In The Heat of Los Angeles
Here in Your Arms (Hellogoodbye)
Dear God, why? Why do I allow people to schedule things for me that require me to get up at 4:00 AM? Thankfully, I got the alarm shut off before Harry was woken up by it. I snuck into the bathroom and tried to be as quiet as possible as I showered. I knew I wouldn’t need to worry about my hair, they would do it at the office for the photoshoot. I feel like I stood in the shower for an hour. I didn’t want to wake up. I just wanted to stand underneath the hot water or perhaps even better, crawl in bed next to Harry and fall back asleep. I got out of the shower and threw on some ripped up black jeans, a white tank and a black and red plaid shirt. My eyes hurt this morning so I put my glasses on and went back into the bedroom where Harry was still asleep.
I sat down on the bed before laying down next to him. I watched him sleep for a few moments. His mouth open in the slightest way, his long hair in his face. He had his arms folded underneath his head. The muscles in his back flexed with each breath. I leaned forward to kiss the tip of his nose. He made the tiniest noise before opening his eyes. He smiled his sleepy smile at me.
“Good morning, love,” he said, his voice breaking slightly due to how tired he was. “What time is it?”
“4:45. I need to leave for the office. It’s my only day in the office and I’m not really even in the office, I’m doing a photoshoot all day.”
“Will it be okay if I stop by after my audition and meeting?” he asked.
“Of course. I want to hear how it went. I’d tell you I could sneak away for lunch but unfortunately I don’t think I can.”
“Are you staying here tonight before you fly out in the morning?” He hugged me to him a little.
“If you want me to.”
“I would like that.”
“I will need to stop at home and pack but I imagine I’m leaving the office as soon as the photoshoot is done. I don’t really want to work late considering the next three days I will be working out of the New York office. I need to prep for meetings which I can do from anywhere. Plus we leave really early tomorrow.”
“I have to be there at 4:30. We want to be in New York at a decent time. It’s my least favorite thing to do. If I’m traveling alone I almost always opt for the red eye so I can sleep and just get there in the morning to have a decent day.”
“I get that,” he said as he snuggled in closer to me. I sighed deeply. “You have to leave don’t you?”
“I do. I really don’t want to but I have to.” I buried my face into his neck. “I’d much rather stay right here with you.”
“I’d rather you stay here with me too, but we both have to work today. I’ll see you at the office in a few hours. Then you can go pack for your trip while I prepare dinner for us so that when you get home we can eat, relax and get you in bed early.”
“You’re going to make dinner for me tonight?”
“That or we can get some take away if you’d like. Whatever you want to do tonight we will do since we don’t get to see each other for a few days.”
“I’ll think about it today and we can decide when you stop to see me. We are doing the photoshoot all in the office to show it off.”
“Fantastic. Have a good morning at work.” He leaned in to kiss me which just made the whole ‘getting out of his bed to go to work’ thing a million times harder.
“I’ll try. Good luck with your audition. You’re going to do fantastic. I can feel it.”
“I hope so. I’ll see you later.” One last kiss and I was out the bedroom door, grabbing my bags to take with me to the office. Harry had been sweet and washed most of my clothes last night which meant I’d be able to put them back into the closet at work. I threw everything into the car and started my drive. I clicked through the phone and hit to make a call home to Chicago.
“Hey bambina,” Dad answered. He sounded about as tired as I did.
“Hi Dad,” I said, knowing my voice showed off just how tired I was.
“What are you awake for? You never call this early.” Despite it not being possible for me to have genetically gotten anything from Marco I was pretty sure he was the reason I hated being a morning person. When I was a kid and Mom would get up to go to work she’d wake me up before she left and then I’d go crawl in bed with Dad. He worked so many late nights then that he was always looking for an excuse to sleep in. Once the boys were around he didn’t get the opportunity anymore.
“I have to be at the office by 6:00 to start getting ready for a photo shoot. Didn’t stay at home last night so I have a longer drive to the office.”
“Stayed with the boyfriend, huh?”
“Yes. I know there is nothing to hide because Mom has the biggest mouth in the history of the universe. I stayed there and I’m jealous because he’s still in bed. He doesn’t have any meetings until like 10:00 today.”
“He’s coming home with you right?”
“Good, I’m glad I get to meet him.”
“Me too, Dad. I really like him a lot.”
“Good. It’s obviously important if he’s coming home already. Took a good two months before I got to meet Drew and you lived a whole lot closer.”
“I was younger then.”
“Yeah, I know but you used to bring Drew into the city and eat at my restaurants but only if you knew it was the one I wasn’t at that night.”
“I may have done that. I wasn’t sure he needed to meet my Dad yet.”
“But this one you are?”
“Yeah, I think I am sure of that. It seems different.”
“From what I hear you made him the magic meal last night. So I’d guess it’s serious.”
“I made him the magic meal because it’s one of the few things I can make in under an hour without a detailed recipe because I know it by heart. I’m doubtful that suddenly this morning he woke up being in love with me. We’ve known each other for a week.”
“True. But you obviously think he’s important.”
“I do. It’s like I said, it just feels different with him and I like the different feeling.”
“That’s good. That’s really good, bambina. Your mother and I just want you to be happy. I mean ideally at some point we’d both love some little grand babies to spoil but you’re still very young.”
“Yeah, let's not put that kind of pressure on me. A weekend full of my grandparents will do that on it’s own. I don’t need my Dad jumping in asking for grandchildren. The way work has been lately I wouldn't be able to have time to have a family. I’m not sure how I’m going to manage to have time to have a boyfriend, let alone one that lives in two places.”
“You can make it work. I know you’re capable of anything you put your mind to, Evie. And if it means taking a step back at work you know that Mom and I would still be proud of you. You’ve accomplished so much in life that we just want you to be happy, it’s all we’ve ever wanted.”
“I know that. But you also know I’m never going to be able to take a step back. Pops won’t have it.”
“Jimmy has always been very career focused and having you follow in his footsteps was a proud moment for him, I know. But if you want to take a step back to have a life at some point, he’s going to get it. And if he doesn’t all you have to do is send in Mom. She will make him understand it.”
“She could make Satan agree to turning the air on in hell.” Dad laughed on the other end of the phone. I loved the way my Dad laughed. I could picture him at home right now, probably on the couch in his office hiding from Mom this morning, she was pretty wicked before 8:00, his forehead crinkling and his eyes getting squinty while he laughed. “I’m excited to get home. I miss everyone.”
“Is Jimmy coming?”
“I don’t think so. Which at first I was sort of disappointed about but I’m okay with it. I want Harry to have a chance to get to know all of you. Pops gets a chance to interact with him here. In fact, today Pops is sitting in on his meeting and helping him with the final prep of his audition since I’ve got this all day photoshoot, which we all know I love. I’d rather be hung upside down by my toenails.”
“You used to love modeling for your Mom and I when we took pictures of you.”
“You are my parents. This is an article about me. I’d really rather not.”
“You’ll be fine. You always are. Now let’s talk menu for Friday night.” We got down to the business of our actual phone call. He always wanted me to help pick what the menu would be for parties we had at the house. I was pretty sure it was so I felt like I was helping even though I was so far away. It also meant he and Mom didn’t argue over the food options. He was bringing in the chef from Bambina to cater Jonathan’s birthday on Friday. He knew just how to make a trip home perfect for me, feed me my favorite food. I pulled into the parking garage at about 5:20 which gave me enough time to try and weed through a few of my emails before the glam squad Ty had hired arrived. I stopped to get some coffee on my way upstairs. I sat down at my desk and plugged my laptop in. I watched as the email tally started it’s normal game.
“Shit,” I said aloud despite there not being anyone in the office yet. It had been deadly silent as I walked through. I laid my head on my desk and closed my eyes. Why do I allow myself to go multiple days without looking at my email? My phone started to ring on my desk. I looked at it to see a picture of Harry and I from this weekend. He’d stolen my phone to take a selfie and told me he was texting it to himself, he was also clearly setting it as his new caller id photo. “Hello.”
“This bed is so lonely right now.”
“So is this office building. I think it’s just me, the girl at the front desk, the barista at the coffee shop, and security right now.”
“You were the first in?”
“I was. And my email box is terrifying.”
“How many this morning?”
“652…wait 653. I just got a new one.”
“That sounds like a rather terrible way to start the morning.”
“It is. I don’t even want to attempt to read them all. I want to cry.”
“Don’t cry, love. If you need to work tonight you can or maybe tomorrow on your flight.”
“I shouldn’t even come over tonight with as much work as I have. At least when I’m in New York I can try to avoid distraction and just work the entire time. Kammi and Nick are staying with her parents. Ty usually stays with his grandparents. Eliza has some auditions so she’s working but not for me.”
“You are coming over tonight. I lose you for the next three days don’t make me lose you tonight too.”
“I will come over but if I work no stealing my laptop.”
“I won’t. Just no bringing it to bed and working while I sleep.”
“I can promise that. I usually don’t sleep well if my laptop is near me. I feel like it’s a horcrux or some shit and it’s constantly talking to me and telling me I should work.” He laughed on the other end of the phone. “You laugh because you know it’s true.”
“I do, though I was rather proud of the fact that I only caught on your phone twice last night.”
“I woke up in the middle of the night to pee. I checked my texts and calendar then. I was going to tell you that I hadn’t, but I did and I can’t lie.” He laughed again.
“It’s okay, you’re allowed to look at your phone on occasion. When does everyone else get in this morning?”
“Any minute I’m sure. I am hoping that they didn’t eat breakfast before they left the condo because I definitely didn’t get anything on the way in. I was on the phone with Dad.”
“Get the menu for Friday worked out?”
“We did,” I replied. “It’s our chef from Bambina that is doing the meal. It will be wonderful. I’m sure that Mom has some event decorator coming to the house Friday to make everything look great too.”
“I can’t wait to see the house you grew up in.”
“Well, you won’t see that persay. You’ll see the house I lived in from like nine until I went to college. Mom says that she redecorated my bedroom but of course hasn’t sent me any pictures of it so I’ve got no idea what it looks like.”
“I’m sure it will be great. Well, I will let you work before The Circus arrives. But I wish you were still in bed.”
“I do too.” I leaned back in my chair and smiled. “You made it pretty difficult to leave this morning, you’re pretty cute in the morning.”
“You are. That raspy voice, it could make a woman forget she had a job to go to.”
“It obviously didn’t work this morning.”
“It nearly did but I remembered that if I explained skipping a photoshoot for a morning of snuggles in bed with my cute boyfriend that I’d be the laughing stock of Hollywood.”
“There you go using that boyfriend word again.”
“I know. It’s nauseating.”
“I like it.”
“That’s a good thing since it sort of refers to you.”
“What will happen if I call you my girlfriend?” I shivered at the sound.
“Well, I just got goosebumps right now. Not sure how to read that. I sometimes get goosebumps when I’m excited and I sometimes get them right before I throw up.” There was that laugh again.
“Let me know if you throw up soon.”
“I’ll keep you updated. You should get out of bed and do something productive.”
“I will. I’ll see you in a few hours. Bye Evie.”
“Bye H.” I hung up the phone. “Alright, Everlee Mae. You can do this. Email #1.” I clicked to open it as the door to my office flew open. “The Circus has arrived.”
“You act like you aren’t part of this circus,” Ty said.
“You’re the ringleader of The Circus,” Kammi said. She threw a brown bag onto my desk and I opened it to see a fried egg sandwich. It was greasy and had bacon on it and was everything that Kammi tried to be against but loved.
“Oh my god I love you. I’m starving.”
“We figured as much. I looked to see your location this morning and knew you were here before we even left the condo,” Eliza said.
“Did you stay at home last night?” I asked Kammi.
“I did. The boys wanted some bonding time last night. The plan is that I start moving next week when I get back from Chicago,” she replied.
“I’ll miss you although not in the mornings.” She flipped me off.
“How would you know what it’s like anymore?” Ty asked. “You’ve practically moved in with the Brit and it’s only been a week.”
“He has a comfy bed and this super hot morning voice. Makes a girl want to stay there every night. Plus he will end up leaving for London eventually and then I will be alone and you’ll have to snuggle me at night.”
“I don’t have as hot of a morning voice as he does,” Ty said. “And I get cold if I sleep naked.”
“I prefer you clothed. I prefer him naked.”
“Is he ready for his audition?” Eliza asked.
“Yeah, we ran through his lines for his audition scene again last night before bed. Admittedly very funny to imagine the heavily tattooed man with long hair in just his boxers as a World War II soldier. But he’s prepared and sounds great.” I took a bite of my sandwich. “God this is good. Did you guys stop at that little diner?” They nodded.
“It’s why we were late. We ate there,” Ty said. “We figured you’d be hungry.”
“Well I appreciate you all for this. I have been up since 4:00 so I could do the drive in to be here by 6:00 for the glam squad.”
“They should be here soon. You can answer your ten million emails while they get you ready,” Eliza said as she looked over my shoulder at my inbox.
“Good because there’s a lot.” The team of stylists and makeup artists arrived shortly after I finished eating and we all convened in the bathroom. I was reading through emails. It was finally starting to get more back to normal, though still a lot of emails with requests for Harry. One came in that intrigued me.
From: Ben Cobb @ Another Man Magazine
To: Everlee Scarcello
Re: Harry Styles Fashion Spread
Dear Ms. Scarcello,
I hope this email finds you well. I am the Editor in Chief for Another Man Magazine. We have been discussing recently an idea that we wanted to share with you as the representation for Mr. Styles. We are interested in doing a fashion spread where we collaborate with Mr. Styles and his team to develop a concept that fits to not only our audience’s interest but also his own desires. It would not be required to contain an in-depth interview unless he wished it. I’d love to chat further with you about it. Please feel free to contact me by email or by phone at your earliest convenience to discuss this possible collaboration.
I knew I’d need to run that by Harry before even dreaming of replying. A magazine looking to do something that is a fashion spread of him could be amazing. Something where he didn’t have to discuss his feelings on moving on from being part of One Direction or where his career is headed. Just a focus on the fact that the kid could be a model if he wanted would be an interesting opportunity. I marked that one to check back on later and kept reading through them. I was getting plucked and pinched as they prepped me for makeup.
“What do you think of cutting your hair?” the hairstylist asked.
“I don’t think about it,” I replied laughing.
“I’m thinking we could do something really cool if we cut it shorter.”
“I’d prefer not. Especially if it’s just for a photoshoot.”
“Do it!” Kammi yelled.
“You only say that because they’d never dream of chopping off your hair. I like it where it’s at right now so no.”
“Are you sure?”
“I’m sure.” I hated pushy stylists and this one would make it to the list of not using.
Message with Harry Styles
The stylist is trying to convince me to cut my hair. I’ve said no three times. She’s still talking about it.
I understand that feeling. I used to get asked that for everything. Louise usually didn’t try but whoever was the creative director was always suggesting that we cut my hair.
I love your hair. I might cry if you cut it.
You know I will have to if I get this role.
I know. And for art I’ll be okay with it. For a lousy photoshoot in a magazine that isn’t going to really be seen outside of Los Angeles…nope.
I love your hair as well. Don’t cut it. Though it might be cute short. Just means I have less to pull.
You’re trying to torment me right now. You know I like when you tug on my hair. Are you trying to make me uncomfortable since I’m in a room of stylists I don’t know well.
Nope. Just trying to make you think about what you might get if you left work a little early today.
Can I leave now?
Sadly no. Though I am about to get in the shower to get ready for my audition.
You in the shower. Sounds like a fun time. Sure I can’t leave work?
No, because I can’t have you distract me before my audition. Pretty sure if you came home I’d never want to leave and then I’d fail at getting a movie role and making my manager happy and my girlfriend proud of me.
I can speak on behalf of the manager. Only thing that would make me unhappy is if you don’t show up. Whether you get it or not I’m happy that you’re already jumping into this. As the girlfriend, I’m immensely proud that you’re trying something so out of the box.
Is it weird to talk about being your girlfriend?
No. I rather like it, which you know.
It feels like it should feel weird, even though it doesn’t. Like how is it that I feel proud of you already when I’ve known you for a week?
Because in the span of that week we’ve been together probably 70% of the time. Makes for a drastically different start to a relationship than what I’m used to.
I can see that. It’s a bit different for me. My last several years of life in a relationship were long distance. Obviously I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with them.
No, you didn’t. I like that we do get to. At least in the beginning. I’m also sort of used to meeting a girl, taking her on a date or two and then leaving for several months. It’s a nice change to not have to do that.
If this bitch asks one more time to cut my hair I’m going to cut her with the scissors.
There’s that Italian temper I’ve heard so much about showing up.
Heard so much about?
Well you’ve warned me about it. Grace has warned me about it and evidently Grace gave Marco my phone number. He called and attempted to be the threatening father this morning after you got off the phone and then just started laughing. He obviously could tell by the sound of my voice that I was a bit terrified.
He has the ability to put the fear of God and a Mob attack into just about anyone. Including me and I know he’s a softy. Sorry, not usually good to have the girlfriend’s dad call before 8:00AM.
He was actually asking how long I was staying in town with you. Suggested that he and I take you and your Mum out to dinner on Sunday night after the game. He said that Jonathan was having a few friends over after the game and that they would hang out with Mason and Christopher so we could all have some time without all of the boys.
That’s actually sort of sweet.
I thought so as well. So we have dinner on Sunday with them. He told me to quiz you down as to what restaurant in the city you want to go to. I had suggested Bambina so I could see your restaurant but you are doing the dinner from there Friday I guess.
Yeah, I can run you by to see Bambina and maybe we can grab lunch there. I’d probably pick Grace for our dinner. You’d like it.
Sounds good to me. So have they cut your hair yet?
Nope! Still got it. I may have threatened her. She had scissors in her hand, I told her that she should only use those if she wants her own hair cut off or perhaps a hand. Kammi told me to stop being a bitch.
Be nice. If you are maybe I’ll bring you a cupcake.
How do you know the way to my heart?
You bought two dozen for our dinner Saturday night and ate four of them before dinner.
I do love a good cupcake. I’ll be on my best behavior. When you get here remind me I have a request from a magazine to run past you.
Can I tell you how refreshing it is to have things run past me rather than decisions made for me?
I will always make decisions in your best interest and for the most part I’m going to discuss the ideas with you so that we can make those decisions together.
It’s like a dream. Okay. You get beautiful. I’m getting ready for an audition. See you in a few, love.
The hairstylist had left the room for a short moment to talk to Ty leaving just the makeup artists, Kammi, Eliza and I. I knew that Ty was talking to her about being pushy about my hair. I was trying to grow my hair out right now, I had a wedding back in Chicago in just over a month for a friend from college. I wanted long hair so that I had more options for styles and frankly I also didn’t want a hairstylist I’d never met trying to convince me to chop my hair off.
“You didn’t have to be such a bitch, E,” Kammi said.
“Want me to chop your hair off?” I asked as I turned to look at her. The makeup artists were people we worked with regularly, they were used to our banter.
“Then lay off cutting my hair. Also H votes no. So I’m keeping my hair.”
“He’s already earned a vote?” Eliza asked.
“Yeah, he has. It’s weird, I know. I’m not sure how I even feel about it yet.”
“Well, you’re really cute together. This weekend was nice. You look really happy. It’s been a while since I’ve seen you like this.” Eliza smiled at me in the mirror. She was sitting on the sofa behind me on her laptop.
“You two are pretty cute together. And he was able to laugh off a lot of the crazy parts of this weekend,” Kammi said glancing at me from her seat in front of her vanity.
“Not all of it. He got a little jealous of the whole Joe thing. We had to have a talk which was fine. And then there was the whole nearly attacking someone for touching him thing.”
“Yeah you totally called him your boyfriend. Was that part of your talk?” I looked over at Kammi as she asked.
“It wasn’t but we have talked about it. The whole idea of it doesn’t make me want to vomit or have a panic attack so he thinks we should run with it.” Everyone in the room laughed.
“You’ve got a boyfriend?” Amy asked. She was the makeup artist who always did my makeup for everything. If I had a big event it was her. I could do my own makeup and it looked perfect but sometimes it was nice to be pampered instead of doing it yourself.
“Yeah, it’s new but so far so good. He’s met my father and is coming home to Chicago next weekend to meet my Mom, Dad and brothers. The crazy man also knows he will end up meeting all three sets of grandparents too.”
“That’s a big weekend,” Lainey said, she was doing Kammi’s makeup.
“Yeah, I’m not exactly sure what he’s thinking but when my Mom invited him he said yes. So he’s meeting me in Chicago Friday afternoon.”
“Are all of you going to Chicago? I feel like you never travel alone,” Amy managed to say in between giggles.
“We are,” Eliza said. “It’s a good chance for me to see my parents. Plus Jonny is practically my baby brother too. When it comes to E and I it’s like we’ve got six little brothers and one sister.”
“So true,” I added.
“Nick and I are going as well. My Dad told me I need to stop to see my grandparents so we are headed into town for Jonny’s birthday and a trip to visit family then headed back here Sunday.”
“I love that all of you travel together,” Lainey said.
“Thanks,” I replied. “We are like a traveling circus most of the time. Its likely going to be Eliza, Ty, Kammi, Nick, Joe, my new guy and me going home.”
“That’s a lot of people. Is everyone in hotels?”
“No.” I laughed. “My Mom’s house is huge. We can all fit there easily.”
“That’s awesome but probably super overwhelming for her, right?” Lainey asked.
“Nah, she’s usually happiest when she’s got a house full. It’s that Italian mother behavior. She wants all of her kids to bring their friends home.”
“That’s awesome.” The hairstylist finally came back in with Ty and started to do my hair, this time with no scissors in her hands. She decided we’d start with my hair curly but the creative director wanted some with my hair straight so we’d do that second. The rest of our prep was finished by 8:00 when the photographs started along with Melissa returning for follow up questions.
“So Everlee, last week you issued a press release confirming that Harry Styles had decided to allow you and your team at SME to handle his solo career. Was that something you had been working on for a while?”
“It’s funny how that all happened. He had several friends that recommended our team, one of them being Ed Sheeran, so he started working with my father initially. We had our first full meeting with him on Monday night and he signed on Tuesday. It’s crazy how fast it all moved but that is something that happens a lot of the time. When you know the fit between artist and representation is right, you just go for it. It happens for Kammi a lot. She makes an annual trip to a lot of the top colleges to take meetings with players who are declaring for the draft in their respective sports.”
“I do,” Kammi said. “I will go and set up an office in a conference room in the athletic department and help students who are deciding to go into the draft. Ideally, they will sign with me and my team but that doesn’t always happen. If they are signing with an agency that is the right fit for them however, it’s perfect. There are times you know that it’s right and equally a lot of times you know where it’s not.”
“And with Harry Styles, everyone just knew it was right?” Kammi looked at me and smiled.
“Yeah, everyone just knew. We don’t want Harry to feel trapped in a bubble because of how his career started. I want to help him properly craft the career that he desires. If it’s less singing more acting then I want to help but I imagine that it will be hard to keep him from music for long.” I knew this because he sang in the shower, sang in the car, and sang when he cooked. I of course couldn’t tell this to Melissa because then she’d want to know why I knew that he sang in the shower, which was not something I was interested in getting into. “I’m excited for the opportunities that are coming his way already and to help him guide his career down the right path.”
The photographs seemed like they would turn out pretty cool once they were done. We did most of it outside the office during the morning knowing that we’d switch up looks for the afternoon and keep going. I grew nervous as the clock hit 10:30, the time of Harry’s audition. I felt like I might throw up knowing that he was going through something so huge in that moment and that I wasn’t there to support him. I knew that Kammi and Eliza could tell I was off they kept trying to crack jokes.
“Have you heard from him?” Eliza whispered as the photographer was setting up the next shot. I glanced down at my watch.
“No. Will you take my phone and let me know if he calls or something. His audition and meeting were all here so he was just going to come find me when he was done. I figured it would be over near lunch time so he could just eat with us.”
“Of course. Hand over the phone.” I grabbed my phone from the back pocket of the pants they had me in and handed it to Eliza.
“I’m sure he’s doing great,” Kammi said. “You two prepped him and if he was working on it last night with you and you didn’t think that he needed to reschedule he’s going to be great.” She knew that I’d rescheduled a few appointments in my day because I felt that the client needed more time to prep for things. I never hesitated about it. I’d rather they have to face possible backlash for rescheduling than looking terrible for being unprepared. “You’ll hear from him soon. And lunch will be good. Ty said that it’s just us and we don’t have to be interviewed during lunch.”
“Good because I’m so anxious about it I’d hate to have to try and hide excitement if it went well.”
“You just don’t want to not be able to make out with him when they are around.” Kammi gave me one of her famous looks that just basically told me I wasn’t going to lie to her. “I was pretty sure most of the day yesterday that you two were about a half second away from running upstairs and banging each other. I’m sure by the time you got home you were like bunny rabbits.”
“Shockingly enough we weren’t. I cooked dinner and we passed out.”
“What did you cook?” Kammi asked. She always wanted to know what I was cooking. I made dinner a lot at home for all of us, Kammi’s favorite thing was food.
“Nonna’s Chicken Parm.”
“Whoa,” both of the girls said.
“You made Nonna’s Chicken Parm? For real?” Eliza asked.
“Yeah, I did. I can make it in my sleep and it’s one of the things I do best so I figured I shouldn’t make something I’d fuck up.”
“But that’s like THE meal.” Kammi still seemed shocked. “Like that’s shit you don’t fuck around with. Even I have pulled out THE meal before. Nick and I had been dating for like a month and a half. It was the first time he said I love you and meant it romantically and not as my childhood friend.”
“I’m terrified of making it for people,” Eliza said. “I don’t know that I want to be the person who fails at it. Did he tell you he loved you?”
“Fuck no. That’s way too early. I love how all of you are so superstitious about a freaking recipe.”
“Well, it’s this like trick of mythical proportions in your family going back generations.” It was true. I’d maybe only mentioned back to my Nonna and Papa but Nonna had learned it from her Mom who had learned it from hers and I think it went a bit further than that. “If you made him the love parm it’s a big deal.”
“It’s not. I mean I’ve made it for other people before. I made it for Joe for his birthday last year.”
“He told you he loved you afterwards,” Kammi said laughing.
“Yeah to be a fucking pain in my ass.”
“Nonna told me once that it’s the intention that goes into it,” Kammi said. “When she talked me through the recipe to make for Nick she said that you can make it and it won’t work but if you feel deeply for the person it will work.”
“Yeah, so it’s not going to work,” I whispered. The photographer was starting to pay attention to us again and Eliza back away from the shot.
“Whatever. I watched the way you looked at him. You’ve got it bad.”
“Shut up. I do not.”
“You do too. You could barely take your eyes off him and threatened to cut Jessica’s fingers off.”
“She was flirting with my boyfriend and she’s my father’s girlfriend. That’s just fucking sick.”
“And there you go calling him your boyfriend again.”
“I know. It’s fucking weird but I can’t stop doing it. What is wrong with me?” Kammi started to laugh at me. I knew I had to appear totally frazzled as she lost it. I heard the click of the shutter on the camera and knew that it would end up being a good photo. It would hopefully show our personalities well. I was usually the one nearing a meltdown while Kammi laughed at me.
“There is nothing wrong with you. The only thing I can figure is that you’re really into him, which is normal. He’s totally hot, he’s obviously into you and based on the way you talk the sex is pretty great so I mean you should be into him.”
“The sex is better than great.” I bit my lip unintentionally. “But that doesn’t normally make me want to declare someone as my boyfriend after a fucking week.”
“A fucking week is right,” Kammi said making me laugh. “You’ve stayed with him every night. I’m pretty sure you’re having more sex than the rest of The Circus combined.”
“You and Nick normally aren’t lacking in that department.”
“Oh we aren’t, but still pretty sure you’re having more sex than I am and the rest of our roommates are currently sexless.”
“Hey!” Eliza said. She was close enough to hear us and far enough away to be out of the picture. The photographer was clearly not paying attention to us and Melissa had gone to take a phone call from her editor. “I can hear you.”
“Tell me it isn’t true?” Kammi asked. Eliza just flipped her off. I heard my cell phone start to ring. I looked at Eliza and she shook her head as she silenced it. “I mean really though. It’s not totally weird. I mean it’s sort of weird. You don’t normally move this fast in a relationship but it seems sort of normal to move at a quicker speed with him. You have no idea when he’s going to leave and go back to London. Makes sense to build a strong foundation to a relationship now so that when you do have to spend time apart that you have a good level of trust when you’re apart because that was something you lacked with Drew after he moved.”
“True,” I replied. My relationship with Drew had never been great. We were friends and it was convenient. I got comfortable. We had a routine. He stayed with Eliza and I on the weekends and I very rarely stayed at his place in Evanston, it was only if I was stuck there late enough for school stuff that I didn’t want to head back to the city. We had dinner together on Wednesday nights like clockwork and it was always at the same restaurant near campus. When he’d come to the city we would alternate which restaurant of Dad’s we ate at. I was never worried about money in college which made Drew uncomfortable. He had always acted like he hated that I had money. I’d been given a relatively large trust fund when I turned 18 but still at 25 hadn’t touched it other than to use it towards my condo after the graduation gift my parents put towards it. I worked my butt off in college and had parents that were always willing to chip in so that things were taken care of. We always ended up at one of Dad’s restaurants because Drew knew that when we walked in we would eat for free and he wouldn’t have to watch me hand over my credit card to pay for dinner. When he moved things just got worse. He didn’t trust me which I discovered a little too late was because he shouldn’t have been trusted.
“So don’t freak out about the girlfriend thing. If it is happening naturally and you aren’t forcing things just go with it.” I heard my phone ring again and glanced at Eliza. She nodded this time and answered the phone.
“Hey Harry, it’s Eliza.” She paused for a moment. “Yeah, she’s pretending to be a model right now so I needed to answer. Just a second, she’s on her way over here.” I took the phone from her.
“Hey H,” I answered.
“Hey love. Where are you? I want to see you pretend to be a model.”
“The rooftop patio off of the third floor. How did it go?”
“I want to tell you in person. So let me find you first.”
“In person? So it either went really well and you got the role or it went terribly. You’re killin’ me babe.”
“You’re fine. I’ll be there in a second.” I saw the photographer taking a few pictures of me on the phone and of Kammi by herself. I’m sure he was pissed that I’d taken this call. “Fuck.”
“What?” I asked the panic evident in my voice.
“You look fucking hot.” I turned around and saw him walking towards me. He waived.
“You had me scared for a second.”
“I know.” I hung up the phone as he approached us.
“Alright we are going to break for lunch,” Ty said as he approached back to where we were all standing. “We will only have individual shots after lunch. E, you’re going first after.”
“Sweet,” I said. “Want to go grab lunch with us? We ordered up to my office. I was hoping you’d want to join so I may have ordered extra.” He laughed at me.
“Yeah, I’d like to eat lunch with you.” We all headed inside and up to my office. As soon as the door closed Harry pulled me into a kiss. “Hi.”
“Hi,” I replied. “How did it go?”
“I think well. We can talk about it tonight. I don’t know that I want to get into it with everyone.”
“Okay,” I replied before I moved to kiss him again. We sat down with everyone to eat lunch. Harry sat next to me and I had my legs across his lap. I was pretty sure that Ty would kill me because I dropped a french fry on my dress three different times.
“Harry, how did your audition go?” Eliza asked.
“Well, I think. I made it through just like we practiced and I’m happy with how I did.”
“That’s great,” Kammi said. “So E, are you leaving as soon as you’re done?” I nodded as I took a drink of the Diet Coke I had ordered with lunch.
“I need to go home and pack for the next week.”
“Are you staying at home tonight?” Ty asked.
“Nope.” Harry smiled at me. “Since I’m in New York and this one is here for a few days I’m staying at his house tonight. I’ve got all of you for the next three and a half days.”
“Are we all staying at your place Thursday night?” Kammi asked.
“You’re all welcome there any night you want. Ty are you staying with Grams?”
“She wants me there but Gramps told me that I needed to have fun in the city so I should stay with my friends. So I’m just planning on grabbing dinner or lunch with them or something. But the plan is to stay with you. Though I was intending it when the three of us were single and would go out to pick up guys.”
“Sorry to ruin that part for you,” Harry said. Everyone laughed.
“I knew I liked you,” Kammi said as she high fived him. She was sitting on his other side. I kicked her. “Ouch bitch. Fucking kick me again and I’ll stab you with your heel.”
“The love between you is so obvious,” Harry said laughing.
“Besties!” I said reaching my foot to high five Kammi. She glared at me.
“Love, why don’t you sit up a little so you don’t get stabbed. I’d hate to spend our last night together at the hospital because Kammi injured you.” I laughed and sat up. I leaned into Harry and he put his arm around me kissing the top of my head. “Much better.”
“We all have dinner with my family tomorrow,” Kammi said.
“I forgot about that,” I replied. “Just tell me what time I need to be there so that I have travel time.”
“How far is it between both places?” Harry asked.
“Like a half hour-ish,” I replied. “Her parents’ place is on the Upper East Side about a half block off Central Park. I’m down in Tribeca. I’m within walking distance of the recording studio we own in New York. Then our main office is in Hudson Yards. It’s about equal distance for both of us and has a great view of the river and The High Line.”
“It all sounds nice. It’s been a while since I was in New York,” Harry said.
“I would tell you that you should come but you’ve basically kidnapped E from us. We need her for a few days. You can have her back in Chicago,” Ty said.
“You can have her for New York,” Harry replied laughing. “She’s all yours.”
“You suck.” I looked at him pretending to be hurt. He leaned forward and kissed me. “You suck a little less now.”
“You are so easily swayed,” Ty mumbled. The rest of our lunch went well and then we headed to back to work. After a few kisses in the privacy of my own office Harry headed home knowing that I needed to get done with my day and head home to pack. My section of the photoshoot was done in my office so they could show me in my environment. There were a ton of staged photos of me with my vinyl records and books. It would be cool if they managed to use any of it. I knew they were going to do the same with Kammi in her office and could only imagine them trying to make her dribble a basketball on her floor in a pair of stilettos. As soon as I was done I was back in my ripped jeans and flannel shirt and out the door. I packed in record time considering it was for an entire week and jumped in my Range Rover to head to Harry’s. I walked in the front door to find him pacing around the house on the phone.
“Hey man, I gotta go, Everlee just got home,” I heard him say. “Of course I’ll tell her hi and that you feel unloved.” I gave him a strange look. “Talk to you soon.” He hung up the phone.
“Who feels unloved?” I asked.
“James,” he replied. I had to think for a minute. Had he been on the phone with my father. My face must’ve shown my confusion. “Corden, dear. Not your father.”
“Oh thank god,” I said laughing. “We should do dinner with James and Julia when we are back from Chicago.”
“He says the same thing. Also that he feels unloved that you didn’t immediately call to tell him about our new relationship.”
“Excuse me?” I asked still laughing. “He’s not my client. He’s my father’s.”
“Evidently he’s rather fond of you.”
“He’s pretty great. He’s always good to my artists that do Carpool Karaoke. Let me guess, he was one of the people who told you to sign with me.” He nodded. “I should send him a thank you gift.” I walked over to him to kiss him. He wrapped his arms around me. “Hi.”
“How was your audition?”
“It went really, really well. I’m hopeful I will get a callback.”
“You got one,” I said smiling at him.
“What?” he asked.
“I got a call from the casting director while I was at my place packing. They want to see you again on Thursday.”
“Seriously?” I nodded. He picked me up and spun me in a circle. I couldn’t stop laughing. “You are amazing.”
“I’m not the one that audition. You are. You are the amazing one. They originally wanted to see you Monday, I explained that you’d be out of town. They liked you enough that they want you to come read with another one of the actors that’s already been cast, he happened to be available on Thursday. So you will meet with them at 10:00 on Thursday. This time at the casting agency they are working with’s office.”
“What do I do different for a callback?” he asked.
“Absolutely nothing. You wear this that you’re wearing right now so that they see you in the same outfit. You do the same scene only this time with another actor in the film instead of a casting agent reading the lines.”
“What happens after that?”
“We will either find out if you get the role or if you need to audition again. It’s likely that since you’ve already met with Christopher Nolan that you’ll only have this audition. It’s also possible that you will need to meet with Christopher again which would likely mean you need to fly home. His last day in Los Angeles doing casting for this is Friday.”
“I’d fly home for it. Would you come with me?”
“You don’t need me there, baby. You’ve got this.”
“I know but I’d like you to be there. I’m going to Chicago, you should come to London.”
“About that,” I said. “I got an email from the Editor in Chief of Another Man Magazine. They are interested in doing a fashion spread with you.”
“A fashion spread? I’m not a model.”
“You could be.”
“I don’t really want to do any in-depth interviews right now. Everyone will just ask when the band is getting back together and I don’t want to talk about that.”
“They said you didn’t have to do one. Just fashion. Want me to call on it?”
“Yeah, it sounds interesting.”
“I will call Wednesday morning first thing since there’s a bit of a time different for us here,” I said laughing. “Or I’ll call tomorrow morning in the car on the way to the airport.”
“Can you not mention that you’re leaving tomorrow for a little while?” He hugged me tighter and snuggled into my neck. “I don’t want to think about how lonely my bed is going to be.”
“You’ll be fine. Three nights and then we are both in Chicago and sleeping in my parents’ house.” I looked at him with an uncomfortable look. He laughed a little.
“Yeah, I might not let you sleep tonight.” He kissed me again this time biting my lip. “It’s going to be a long week.”
“I know.” I pouted. “But we will be fine.”
“I know we will be. But it doesn’t mean that I like it.” I giggled at him.
“You are.” I rested my head against his chest. “What should we do for dinner?”
“I don’t care. We can order take out. I could really go for a pizza.”
“Then pizza we shall have.” He kissed me before going over to his phone and calling a delivery place to order pizza. I laid down on the couch to watch what he’d had on TV before he’d gotten on the phone. I heard him end the call and come over to the couch. He laid down between my legs with his head on my stomach. I ran my fingers through his hair. “They said it would be here in an hour. I know it’s a bit early but we need to get you to bed early.”
“I know. My car is picking me up here at 4:00.”
“I can drive you,” he said as he turned to look up at me. He turned on the couch so that his chin was resting on my stomach and he could look at me.
“No, it’s okay. You don’t need to wake up to take me. I have Sam picking me up in the morning.”
“He’s who brought us here that first night, right?”
“Yes, I don’t need our whole staff of fleet drivers knowing that I’m staying here. Some of them aren’t as loyal and I fear we’d see our names in the paper with your address.” He laughed a bit before laying his head back down.
“So how did your photoshoot go today?”
“Pretty decently. The initial shots I saw looked great. A little fun and while being sexy not as over sexed as some of the things we’ve done or had suggested. I’m always nervous about that. I don’t want someone to think that I don’t have a brain behind the boobs and blonde hair.”
“The article will show the brain,” he said. “You’re incredibly smart. There’s no way that they can miss that.”
“Thanks. I just feel awkward when I’m the focus of anything. In Chicago I was never the focus, Dad was or Mom. I was always Marco and Grace Ferrera’s beloved daughter. I love my job but I prefer that title over the blonde bombshell running SME’s music division. Which just so you know is how I’ve been described most of my professional career.”
“Well, maybe this is the chance for people to see your brains. Though admittedly I agree that you are a blonde bombshell, it’s just not the first thing I think of. I think of your giggle, the dimples that appear when you are smiling really huge, and how beautiful your blue eyes are.”
“You’re being sweet.”
“That’s a boyfriend’s job.” I laughed at his use of the ‘b-word’. He was determined to make me be comfortable with it. “You laugh.”
“You use that word.”
“You used it today from what I hear.”
“I did. I’m still not used to it. I just worry that it’s too soon.”
“It’s fine,” he said. He moved up on the couch and bent down to kiss me. The weight of his body rested on mine. “I know that it feels too soon but if I didn’t like you calling me your boyfriend I would’ve told you.”
“I promise.” He kissed me again and I could feel myself melt. He wasn’t scared. I shouldn’t be either. I mean it didn’t mean that the crazy voices in my head wouldn’t on occasion get freaked out about the fact that a week into this we had a title but I was going to just go with it. “I wish you didn’t have to leave so early tomorrow.”
“Me too,” I replied as he moved to lay between me and the back of the couch wrapping his arms around me. We laid on the couch talking until the pizza delivery guy buzzed at the gate. I got up to let them in and handled the front door while Harry got out plates. We sat at the island eating pizza and drinking a few beers. Once we were done eating we headed upstairs to attempt to get me all prepped for tomorrow. I took a shower while he sat and talked to me. I dried my hair and put on some pajamas to crawl in bed. We decided that we could watch TV until I fell asleep. I rolled over in bed to look at him. “I need to make a confession.”
“What?” he asked as he looked at me. He looked concerned that I was going to tell him something really terrible.
“I think I’m going to miss you.”
“I know I’m going to miss you.”
“Is this like a thing where we need to call each other every day or like that I just let you know when I get there and we see each other in Chicago?”
“I don’t think I’d like just hearing from you when you landed and then not until Chicago. I want to be able to talk to you and hear how your days are going in New York. I know you’ll be going out with your friends when you’re there so it’s not like I need a phone call every hour or anything but I want to know how your trip is going. Maybe even FaceTime you so I can see you.”
“I don’t want you to feel like you have to.”
“I know I don’t. I want to. We’ve spent most of the last week together it’s going to be quiet around here without you.”
“I wish I was getting quiet,” I said laughing slightly. “I thought I might get some if Ty stayed at home but he’s probably staying with me. Which means I should expect him in my bed every morning.”
“I’ll be jealous of him. Though I know he won’t get the sort of morning…snuggles in bed that I get.” I laughed loudly. He was trying to be cute and not talk about how he enjoyed my crazy ass finding him completely sexy first thing in the morning and that more than once I’d decided that we didn’t need to function yet so that we could have sex. Which I was still processing in my mind. I’d never been the one to go for morning sex in the past. In fact most mornings I hated even the idea of kissing someone before I’d been able to brush my teeth and go through my normal morning routine that made me fully awake. I hadn’t cared that we both had morning breath and sleep in our eyes. I just wanted that gravelly morning voice of his to whisper in my ear about how good he felt.
“No, he won’t. He would prefer you give him his morning snuggles, as would I.”
“I’ll miss morning snuggles.” He leaned forward kissing me softly. His hands drifting down to the small of my back and sneaking under my shirt before pulling me in closer to him. I moaned into his mouth slightly. Harry shifted so he hovered above me. He pulled back from the kiss to catch his breath. His eyes in that moment were the most beautiful shade of green I’d ever seen. My hands found the hem of his white t-shirt pulling it over his head before leaning up off the bed to kiss him. He started to tug at my shirt finally getting me to break the kiss so he pull my shirt over my head. His warm skin against mine made every nerve ignite. Our kisses were slow but left me breathless. We took our time before my panties and his boxers made their way to the floor beside the bed.
“Harry…” I whispered. He had been kissing my neck and shoulder. He looked up at me and smiled. Tonight it was him reaching for the condom in the drawer and tearing it open. I was beginning to understand why he found it sexy when I’d rip it open with my teeth instead of my hands. Before I even had a chance to realize it I felt the pressure of him entering me slowly. Tonight everything was slow. The glances held more meaning than either of us cared to speak aloud about. The kisses full of emotion. The whispers sweet instead of dirty. Something between us was changing. I could sense it. This had started purely about drunken lust shared between two people but now it was about two people craving the touch and attention of the other and no one else.
“Evie, I really am going to miss you while you’re gone,” he said, still speaking in a whisper as I laid with my head on his chest trying to catch my breath. His fingers were running through my hair.
“I’m going to miss you too. And not just because I have to go without that,” I said giggling. “I’m going to miss knowing that when I open my eyes in the morning you’re laying next to me.”
“We shouldn’t even try to get used to this. You’re eventually going to have to go home. And if you get that movie you have to go film in England and France, which in case you are bad at geography are not just down the PCH from LA.” He laughed a little.
“I know. I’ll just have to get you tickets and fly you to visit me a lot.”
“I can buy those tickets myself, you know that.”
“I do, which I find incredibly sexy. But you also need to realize that I’m your boyfriend, I want to do nice things for you.”
“Nice things don’t need to involve money.”
“I know that, but they can.”
“You just don’t need to spend money on me. I spend enough on myself.”
“I’m aware. You came home with yet another piece of luggage I’ve never seen and from what I saw when I glanced in it after you got out of the shower you have no less than four bags in there and two pairs of heels that look expensive.”
“There’s four pairs of heels and six bags.” He laughed at me.
“Well, you should allow me to spoil you on occasion.” I sighed my defeat. “You aren’t used to people doing nice things for you, are you?”
“Never people I’m dating. My parents obviously do. Mom loves to shop. She will probably have found something she thinks I need when she went shopping with the boys over the weekend. Dad spoils me with little things all the time, they aren’t really ever about the cost though. He’ll find a record he knows I don’t have or a book he thinks I should read. My father has always been the extravagant gift giver. I realized at a young age it was how he rationalized his guilt. Gifts make up for not being around.”
“That’s still hard for you isn’t it?”
“Isn’t it for you?” I asked. He’d grown up in a different town than his Dad after his parents split up.
“It is a bit. I mean my Mum is a million times happier with Robin than she ever was with my Dad. But he chose to move when I was a kid. I didn’t see him very often. Maybe a few times a month.”
“That almost seems lucky.”
“I thought you said your father came home a lot.”
“He tried, once Mom got married it became less important. He’d try to come home for big things or like every other month to see me. But I was probably eight the first time I was put on a plane by myself to fly to LA because he’d cancelled the previous two times and Mom couldn’t fly with me. She was pregnant with Jonny and wasn’t allowed to fly. Things got better as I got older but there were still a lot of missed recitals. It’s why I got upgraded from the upright in my office to the baby grand at his house. He felt guilty he missed a piano recital. The first time my band played was in some dirty club in the city. He told me he was coming home for it. He missed it because of something that whatever wife he had at that point wanted him to go to. I got a brand new guitar delivered to the house the next day. He gave gifts if he missed things.”
“It does. And then my longest relationship, he never had money. He was paying for school with very little help from his parents. He hated that I had a trust fund from my parents and that I was 16 when I got my first black card. My father, despite me having a trust fund, wanted to help with school. I got a full-ride to Northwestern so I had an allowance in college. He paid my credit card, he paid the rent on my place that I shared with Eliza. It was his guilt about everything but also that he could and felt like he should. He struggled to pay for school, my grandparents didn’t have much. He didn’t want me to struggle the way he did.”
“You don’t act like you have as much money as you do. I mean it’s evident in the more extravagant things you have but who you are as a person doesn’t show that. You don’t act spoiled.”
“I worked my ass off even though my parents gave me a lot. I wanted people to know I’d earned what I had.”
“I know that feeling. I get a lot of people that assume because I got famous from a TV show that I didn’t earn anything. It’s hard to process that people think my career should be less legitimate than say Ed’s because I never struggled to make ends meet when I was playing music. I envy Ed’s path. He didn’t have people making the decisions for him. He didn’t have to make decisions as part of a democracy. He just got to decide to do something and do it.”
“Yeah, I get that. It doesn’t mean he hasn't had a hard time with decisions. I’ve pushed for this year off that he has right now for a long time. I’ll call him to check in every once in a while, make sure he hasn’t gone off the grid too much. Let him know that someone wants to record a song, you know that sort of stuff. Otherwise it’s usually just me bothering him and asking him to make sure he calls me if he’s in LA so I can see him.”
“He loves you.”
“I love him too. He’s one of my favorite people.” I listened to his heart beat as it slowed down to a normal rate. “I have to say that I’m really excited to be who you are letting help you in this transition. People are going to know you deserve everything you have because of how insanely talented you are and I love that I get to be the person to show them that.”
“I am glad it’s you. I’m also glad that enough people recommended you that I set up the meeting. Just think if I hadn’t. We wouldn’t be laying here right now.”
“I’m pretty happy about that fact too.”
“I do want you to know something important.”
“That if I buy you a gift or if I do something nice for you it’s not because I don’t think you’re capable of doing it for yourself or taking care of yourself. It’s not to buy your affection or to ease any guilt I have. It’s because when someone does something nice for you your whole face lights up. You really are genuinely shocked that people would want to do something nice for you just because.”
“Everyone in this city wants something.”
“The only thing I want from you is you.” He kissed me softly. The night turned into conversation mixed in with kisses. We talked about everything you could imagine. Conversation always flowed easily between us which was nice. A lot of men were threatened by my intelligence and the fact that I crack jokes constantly, which was usually to hide when I was insecure about something. Harry had jokes to throw right back. At 3:00 my alarm went off telling me I needed to get up and get ready for the car to pick me up. “We haven't slept. Will you be able to sleep on the plane?”
“Yeah, as long as none of my roommates have had too much coffee this morning.”
“I’m sorry that you didn’t sleep.”
“I’m not,” I said kissing him. “I got to lay here with you all night. No better way to spend my last night in LA for a week.”
“That is my feeling though I’m sorry that you’re going to end up being so tired all day.”
“I’ll be fine. I should probably get ready now though.”
“I know.” He pouted at me.
“You can sleep.”
“Or I could spend the last few minutes you’re home with you.”
“You could do that.” I stood to get out of bed. “I showered last night but I smell like sex.”
“That’s not a bad thing.”
“It is when I have to work today.” I turned the shower on and jumped in to quickly wash off. I saw Harry sitting on the counter in his boxers as he’d done the previous night.
“I don’t like that I have to say goodbye to you in an hour.”
“It’s only for a few days. We can do this.”
“I know we can. It doesn’t mean I want to.”
“Stop it. You’re just going to make leaving harder.”
“Sorry, but I just want you to know that I like having you around here and you mean a lot to me.”
“I like being around here and you mean a lot to me too.” I turned to look at him after shutting the water off. I dried off and stepped out of the shower. I went to where he sat and stood between his legs. “I’m glad you’re meeting me in Chicago.”
“Me too.” I kissed him before starting on my hair and makeup. Normally when I fly I wouldn’t care but I had a meeting as soon as I got to New York. I threw on a pair of black leggings and an oversized white t-shirt with a pair of black slip on Vans. The heels would come out as soon as I got to New York, no need to worry about it now. My suitcase had finally made it’s way into Harry’s closet. I could tell he’d hated that my bags just ended up all over his bedroom floor. I glanced through the closet and found a soft green plaid shirt hanging up. I pulled it off the hanger and put it on. I bent down to smell the inside of the shirt, it smelled like Harry, just what I needed to make it through this morning. “You have my shirt on,” he said as I looked to see him leaning against the closet door.
“Yeah, I’m gonna borrow it for my trip.”
“Want another one?”
“No, just one is fine.”
“It’s cute that you’re stealing my clothes.”
“I’m glad you think it is. My roommates will likely make fun of me but this morning I don’t care. I just want to be able to smell you today.” I glanced at my watch to see a text from Sam that he was there, he was early by about ten minutes, his normal routine. “Sam is here.”
“I know. He usually is.”
“He’s stealing the time I needed for last minute kisses.”
“You’re cute.” He kissed me and hugged me close to him. “I need to leave.”
“I know.” He grabbed my bags and carried them downstairs for me. He followed me out the door and handed my bags off to Sam who put them in the car. Harry hugged me close to him before bending down to kiss me. “I’m going to miss you.”
“I’m going to miss you too.”
“Call me when you land so I know you’ve arrived safely.”
“I will.” I kissed him again. “Good luck Thursday. You’re going to do great, H.”
“Thanks.” There were a few more kisses before he opened the door and helped me into the car. I waived at him as the car left the driveway. I turned to see him standing and watching it drive towards the gate. The way he stood alone watching me drive away nearly made me cry. I knew that this would be okay but hard. I needed to distract myself. I called the Editor of Another Man to discuss his ideas. It was a great idea and would have Harry back in England early next month to do the photography. Based on our discussions from last night it was just perfect for what he wanted to do. I was excited to tell him about it. We pulled into the parking lot at the private airport at exactly 4:30. The Circus had already arrived and were all getting their luggage loaded onto the plane.
“You look like you didn’t sleep,” Kammi said.
“That’s the best kind of night before leaving each other.” Kammi smiled. I knew she and Nick had a few of these nights in their time. Nights filled with kisses and conversation and a lot of sex. He often left for extended periods for tours and movies.
“I’ve never seen that shirt before,” Ty said. “I know your closet better than you do.”
“It’s Harry’s, I stole it this morning.”
“Awww,” came the collective sound of The Circus. I offered a weak smile.
“You’ll be fine,” Joe said. “You’ve got me for this trip.”
“I’m glad you’re coming. Are you staying at my place?”
“Yup,” he responded. It was only three bedrooms but that didn’t mean we didn’t often have all of us crammed into bedrooms or on sofas. I’d found Joe and Nick asleep on the balcony a few times over the years. We all got settled into the plane. Nick was sitting across the small aisle from me with Eliza across from me and Kammi across from him. I felt my phone vibrate in my hand.
I miss you already.
“You’re gonna be okay, E,” Nick said reaching his hand towards me and squeezing my shoulder. I looked up from my phone and forced a smile. “But it is nice to see you missing something other than work.”
“It’s nice to feel like there’s something to miss.”
NotesYet another chance where I’m stitting down to write the author’s notes and don’t even know what to say. I feel like even though this chapter wasn’t full of events and things the way the other chapters have been this one had so much for Everlee and Harry. They are moving forward in their relationship. They are using titles! I’m with Everlee...I’d be terrified if a week in I was at that point but when you know, you know. And they know. I love the way that their relationship is progressing and how supportive her friends and family are. I can’t wait for Harry to get to Chicago and meet her whole family. They are such a big part of her. I love that her Dad called to suggest a double date with he and her Mom. They want to get to know Harry because they know that he means a lot to Evie. We are learning a little bit more about her relationship with her Pops as well. She idolizes her father but I can feel her realzing that life is about having something to miss when you leave, which is something he never felt. The relationship between Everlee and James is complicated and has a lot of layers. I think we will get a chance to learn more about that as this story continues on.
I have some plans for future chapters that involve the need for a shipname for Everlee and Harry and I want YOUR help in coming up with it. The person who suggests the winning name gets to name a character in the story. It can be your name or anything else. The character would be the author of an article that reveals the shipname given to Harry and Everlee as we all know it will be news when the world finds out that Harry Styles is dating his new manager, Everlee Scarcello. A lot of speculation will happen. So submit your ideas! I am excited to see what everyone suggests because currently mine is EH and involves the shoulder shrugging emoji. Haha!
There’s a lot coming up! Chicago is going to be HUGE. We know Harry will have to head home soon for the Another Man Magazine shoot, will he be able to convince Everlee to go home with him? How will they handle the three days apart? New York is coming up next!
As always thank you for reading ITHOLA. Your kind words mean so much to me and I’m so thankful to have amazing readers like you. I hope you enjoyed this chapter. I love hearing what you think about these chapters and this story as it can only help me improve the story as I write it. So please let me know what you think! I have no idea when chapter twelve is coming as I haven’t started it yet. But I can have my fingers crossed for this weekend.
Have a wonderful day!