam is one heck on damn lucky guy. Why? Because he gets himself one heck of a beautiful girlfriend.” With that he kissed me, I was surprised but found myself kissing him back. His lips were soft, but when Liam popped into my head, I instantly, yet reluctantly pulled away. “I think you have to go,” I said, with one thing chanting in my mind.

I cheated. I cheated on my boyfriend. I cheated on my boyfriend with Harry Styles.

—-

Chapter 12

I woke up, sitting, panting uncontrollably, and sweating too. I looked around. I was in my bedroom. I sighed a sigh of relief through my breaths as I realized that that was just a dream. I wish I said it was a nightmare, but it honestly wasn’t. But, why didn’t I dream of Liam? No, I dreamt of Harry fricken Styles.

When I got to the office and walked in I was welcomed by a kiss from Liam. Gosh, I actually think I love him. He’s so sweet and lovely and amazing. As I looked at him I felt something. As if I was… ashamed? But, why would I feel ashamed if I did nothing wrong? Could it be that I was ashamed that I had Harry in my dreams, and not Liam? Was it because Liam would be disappointed if I told him? Was it because I was… having feelings for Harry? I shook my head and thoughts.

Harry walked in through the office door later that morning for an appointment. I was once again sat next to Liam, and Harry as our client, in front of us. As we started our little meeting, I lost myself looking at Harry’s lips. They had felt so soft against my lips in my dream. And he moved them with such passion with mine, in sync. He kissed… beautifully. I suddenly wondered if that’s how he kisses in real life. I shook my head and as I looked up, I see both Liam and Harry staring at me like I was some weirdo. They then looked at each other and chuckled. I turned crimson red, I felt it, just like I felt Liam’s hand rub my thigh after my head shook. Just like I felt Harry’s leg touch mine from under the table. I then put my head back into the meeting and focused.

When the meeting ended, I was a little disappointed when my thoughts were wrongly of Harry leaving. No. He stayed there for a little more chatting with Liam. I didn’t blame them though; they hadn’t seen each other in a long time. So I decided to get up to give them some space but Liam said, “Hey, you can stay here you know. Now it’s you, my girlfriend, and Harry, my best friend.” He smiled too, and I instantly smiled back. Have I ever mentioned how much I love his smile? Probably, ha-ha.

We chatted for about five minutes when Liam said, “How about we go to dinner tonight? Us three? Do you have anything tonight babe?” He asked turning to me.

“No, I’m free.” I said smiling at my handsome boyfriend, and he smiled his signature smile.

“What about you dude?” he asked looking at Harry this time.

Harry smiled at Liam, then at me, and kept his glaze on me as he said, “I have nothing either, so 7?”

“Yeah perfect, I’ll text you where to come.” Liam said. We said our goodbyes and he left.

I sighed as the door closed and Liam asked me if anything was wrong.

“No baby, everything’s fine. I’m just a little tired.” I said, half lying. I wasn’t that tired, but had to say something. Then again, I was tired.

“Oh,” he said, “If you want I can cancel tonight, no biggy.” He said but I disagreed and told him that I couldn’t wait for tonight. Again, half lies. I was looking forward really I mean, it’s nice having your boyfriend take you out, to get to know more his best friend. But I was also lying, as his best friend had to be Harry Styles, out of all the people of the world. Or of all One Direction. I liked Liam, but Harry is Harry! What happened to Larry Stylinson anyway?

I decided to wear a casual, yet smart dress, knee-length. It was purple. I had these lovely black pumps and did my hair a ponytail on one side. I put on my make-up. I decided to put a hint of purple eye-shadow, barely visible. Perfect! I put on my coat and took one last look. I was debating whether or not to call Liam and tell him I’ve come up with something, but decided to not be selfish.

A horn honked. Liam. Great, there’s no going back now Lauren, I thought.

—-

Chapter 13

The restaurant was just a fifteen-minute drive from my house. It was a nice, chic, Chinese restaurant. I had been here a few times, and Liam had taken me to for a couple of dates, and I can delightedly say that it’s one of the best Chinese restaurants in the country. I kind of loved the idea of coming here, as it was one positive thing that was secure for the night.

Liam grabbed my hand as we walked through the door, with the warm temperature around the room. It was a little cold that evening, yet my new black coat felt just amazing on me. We were shown to a table to the far corner of the restaurant by the waiter, and Harry, who was already seated, stood up to greet us.

“Hey man,” he and Liam said together while they did their little cute brotherly hug. A little smile carved my face at the scene. I always loved the group’s bromance, with Harry’s and Louis’ bromance in particular, but yeah, it was still a cute scene.

It was me who was next on Harry’s greeting list. “Looking beautiful tonight Lauren,” he said as he shook his hand as he barely kissed me on my cheeks, as we exchanged kisses. “Thanks,” I answered. I noticed how he didn’t kiss me on my hand this time, probably because he was aware of my boyfriend looking at us. It was good move, though still, I got a little feeling when we had our little greeting. Although, it didn’t last very long, so I didn’t think too much about it, and my infamous dream was slowly fading.

“The lemon chicken here is just amazing,” Liam said as we were all looking at our menus. I giggled at my boyfriend’s statement.

“I guess so, but I have to take a bit of everything, I haven’t been to a Chinese restaurant since forever!” Harry exclaimed. Liam and I laughed with him.

“Why don’t we tell them to give us a little bit of everything on our table and then take as much as we’ll like?” I suggested. The boys nodded their head in a sign of agreement.

“That’s a good idea babe,” Liam said and gave me a kiss on the cheek as a reward. I smiled. I simply loved all these little gestures. Harry pulled his hand up to call the waiter.

The middle-aged waiter made his way to our table. “Hi, I’m John and I will be your waiter for the night. Are you ready to make your order?”

We told him our order and he left off as swiftly as he came by. I excused myself to go the bathroom.  I’ve always went to the ladies’ room after the order is taken at a restaurant. I guess because I had seen my mum doing it all the time. As they say, like mother, like daughter.

I walked into the room and looked for an empty stall. I went in and I couldn’t help but wonder what the two boys at my table were talking about. Were they talking about the divorce? Probably not, as we talk about that at the office. Were they talking about their past years without each other? Probably, and I hoped they would, as I’d be a little bit avoided if they filled each other about the past while I would be there. Were they talking about the band? I hoped that if that came up while I was there, it would get awkward or anything. Then again, why would it get awkward? Were they talking about me? I wondered a little longer about the last one. I hope it was good things that were being said about me. Then again, neither my left, nor right eye was irritating me, so I probably wasn’t a subject to their discussion.

I hadn’t really been in there for long until my thoughts were disrupted by the voices of around five girls squealing excitedly.

“Oh. My. God. It’s Harry Styles,” I heard one say. “AND Liam Payne,” another one said. Another voice said, “I’m going to pass out! I love those two, they were my favorites!! I wonder why they’re here, and alone.”

“I don’t know why, but they’re not alone.” A different voice said. One of the previous girls said, “Oh, then who is with them? Some more members of One Direction? Oh my god maybe they’re getting back together!”

“No, silly, why would they?” That girl said again. “Liam’s girlfriend is with them, I saw her.”

“That just sucks,” that same girl said. “Now we can’t go and flirt with them, because Liam’s ugly, stupid girlfriend is with them.” Geez, easy there, it’s not like Liam’s girlfriend, a.k.a., me was there listening right?

The girl who had spotted me said, “Even if she didn’t, Harry’s married. Just forget all your imaginations Cara, and grow up. They don’t know you exist!” Somehow, I love this girl.

“I don’t care! Liam was and always will be the guy I love. You think just because he has a girlfriend that will stop me of getting myself noticed? Look at me; I am much better than that skank he’s with.” That really annoying girl, Cara, was getting on my nerves now.

I went out of the stall and moved straight forward to wash my hands, pretending I didn’t hear anything. I had a little smirk on when I saw all the shocked faces staring at me.

“Goodbye girls,” and with that I went out and back to the table.  I had a feeling that the night was going to be interesting and long at the same time. I had a dilemma figuring out if it was pro or a con. I just hoped that that girl, Cara, wouldn’t do anything she’ll regret. Still, as I walked to the table, one person was on my mind. A person whose name invaded my mind after listening to those girls and it scared the hell out of me. Nicole Styles.

—-

 Chapter 14

Her image suddenly invaded my mind. I’ve never met the woman. I built her image in my head on what I vaguely remembered from the time they dated when the band was still around. I honestly never really obsessed over who they would be dating. Never googled the girls and most importantly never hated them. Yes, I would feel a tiny bit jealous… what do you expect? I was obsessed with the boys and just like every other girl, would give anything to have a boyfriend like one of them.

When I would be on the internet and read an article on which girl one of the boys would be dating, I’d scroll to the comments and instantly feel bad for the girl. As lucky as she would be to have an amazing boyfriend, she would also have just gotten herself into one of the most obsessive fandoms ever! We were so… protective, almost, of the boys. Hate comment after a hate comment and then the occasional “If he’s happy I’m happy” mantra.

Never did I expect that I would be the next girl to hate on next. I was already imagining an internet article headed “LIAM PAYNE’S HEART STOLEN BY NEW GIRL” or “WHO IS LIAM PAYNE’S NEW GIRLFRIEND?”  followed by dozens of hate comments and possible death threats. But then again, the fans are ten years older now; surely they are more mature, no? Those girls certainly proved otherwise.

Then it hit me- how could they even know that we are dating? Yes we walked around hand in hand and all that, but none of the band members are being mobbed anymore. The spotlight has faded. Or almost, since word got out that I was his new “girlfriend”.

All this about how it got out and of course- Nicola- went through my brain as I made my back to the table.

There they were, just as I left them. Lost in conversation. I almost had the sudden urge to turn around and go back to the ladies’ rooms. They clearly looked like they were enjoying catching up, I didn’t want to impose and be a third wheel. However I concluded I rather listen to them talk about their past then having to face those girls again. I assumed it would be taking them a long time until they emerge out of the bathroom. Probably plotting something against me.

Why would they even do that? Like that girl said, the boys don’t even know they exist! Just like they didn’t know I exist. But now they do; so much, that I am dating one of them! But what could they possibly have the nerve to do to me? I’ve never done anything to them. If they do anything anyway.

I smiled at the boys as I approached out table. I tried to forget about those girls. They are young, I thought, there’s no big deal about it! I reassured myself.

“So what have you boys been talking about?” I said casually.

“Nothing much,” said Liam with a smile on his face as he looked at Harry for a second then glanced back at me, “Just catching up on some things; family, you…”

“We weren’t saying anything negative about you, don’t worry,” Harry said as he too smiled his famous smiled, showing his pearly whites.

I laughed at his comment, “Well thank you, Harry for your reassurance.” I looked at Liam and said, “I would have assumed I would be one of your many topics anyway.” We all chuckled at this statement of truth.

Harry continued with his usual humour, “We would ask you what you we were doing, but I think we all know what one is up to in the bathroom.” We all laughed at this.

Oh you have no idea how wrong you are, I thought. Not that that he was completely wrong, but I’m sure none of the two would assume that I was also a topic of an interesting discussion there too.

The food came. Ah, Chinese. It’s probably my favourite cuisine. And I know Liam knows that. He often brings me here to eat. I never argue of course.

It was a nice dinner overall. Conversation was flowing, and there was quite the laughing going on. Especially when Harry came up with the ingenious idea of using chopsticks. I could hardly swallow my food at one point when I saw Harry trying to pick his food with these oriental utensils. It was hilarious how every time he would try to eat the food, it just drops back to his plate.

“Oh come on”, he would say with his famous, soothing voice. Poor lad, just trying to eat.

Of course part of the conversation was recalling some memories from the time the band was still together. I was happy to note that they were making me a part of this reminiscing.

“I admit, I was hesitant into agreeing,” Liam said, recalling the day they were put together as a group. “I was on the show 2 years before, and Simon at the Judges’ Houses round had told me to return after my GCSE’s, and that’s what I did. Obviously my mind was set and determined even more that my first time of being on the show. I wanted to get through so badly. I experienced the ‘no’ and the thought of hearing it again- especially at Bootcamp- was just horrendous! I had to get through. And when I didn’t I was devastated. I couldn’t believe it.”

I could see the pain in his eyes. The pain he had felt that day. I stroked his arm as I said, “But you did make it, much further than before.”

“Oh yes,” he said smiling, “I did. We did.” He looked at Harry as he said that last sentence. “It still was a hard decision to make, you know, when the realization of not having a solo career hit me. That’s why I was the last to confirm.”

“Nah. I agreed instantly… I would have deeply regretted it had I not  said ‘yes’!” Harry exclaimed.

“Oh don’t worry,” Liam said with a smile, “I certainly didn’t regret that decision. That was the best one I ever made in my life. The other one, however, I still regret it to this day. I miss it all.”

I felt so bad when he said that. How could I feel annoyed at those girls? They were just five, not a thousand! No, I could never, ever, be the one to deprive him of his career. I could see it in his eyes. He wanted it, as badly as he did when he was seventeen. And I was not going to be an obstacle in his way.

“Do it. Go for it. You want this and you know it,” I said looking at him, with a smile. But I panicked when I came to the realization, that the smile, was a fake one.

—-

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