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One Dream

“Oh my God! That’s Harry Styles!” My head snaps up at the shrill shout. A girl across the avenue points with her other hand over her mouth. Her friends shout and squeal beside her. They make chase when the tall, curly-headed boy runs. ‘Harry’ looks up to meet my eyes with an amused smile. I nod at him as he braces his hands on his knees to catch his breath. The girls, who had doubled in number during the chase, swarm him. “Harry!” “Harry, wow, will you sign this?” “Can I get a picture?” “Harry!”
I laugh, shaking my head as I watch him. I can barely hear him, but I know what he’d be saying. Even as he stands for pictures and signs things with his name, he’ll be telling them he’s not Harry. He’s not, so it’s a good thing that he tells them the truth. The likeness is striking though, so I don’t blame these girls, or any of the ones who had come before them.
Once he’s out of the fray, he moseys over to me, a slightly irritated smile playing at his lips. “Vonny,” Ronan sighs as he falls, defeated, into the chair opposite mine. We’ve been coming to this same café for two years, but now he is attacked almost daily. Oh, the woes of looking like One Direction. “Should we switch to an indoor one?” He asks and I shake my head. We’ve had this conversation too many times over the past couple months.
“Relax, Rone. Anyone else would be excited to have that type of attention.” I push his coffee towards him, taking a sip of my tea. He hates the attention and it confuses me. I don’t think I’d mind it too much.
“Vonny, I hate this. I have no peace at all.” Ronan grabs my hands over the table and squeezes gently. He flinches when we both hear the sound of a camera clicking. “See?” He lets me go and sits back, running his hand through his fringe.
I smile at him, slowly baring my teeth and crossing my eyes until he smiles back. “Don’t take it too hard.” Leaning over the table, I punch his shoulder. Ronan stands up and offers me his hand. I take it and hop down off of the tall stool. He releases me once my feet are on the ground. I shoulder my bag and we grab our drinks.
The University is only a couple blocks from the café and our apartment building is behind it. We’d met two years ago at orientation when he had literally knocked me over. We’ve been best friends ever since and our friendship had lasted through all the attention he gets and all the hate I get.
We round the corner to the apartments and then take the steps two at a time. There were girls sitting outside of the building, waiting. When they saw us they made chase. Upstairs, Ronan slams and locks the door behind us. He looks over at me, catching his breath.
“That’s new.” He leans against the door and smiles at me. I nod and move into the kitchen to set down my drink. “Do you think we’ll need to change the locks?” Ronan says from behind me.
I turn and fix him with a look. “Don’t be so dramatic, Rone.”
“Von, I’m not being dramatic. I’m being practical.” Ronan groans, sliding onto the counter next to me. “As the boys get more popular, so do we. I’m just being cautious.” He takes his ringing phone out of his pocket; it drowns in the roomy embrace.
I smile appreciatively at his hands. They’re lean, strong hands that have me spiraling back in time.
I whispered my awe in a series of small gasps as I wandered the University’s grounds. Everything in London was beautiful. Everything in England was beautiful. Everything in the United Kingdom was beautiful. Sure, I was biased. I’d only loved everything remotely English since I was a small girl. That changed nothing. My American upbringing didn’t change the fact that I was living and breathing English style and intellect.
I was an hour early for freshman orientation, though they called it something different here, and set about wandering the grounds. I’d only been at it for ten minutes, at most, when a blur of long limbs and wild hair barreled into me. We fell into an uncomfortable tangle by the University’s front fountain.
“I am so sorry.” The boy extricated his legs from mine, yanking them painfully away. “Are you alright? I’m sorry.” He grinned when I scowled at him. “You’re alright enough to be angry with me.” He nodded to himself and held his hand out politely.
“Thanks,” I mumbled, taking his hand and standing up.
“American!” The boy crowed excitedly. “You’re American,” He lowered his voice and sounded like he thought he should be rewarded for giving me this information.
“I am,” I couldn’t help but smile back. “You don’t sound very British, yourself.”
He smiled shyly. “I’m Ronan,” and he offered his hand as we stood awkwardly. “I’m not from here. I’m from Vancouver.”
“Canada? Wow, that’s so cool.” I bent and picked up my phone off of the ground. “I’m Ana. Hi, Ronan.”
Ronan’s smile widened and dimples made a spectacular entrance. My breath caught a weird hitch in my throat and sent me coughing into oblivion. He placed a concerned hand between my shoulder blades and set to patting my back. When I could breathe properly again I glanced up at him, embarrassed. Oh my, but his eyes were so pretty. The most amazing blue I had ever seen and with the grey flecks dusted around his pupils.
“So what brings you to London for schooling?” Ronan asked and we started walking towards the front entrance of the university.
Ronan growls unintelligibly in front of me and stuffs his phone back into his pocket, pulling me out of the past.
“Twitter?” I ask as I turn and pull a tray of lasagna out of the fridge. Glancing up at him, I slide it into the waiting oven.
“Yeah,” Ronan shifts on the counter. “You know that people think my account is Harry’s fake one? Like, how obvious would that be? It’s not a proper fake if there are real pictures of you on it.” He shakes his head and grins down at me.
“Aside from all of that, are we doing our video tonight?” I lean against the counter next to him.
“We can do it right now,” He replies, snaking an arm around my shoulders. His fingers twist in my loose curls.
Ten minutes later Ronan is pressing the record button on our camera. We have it hooked up to my laptop and are filming live on our blog. We’ve been running the blog for a year and have been faithfully posting videos every week since the first. Ronan comes to sit on the back of the couch with his guitar balanced on his knee.
“Hullo,” He smiles into the camera and waves. “Welcome to our 50th video. To celebrate, Vonny is going to sing.” Ronan waves his hand towards me and I drop a small curtsey.
“We’ve got to be quick, though, our lasagna is baking.” I smile and nod at Ronan; his cue to start playing.
The guitar chords fill the room, making me close my eyes in silent release. I sway to the lilting tones, smiling softly and almost missing my start.
“Am I asleep, am I awake, or somewhere in between?
I can’t believe that you are here and lying next to me
Or did I dream that we were perfectly entwined?
Like braches on a tree, or twigs caught on a vine.
And all the days and weeks and months I tried to steal a kiss
And all the sleepless nights and daydreams where I pictured this
I’m just the underdog who finally got the boy
And I am not ashamed to tell it to the world.”
Ronan joins his soft, low voice with my soft and rocky voice.
“Truly, madly, deeply
I am foolishly, completely falling
And somehow you kicked all my walls in
So, Baby say you’ll always keep me
Truly, madly, crazy, deeply in love with you
In love, with you”
When we finish we both stand and bow. Two minutes later Ronan is telling everyone about the attacks he’s been experiencing. Our viewers bounce up and down for a while before they stick at a whopping 300. I nudge Ronan to show him and he freezes midsentence.
“You sang, Vonny! They loved it. Yes. Yes. Yes.” He pumps his fists up with each word, shaking the couch.
“Ronan,” I complain and slide off the arm of the trembling furniture. “You talk, I need to go and check our dinner.” Ronan swings his arm back as I walk by, his fingers skim my hip. “You missed!” I shout as I skip into the kitchen.
“No I didn’t!” Ronan shouts back. I shake my head and pull the oven door open, squinting into the wave of heat. After my eyes adjust I stand back up to find an oven mitt. I place the lasagna on the smooth glass stove-top and wave the mitt over the top of it.
“Rone,” I call as I place two mats, plates, cups, and sets of silverware on the bar. He stands up, bringing the camera with him, and films me cutting a square of lasagna to put on his plate. “Ronan. Food, not film; it’s dinnertime.” I chastise, swatting his hand away.
“She’s upset that I complimented her,” He tells the camera and I just shake my head. Ronan sets the camera up so that it can catch both of us as we sit down. “Vonny makes the most perfect lasagna.”
“I’m sure they have better things to do than watch us eat.” But he’s already shaking his head at the camera. I look towards the camera, too, and direct my next question at our viewers. “Is this fun? Watching us eat seems like a boring way to go.”
“They’ll hardly die from the exposure.” Ronan grins around the huge, cheesy bite he has in his mouth. “Now who’s being dramatic, miss Vonny?”
“I’m not being dramatic.” I swallow and chase it down with a quick sip of the white wine I’d put out.
“I can’t believe you’re drinking, Von.” Ronan gasps and gulps his own wine. “What would your mother say?”
I almost choke on the bite I’m chewing. “She called last night like usual, right? I told her we were going out and she freaked. I mean a definite only-moms-can-freak-out-like-this freak-out. ‘You’re going drinking? Makenzie you are 20. You are not old enough to be drinking’ I told her that the legal age was 18 in London. She started screaming again, telling me that that was the only reason I wanted to come to school here.” We were both doubled over our plates, laughing by the time I was done relaying my story.
“Oh, Vonny they didn’t know your name was Makenzie.” Ronan places an inoffensive hand on my thigh, still laughing. I try to ignore the way my body goes on high alert, tingling around his splayed fingers. “Vonny here’s name isn’t actually Vonny. Her name is Makenzie Paige Wilkes.” His hand drops and I can breathe again.
“I write fan fictions, though, and there’s one that Rone read.” I shake my head, hoping my voice doesn’t sound half as breathy to everyone else as it does to me. “The main girl’s name is Devonny (because I really like the Victorian era’s names?) Ronan started calling me by her nickname.”
My mind spins back to the day I’d caught him on my fanfiction account.
I unlocked the door to his apartment and then stashed his spare key under the metallic instruction card, behind the fire extinguisher. “Hey, Ronan did you know that someone else puts their spare under the extinguisher, too?” I asked him as I took off my coat and unwound my scarf.
He glanced up from his computer and his eyes were kind of glazed. It was a look I knew well, we’d read fics in each other’s presence before. It was his I’m-in-another-world look. Ronan smiled. “Yeah I noticed the other day when I went to hide mine.”
“What are you reading?” I tossed my coat up, trying to catch it on a hook. It took me three tries before it stuck; I tucked my scarf into the pocket.
Ronan wrapped his arms around his laptop, possessively. “Nothing. I’m not reading anything, don’t worry about it.”
“Honestly, Ronan?” I shook my head and sat next to him on the couch.
“So… You and Vonny are a lot alike.” Ronan ventured after a couple minutes of me staring him down.
I gaped at him, in complete shock. “You… You read my fanfiction?”
“Plural, fanfictions…” He stressed the S on the end. “You won’t be angry for long, Vonny. You can’t stay mad at your best friend.”
I glance over at him, my best friend, and find myself, again, unable to look away. I shake my head to pull myself out of the past. “Is there anyone who calls me Makenzie? I mean besides everyone in the States.”
Something changes in Ronan’s eyes and before I realize what he’s doing, he leans forward and takes my chin. “No. No I don’t think there is.” He smiles a soft, sweet smile. “What’s wrong, Max?” My eyes close of their own accord and I shake my head. I barely hear his low intake of breath, but I know he understands why I’ve been weird the past couple weeks.
And then he’s kissing me. Gently, gently and I melt under the affection. “I’m sorry,” I whisper when he pulls back.
“Don’t be,” Ronan whispers, his lips brushing my cheek before he sits back. “Right, then. Who else is excited that One Direction will be home next week?” He grins at the camera, and the only sign that he felt anything was the soft light still in his eyes. We finish our dinner like nothing’s happened; we talk about being at the airport to see the boys in.
X
Harry tilts his head back, letting it rest against the couch under him. “What’re you looking at over there, Niall?” He asks, narrowing his eyes to see his blonde band mate better.
“Who is Vonny?” Niall turns in his chair but keeps his eyes on the screen. In the photoset Harry and this Vonny girl are sitting in a café and Harry’s got her hands in his. The second picture had Harry smiling at the ground with his hand in Vonny’s. The third one was them walking towards the university, the girl was doubled over and laughing. The fourth one was a gif of Harry playing the guitar while she sang.
Harry’s hand tightens on the blonde’s shoulder. “That’s…not me,” He stares at the screen and at the boy who looks exactly like him. “Look, there’s a link to the video the gif came from.” Niall clicks it and they wait for it to load.
‘Vonny shifts her weight from foot to foot, smiling past the camera. Her image rattles a bit as the camera shakes. ‘Harry’ comes into view and sits on the back of the couch, balancing a guitar on his knee. “Hullo,” He smiles into the camera and waves. “Welcome to our 50th video. To celebrate, Vonny is going to sing.” ‘Harry’ waves his hand towards the girl and she drops a small curtsey.’
“She’s cute,” Niall says and Harry hushes him.
‘Vonny grins, “We’ve got to be quick, though, our lasagna is baking.” She nods at ‘Harry’; his cue to start playing.
The guitar chords fill the room and Vonny closes her eyes in silent release. She sways to the lilting tones, smiling softly. She jumps a bit and then opens her mouth to sing.
“Am I asleep, am I awake, or somewhere in between?
I can’t believe that you are here and lying next to me
Or did I dream that we were perfectly entwined?
Like braches on a tree, or twigs caught on a vine.
And all the days and weeks and months I tried to steal a kiss
And all the sleepless nights and daydreams where I pictured this
I’m just the underdog who finally got the boy
And I am not ashamed to tell it to the world.”
‘Harry’ joins in.
“Truly, madly, deeply
I am foolishly, completely falling
And somehow you kicked all my walls in
So, Baby say you’ll always keep me
Truly, madly, crazy, deeply in love with you
In love, with you”
When they finish he bows and Vonny curtseys again.’
“Wow,” They say in unison. Her voice is an almost perfect mix of Perrie’s and Cher’s. The boy who looks like Harry has a voice, too, but he doesn’t sound anything like Harry when he sings.
‘”So today something new happened. I told you guys last week that I got attacked at the café, right? Well today there were girls outside of our building!” ‘Harry’ began as Vonny took his guitar and put it away. “I gave up today and took pictures with them at the café. I honestly feel bad for Harry if that’s what he deals with every day. Want to hear something funny? I-” the girl nudges him with her elbow and points at the screen of her laptop.
They stare at each other for a solid minute before he explodes, throwing his arms up. “You sang, Vonny! They loved it! Yes. Yes. Yes.” He pumps his fists.
“Ronan,” She complains and stands up from the arm of the couch.’
Niall shrugs and looks up at Harry. “He’s not pretending to be you. The fans think he is you and pretending not to be, but he seems to dislike the attention.” They watch him try to hit the Vonny girl. “I think he really only wants her attention.”
They watch the video in silence for a couple minutes. “Look,” Harry points out that the boy’s arm had moved and that Vonny’s face changed in response. “Wonder what he’s doing,”
When the two teens on screen kiss, Niall and Harry sit back from the laptop. The curly lad reaches up and stops the video when Ronan starts talking about One Direction.
Louis is standing behind them but neither notice until he pokes Harry in the shoulder. “That boy looks like you, Haz.” Niall jumps and turns to face the older lad. “Who is he? Who is that girl?” Harry shrugs.
“Maybe we’ll find out when we get back home?”
X

“Vonny! We’re on Alan Carr!” Ronan calls from the living room and I stumble into the room to join him on the couch. My mouth falls open when I look at the screen.




X

One Direction sits, all jostled together, on the couch in Alan Carr’s studio. On the screen between them and the host is a video of what looks like Harry and an unknown girl. They are singing together, but it’s not Harry’s voice.
“Oh, that’s Vonny.” Niall sits forward excitedly. “I bet Rone’s mad that he’s on TV as you.” He turns to direct the last part at Harry.




X

Ronan and I are staring blankly at each other, not quite screaming yet.



X

Alan smiles and leans forward, resting his elbows on his knees. “Who is Vonny?”
“She’s a girl who lives in London.” Louis offers with a coy smile, glancing over at Harry and Niall. “What?” He asks their dirty looks.
“They don’t want all that attention, Lou.” Niall whispers but the whole room hears him because of the mic. He sighs. “That’s Vonny and Ronan. He really looks like Harry, but he’s not. If you watch the whole video you’ll see that he has a funny accent. He doesn’t sound like Harry at all. He’s good- great, even- but he doesn’t sound like Harry at all.”
Alan nods before turning his attention to Harry. “How do you feel about this boy getting attention from your fans?”
“I think he’s doing pretty well for himself. I can’t tell you how many tweets I got a while ago, asking me why I’d signed things Ronan rather than Harry. I got more tweets asking who Vonny was and I just decided to do a big tweet, explaining it.” Harry dimples and sits back, tilting his head to the side when Niall leans towards him.
Liam draws everyone’s attention from the whispering pair. “I think they deserve their own fans. Did you hear them sing, Alan? They’re really good together.”



X

“Are you recording this?” I choke out. Ronan nods, it was a dumb question; he always records Chatty Man. “Shut the TV off. I can’t.” I was past hyperventilating; I couldn’t breathe at all. My heart’s pounding in my throat and my mouth is open and gaping.

Ronan walks woodenly to the TV set and turns it off. He sinks to the floor in front of it and looks over at me. “Were we… Vonny, we were on… They knew our names.” His hands are suddenly in his hair, pulling. Then I'm there calmly extricating his fingers from his curls.

“Ronan, it’s okay.” I was used to his panic attacks by now. If you calmed him down before it got really bad, you could avoid the entire thing. He wraps his arms tight around me, constricting my chest.

“Oh, God.” Ronan mumbles into my loose hair, against my neck. “Max,” I shush him and stroke his back, trying to calm him. After a couple minutes he’s calmed down, but he keeps his arms around me. We sit like we are for at least ten minutes before he moves to stand up. “Sorry,” Ronan says quietly.

I take the hand he offers to pull me up with. “Ssh, it’s okay.” He smiles a watery smile before scrubbing self-consciously at his eyes.

Ronan stares at me for a while and I just stare back, smiling shyly.

“We’re on TV!” He breaks finally and scoops me up into a spin. I throw my arms around his neck, laughing. “God, that was- what? Three months ago, I think, is when we made that video.” I nod when he sets me down.

“Did you see how they were talking about us? It was like they knew us!” I pull on his hand excitedly and then take on an Irish accent. “I bet Rone’s mad that he’s on TV as you.” Ronan smiles wide, dimpling down at me.

“He looked so excited when you came on. Oh, that’s Vonny.” He leans down to kiss my forehead and I smile up at him. “Looks like you’ve got an admirer,” Ronan straightens and, after flicking my nose, walks into the kitchen.


@NiallOfficial

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@NiallOfficial is Now Following You!


I’m picking up the pillows we’d thrown earlier and putting them back on the couch when my phone buzzes with the tweets from Niall. I bite back a scream and continue cleaning with Hollywood-worthy faked calm. “Rone, are you driving me to Rosa’s?”

He pokes his head around the wall; shirt in his hand. “Yeah, let me get my keys and some shoes on.”

Ten minutes later we’re outside Nandos, getting lunch on our way to Rosamine’s. “Hallo, here is your sandwich and your Caesar salad. That’ll be - Oh my gosh! You’re Vonny! I just watched you on Alan Carr.” The girl handing our food through the car window squeals, almost dropping the bag.

“Hello, dear.” I smile and she practically screams.

“Can I have a picture? I’ve got my mobile here in my pocket.” She pushes our food past me to Ronan and steps back to let me out. I get out of the car, smiling apologetically at the people waiting behind us. The girl, Ella, hands me her phone. I take an awkward picture and glance up at her. “You’re so tiny, I didn’t notice. I’ll take it, yeah?” I nod and hand her back her phone.

“Vonny, you’ll be late.” Ronan reminds me through the open window but I ignore him. Ella’s mouth drops open. “Vonny is going to be late, love.” He pleads with her.

“I’m sorry, Vonny. I didn’t know I was making you late.” Ella trips over herself to apologize.

“Here, we’ll take one quickly and maybe Ronan will be able to keep his hair on. I’ve got at least thirty minutes until I need to be at Rosamine’s.” I smile and shrug. Ella grins back nervously before leaning in close to me. I slip an arm around her waist and smile into the camera.

“Thank you so much, Vonny!” She skips back as I get back in the car.

“You’re welcome, sweetie. Have a good day, yeah? Bye!” Ronan peels out of the Nandos parking lot. I turn to him with an irritated look on my face. “Rone, we have a good half hour before I need to be at work.”

His lips quirk up into a crooked smile as I watch him. “I know. But if you’d taken any longer it would have cut into the time that I want to spend kissing you.” He shrugs, glancing over at me.

My mouth pops open and I stare openly at him. “Ronan,” He parks in the alley behind Rosamine’s and looks over at me.

“Max,” He smiles.

Ronan reaches over the console for me, but I shake my head. His smile slips and he looks out the window for a while. After almost two completely silent minutes he’s out of his door and around to my side. He opens the door and hauls me out of the car. Once I'm trapped against the metal frame to his satisfaction, he leans down.

“Why not, Max?” His eyes are wide and imploring. I can’t look away and his lips twitch up into a shy smile. “Do you want me to kiss you?”

My eyes close and then flutter open. “I’m… I-” I swallow hard, trying to ignore the blush heating my cheeks.

Ronan’s nose skims across the corner of my mouth, up over my cheek and to my temple. He presses a chaste kiss to my forehead.

“One,” He whispers and kisses the tip of my nose, making me smile in spite of myself. “Small,” The left corner of my lips tingles under his soft kiss. “Kiss,” And he’s kissing me. Gently, gently and I melt.

He breaks away, smiling, and I surprise us both by pulling him back to me. My fingers curl possessively around his unzipped jumper. We stay how we are for long seconds that stretch into longer minutes, enjoying the slow, sweet kiss.

“Max,” Ronan breathes in elation when I’ve finally released him. His arms around my shoulders, cradle me against his chest while my arms hold tight around his waist. “Max,” He says again and I can hear the smile in his voice.

“We can’t-”

He shushes me. “I’m not asking you for a relationship, Max.” Ronan brushes my hair down my back, letting his fingers twist and tangle in it. “I know we can’t have a relationship. We’re both nuts, it wouldn’t work out.”

I pull him closer, closing my eyes. “What are you asking for then?”

“This,” He whispers and I look up at him, letting my chin rest on his chest. “Just because we can’t date doesn’t mean I don’t love you. I love you to pieces, Max. I understand that when you have a boyfriend we won’t have this, but I wouldn’t hold that against you. You know that we’re too good of friends for even our jealousy of each other’s love interests to come between what we have.” Ronan doesn’t take his eyes off of mine as he talks. “Who did I come to with every issue I had with Delilah last year? You hated her, but you wanted me happy. We get each other, Max. We’re both mental. We both hate everyone and want each other. You can’t tell me you don’t love me. Love recognizes love.”

“I do love you,” I feel my mouth slip into a frown. “Would that feel like cheating, though?”

Ronan sighs. “It didn’t when I was with Delilah. It felt like I was with my best friend. The one person in the known universe, who knows me better than anyone else in the world, is you. The person I am so comfortable with that I can laze around with all day in barely anything is you.”

I smile and hide my blush against his chest, remembering specific examples of our lazy movie days. Ronan tightens his hold with one arm, releasing me with the other. He tips my chin up and kisses me softly.

“Go to work.” He lets me go and steps back. “I’ll pick you up later, alright? Text me when,”

I pull my kit, portfolio, and lunch out of the backseat. “Okay,” Every day that he drops me off, he kisses me on the cheek to say goodbye and I lift my face in anticipation for it.

Ronan dimples down at me and leans in to brush his lips over mine. “Bye. Love you,” he whispers.

I smile widely up at him. “Bye. Love you, too.”

He waits until I’ve skipped up to the door to Rosamine’s before getting in the car to leave.

“Your stitching set,” Miss Deborah calls as I hang up my messenger bag.

I wander into the back room and switch on the light. The dress that

I’ve been working on for the past two days looks almost ready. After opening my kit and putting on my work lamp I set to bunching the skirt the way Jada likes. Jada is my best customer and she always asks for custom, hand-made ball gowns.

I write down the stitches I use for future reference and sketch out my fabric patterns. They are all custom designs and I never do the same thing twice. When I first started working for Rosamine's, I didn’t have my notebooks full of measurements. I was a mess and couldn’t replicate my own work. I could only make something similar, just as good, but not the same. The second month here I started up a notebook that quickly changed into three and then four notebooks. I have several sketchbooks dedicated to ideas I haven’t fleshed out yet.

The needle pulls taught and I pinch the thread between my teeth as I scribble the stitch I used to pin up the skirt. As an afterthought I sketch out a girl in the dress with her hair up in a braided up-do.

The easy routine of sewing, stabbing my fingers, biting off the ends of threads, scribbling out measurements, and sketching designs takes over my mind. I’m finally able to take a deep, centering breath. As I sew I cautiously let my mind wander towards my earlier conversation with Ronan.

Honestly, I think we’d be okay the way we’re going. I know that we really do have the type of relationship he was telling me about. He knows my reservations in being with him in the way he wants. Ronan’s my best friend and I love him… I love him to pieces, but I feel like I can’t have him unless I have all of him. We can’t work out in a boyfriend-girlfriend scene. We both know that. But if I love him…?

“How’s it coming?” Miss Deborah leans against the doorway.

“It’s done now.” I tug on the hems and clusters of the bright blue skirt. After testing my stitches, I hold it up for her inspection. When her shrewd face morphs into a smile I know it’s done. “Will Jada like this one, do you think? It’s different than the usual ones I make her.”

“She’ll love it. C’mon, you have customers out here.” I follow her out to the front of the shop and freeze when shrieks fill the air.

“I TOLD YOU SHE WORKED HERE!” “I THOUGHT ELLA WAS LYING! OHMIGOSH!” “VONNY!” “MAKENZIE PAIGE WILKES IS STANDING RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME.”

“Hi, do you have dresses you would like me to alter, or maybe a custom design you’ve been thinking of?” I ask calmly.

After a beat of stunned silence, the tallest of the cluster steps forward. “I have a dinner party that my father is forcing me to go to. If you have anything?”

I pull my portfolio out and put it on the counter between us. “Do you have any specific parameters you’d like to set?” she gives me a blank look and I point at the first option, which is a navy blue taffeta ball gown. “I can make one like this. I can take off the sleeves and give it a sweetheart neck…” I eye her, noting the curves hidden in her giant sweater.

“Bodice fit, too, and take the waist to a point in the back. I think a corset top would really accentuate your figure.”

“Would you like to try on some of her pieces so you can see what you like?” Miss Deborah asks, smiling sweetly at the girl in front of me.

“Please,”

I turn to the other girls as my newest client is led away. “Let’s sit down, shall we? We can find dresses for you guys as well.” We crowd around a table and I spread out my sketches and my pictures of finished work.

“This is lovely.” A pleasantly curvy and slightly plump girl gushes over my favorite dress.

Miss Snarky Face fixes her with a look. “Lana that dress would look terrible on you.” The group of girls glare pointedly at Miss Snarky Face until she walks out of the shop with a huff.

I reach a finger out to tap the back of Lana’s hand. “I think it would look very nice on you. You have a beautiful figure for this type of dress. We could drop the back out and lace it in. There’s a boning to hold the shape of the bodice, so don’t be nervous.” I smile warmly at her and go into detail about colors and the way the skirt could be filled to show off her petite body.

Miss Deborah calls me into the back room. “Tinley, can you get these girls’ names and sizes? They know the numbers they want; can you write that down for me, too? Special order,” I plead with the new intern as I rush behind the counter.

A vision in a plum sweetheart gown beams down at me when I get into the back room. Miss Deborah has a tape measure around her neck and she grins at me. I know it’s because I always have one around my neck and a pin cushion bracelet melded with my wrist. “Jenna says she loves this one. She loves everything about it.”

I motion for her to spin. “Are you sure you don’t want the corset implemented? It wouldn’t cost more if that’s the worry. I was planning on fixing this bodice anyways; there’s a tear.”

Jenna shakes her head, grinning. “I love this, Vonny. How much is it?”

“We don’t do payments like that. You open a tab and at the end of the month you pay your billing.” I explain as I move around her, lifting and tucking awkward folds of the dress. “I’m going to get this fitted properly. You can pick it up later today; say two hours? Or you can come in tomorrow for it, if you want to wait.”

Two hours later Jenna is skipping out of the door with a garment bag held carefully in her outstretched arms.

*Ronan, busy day. Come pick me up?*

His reply comes almost immediately.

*You’re all over tumblr, what did you do?
I’ll be there in five minutes…*

I gather my things and walk outside to wait. I’m all over tumblr? That Ella girl must’ve been a pretty big deal that I’d gotten attacked at the shop because of her. I mentally kick myself and file away the warning not to go willingly into photo op situations. The tumblr thing was because of Niall, I knew that much.

Ronan takes my things and puts them in the backseat before gathering me into his arms. “I missed you.”

I smile shyly and wrap my arms loosely around his neck. “It was only six hours-” His lips interrupt my reply and I kiss him with childish abandon. We both hear the sound of feet thumping on the concrete and then the sounds of cameras clicking. Instead of pulling back, Ronan holds me tighter and deepens the kiss.

“Niall tweeted you,” He says as I’m buckling my seat belt.

I nod distractedly, scrolling through all my mentions on my phone. “I’m going to have to take my phone off my twitter.” I slip it back into my pocket.

“How many mentions did you have?” Ronan pulls out onto the highway and turns the radio on as he asks.

“My phone said two hundred when I texted you earlier, but it’s grown quite a bit. And now I’ve gotten millions of followers.” I grumble, looking out of the window. When long smooth fingers curl around my fist, I relax and turn my gaze to Ronan’s face.

On my laptop I go about taking my phone off of twitter. I go to Niall’s page and click on the DM option.


Direct Messages with NiallOfficial

@NiallOfficial Hey, what is it?

@NiallOfficial oh and just wanted to say (scream) thank you for following me. X


I wait for a couple minutes, staring at my laptop screen blankly. When he doesn’t reply I stand up and go into the kitchen to make myself some tea. I walk back into the living room, not expecting anything because I assumed he was just offline. There’s a message from him, though.


Direct Messages with NiallOfficial

@NiallOfficial Hey, what is it?

@NiallOfficial oh and just wanted to say (scream) thank you for following me. X

@OfficiallyMaks You’re welcome, Vonny. I wanted to know if I could have your # or your Skype? I trust you not to give mine out, if you’re worried about that.

@NiallOfficial EdJDB1D is my Skype. I’m getting a new phone soon, so I’ll give you that one.


Almost immediately my laptop makes a Skype noise and the calling box pops up. “Hey,” I answer and when Niall’s face comes on I hold up a finger to tell him to wait. “I need to… I’ll be right back.” Since no one was in my apartment with me I only had on a giant sweater.

I scoot quickly off the couch and down the hallway to my bedroom. I slip into some leggings, glance at my reflection, and frown. I look different with my glasses on, and the panda beanie isn’t exactly helping my hair. I look down at my sweater and my smile comes back. It says: shut up Woman, get on my horse. It’s backless except for a big bow that holds the shoulders together.

“You’re back!” Niall’s Irish accent tinkles through my laptop’s speakers when I sit down.

I smile at his image. “I am. Hi Niall, how’re you?” I open Chrome again and get on tumblr to check out what people are saying about me.

“I’m great! What are you doing?” He smiles and glances down at something out of the camera’s range. After a second he lifts his phone to his ear. “Zayn,”

I ignore him as I scroll through my OfficiallyMaks tag. There is post after post after post of pictures of me, my videos with Ronan, gifs of us kissing, and screenshots of Niall’s tweet. I like a photo-shopped picture that has me and Niall holding hands. I make a post on my Louis to a Niall that I RP with about all the Viall/ Nakenzie drama.

“I’m talking to Vonny.” Niall pulls my attention back to him. “Okay. Yeah I’ll be there by five.” He smiles apologetically. “I’m having dinner with Zayn and his sisters tonight.”

“You’re fine, Niall. Oh and your earlier question? I’m on tumblr, checking out what people have got to say about me.” I grin and fix my glasses so that they're not sliding down my nose. “Ronan told me yesterday that I was all over tumblr…” I explain to his confused expression.

“Oh. What’s being said?” Niall asks at the same time that my front door bangs open, scaring me.

“Vonny, I found a Chinese place worthy of us!” Ronan crows in delight, lugging in a big box full of food. “Oh, sorry, I didn’t know you were on Skype. Hello you lucky son of a-”

“Ronan,” I interrupt him.

“Right, well I'm taking this into the kitchen. I like that sweater,
Vonny.” He dimples, leaning down to kiss me. I lift my face out of habit, blush, and turn it a bit so he misses my lips. He gives me a strange look before glancing down at the computer screen. “Is that Niall Horan?”

“Hey Ronan,” Niall waves at the camera, smiling broadly. “So… You didn’t answer me.”

“There’s a whole bunch of screenshots of your tweet and I think every directioner on the planet is deciphering the meaning. I’m an analyst too, so I understand the urge to find out every reason for things.” I say. Ronan smiles and, out of camera range, motions for me to text him.

“Is that all?” Niall asks and I look down to study his image on the screen. He’s in one of those tank tops that he’s pulled out to make us crazy with.

I shake my head, biting my lip to keep from ogling him through the computer. “There’s stuff of me and Ronan… but it’s old news I guess. People are stuck on us. There are three Nakenzie blogs, that I counted, and two Viall. They’ve been busy posting photo-shopped pictures of me and you. My Louis follows two of them and has followed them since before they changed their names.” I shrug.

The blonde Adonis on screen frowns. “Your Louis?”

I flinch. “Yeah… I role-play as Louis on there. I have one of you as well, but I don’t get on that one as much. I only made the one of Louis because I was pissed at him and decided that I needed to get to know him. I had to experience what he experiences to understand him… and now I love him to pieces, like I should.”

“Why were you angry with him?
What’s the url for the one you have of me?” Niall grins mischievously and I break, deciding to just let him see the worst. I press the screen-share option and open my other chrome account that has my Niall on it. I scroll through my Captain_SSBravery tumblr, slowing down when requested, showing him my posts. He nods and a huge smile finds its way onto his face. “I like knowing that I'm important enough that you spend time studying me to make this blog so accurate.”

“I… What? I don’t study you. I just check out your twitter periodically so that I can make important posts when you tweet. Same thing I do with Louis.” I shrug nonchalantly.
I glance down at my phone in my lap.

*so, master of the skies… Caleb will be here in about 5 minutes*

“Ronan,” I call into the kitchen and he leans around the wall. “May is bringing him over?” but I don’t need to ask because almost the same second the words are out of my mouth, the door bursts inward. A small sprawling of wild limbs comes running at me.

Caleb wraps his arms possessively around my neck. “Mammy,”

I look over at Niall’s terrified expression. “It’s not what you think. Text me? It’s going to get a bit more active in here.” I give him my number and sign out of Skype. Struggling to an upright position, I carry Caleb out to the kitchen.

May follows me in. “Caleb go play,” His grandmother orders and he releases me to scurry into my room. The older woman stares me and Ronan down. “He is no longer welcome in my home.” She begins with an air of superiority.

“He’s your grandson,” I hiss at her. She glares at me, but I'm not intimidated and continue. “He will always be welcome in my house and he’s not even mine.”

May looks a bit taken aback.
“Claire wants me to have nothing to do with him. As a mother I have to make sacrifices for the love of my child.”

“Claire,” I spit the name “gave up that beautiful boy to a teen because she wasn’t mature enough to understand the ramifications.” I growl and Ronan slides his hand over my shoulder.

“Max,” He tries, but I'm on a roll. This woman and her daughter have gone too far and have hit too close to home for me.

“You don’t abandon your child. They will feel worthless and empty for the rest of their lives. You are so lucky that boy thinks I'm his mother.” May’s eyes widen. “Oh, yeah. He thinks that because I'm the only stability he has in the motherly love category. He calls you aunt May, have you noticed?”

“He’s fine here, then? You can keep him when Ronan can’t.” May squares her shoulders and turns to walk out of the apartment. “Caleb, come help Dave get your things out of the car.”

Caleb comes out of my room and attaches himself to my side. I pick him up and follow May outside to the car. Ronan’s right behind us and when we get outside there are girls everywhere. We ignore them the best we can and unload Caleb’s stuff from the car.

Dave and May had driven separately so that they could fit all of his things into one trip. “Take Caleb somewhere else. I don’t want him to be here when May and I talk about this.” Ronan whispers into my hair, kisses Caleb, and then releases us.

“Cale, do you want to go to the park?” I lead him back upstairs and start packing a diaper bag into a stroller that I have in storage.

Ten minutes later Caleb and I are meandering through the streets of London. I hear whispers of recognition and cameras clicking but ignore them. I’m still fuming.

This boy has been through enough.
At barely three years old, he’s had to deal with abandonment, the instability of children’s homes, and the hatred from his grandparents. When Ronan had found out that Claire had put his son into a home, he was livid. With his mom’s help he got Caleb into his custody, but then he moved here. May and Dave agreed to keeping Caleb while Ronan finished the last of his schooling. But May hates this baby; maybe she hates him more than Claire did…?

*Enjoying your stroll in front of my flat?*

The number is unknown but sends my heart racing. I look around the buildings around me and recognize the front doors of the boys’ apartments.

*Niall?*

The reply is instantaneous, almost like he knew I’d ask.

*Yes, it’s Niall. I’m going to come out and walk with you. If you don’t mind, that is.*

As I'm reading that text, I see Niall emerge from one of the shadowed doorways. Liam and Harry fill the space he emptied as he walks out to meet me. I know I'm gaping unattractively, but I can’t quite feel my face.

“Hey Vonny,” He grins and his expression is smug.

“Hi,” I choke out and then blush beet red. “Oh my… I’m sorry.”

Niall laughs and gestures with his arm for us to move forward. “You’re fine. C’mon, the lads are staring holes into our backs.”

We start walking again and I try to restart my heart.



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This article has 2 comments. Post your own!

LestyPatrick said...
Jan. 7, 2013 at 2:42 pm:
I love it. It's entirely adorable and well written ^_^
 
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In_Love_with_Writing said...
Jan. 6, 2013 at 9:03 pm:
Haha I really liked this especially the beginning! Great job. Can you comment on some of my stories? Maybe give a rating or two?
 
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