In The Heat of Los Angeles
Crazy for You (New Found Glory)
We’d come home last night and gone straight to bed. My Mom and Dad were both in their room watching TV. I could hear them as we walked up the stairs. We went into my room and crawled into bed. I was still upset about the conversation with my father and spent most of the time crying while Harry tried to soothe me so I could get some sleep. I’d finally been able to fall asleep around 1:00 but woke up at 6:00. I snuck out of the bedroom without waking Harry up today, which was abnormal. I figured he had barely slept because he wanted to make sure I was okay. I headed downstairs to the kitchen and started the coffee. I knew that The Circus would all be waking up soon so they could head home to LA. Coffee was going to be the best thing I could do for all of us.
As soon as the pot was done I poured myself a cup and went into the living room and grabbed a blanket before curling up in my spot. The spot where I read every book growing up. Where I dreamed of someday leaving Chicago and moving to Los Angeles to be just like my Pops. I was starting to wonder if those dreams had really been a nightmare. I heard the footsteps coming down the stairs but didn’t look up to see who it was.
“I thought you might be the one up making coffee,” Mom said as she sat down opposite me. She was still in her pajamas but covered up in a cozy robe.
“I didn’t sleep well.”
“How?” I asked.
“You got back at a different time than everyone else. I normally know what The Circus sounds like as they roll in. But I heard the door last night and nothing but whispers. Harry texted me while you were in the bathroom to let me know it was you who had come home and that you weren’t feeling well. I checked back a little while later, he said you were struggling to sleep.”
“Yeah, it was a rough night.”
“What, didn’t feel well? Drink too much?”
“No, a gossip site published a story last night about H and I.”
“I’m sorry. Was it mean?”
“No, shockingly it wasn’t.” I had grabbed my phone when I left the bedroom so I pulled the article up and handed it to my Mom. She quickly read through it giggling when she should and smiling at the photo of Harry and I from Jonathan’s party.
“It’s a cute article. Why did this make your night bad?”
“What did your father say?”
“Oh he’s my boss, didn’t you know?”
“No, in fact he’s not your boss. He’s your business partner. He signed over a portion of the company to you when you graduated from college. It was also part of the reason he didn’t end up losing his ass when we got divorced. He is not your boss. What did he say?” I could sense my Mom starting to get upset.
“He told me that my career comes first and I need to break up with Harry.”
“What? Please tell me you didn’t listen to him.”
“I didn’t. When he told me that my behavior was ruining my reputation and the reputation of the company I decided that I didn’t need to listen to him anymore.” I took a deep breath. “Mom, I don’t know how to deal with him anymore. I think I made a mistake. I should never have gone to work with him. Our relationship is so weird.”
“Evie, you’re amazing at your job and you love your job. You also love your father. I know he loves you, you’re the love of his life. I can’t begin to understand where he’s coming from with this reaction. The article was cute and if he has a problem with you and Harry then he needs to discuss it with you rather than just make demands.” I could hear the stairs creek and looked to see no one in the foyer.
“Evie,” Harry whispered from the stairs by the kitchen.
“In the living room baby,” I called back. He peaked around the corner in a pair of sweatpants and no shirt.
“You weren’t in bed when I woke up and this place is huge. I was pretty sure you’d found a secret passage and snuck out on me,” he said as he came over to where Mom and I were sitting. I sat up a bit so he could slide in behind me. He kissed the top of my head gently. “Good morning, Grace.”
“Good morning, Harry. I hope you finally got some sleep.”
“Not much. I was a bit worried about Evie. She’s had a rough few days. Lots of tears. I wanted to make sure she was okay.”
“What else happened this week, Evie?” Mom asked.
“Joe invited Drew out. He showed up with her. I nearly went too far but someone got a warning to call me. So of course, lots of tears.”
“I’m so sorry, sweetheart.” Mom’s voice was full of heartbreak for me. “I know it was hard for you to go through that breakup and that it couldn’t have been easy to see him.”
“It fucking sucked. The fact that he was stupid enough to bring her with and that she tried to act all innocent like they’d just been dating for like a year. I was going to get in a fight if Harry hadn’t called.” I leaned further into him glancing up at him as he smiled down at me before kissing me quickly.
“You had perfect timing.”
“I had Eliza,” he replied. “She sent me a text and told me that Evie needed a distraction. So I called and got to hear the aftermath of everything. I was just impressed that she didn’t threaten to stab him with something, even I have heard that one.” Mom laughed. “I have to be honest, I’m not sure how he could’ve hurt this girl. She’s phenomenal. If I ever hurt her I give you full permission to kick my ass, Grace.”
“I’ll take you up on that offer if you ever hurt her. Though today, the person I want to hurt is my ex-husband. I’m sorry you both had to go through that with James. He’s never understood matters of the heart. He broke mine once upon a time and then broke it again every time he wasn’t the father he could’ve been. I could kill him right now. I’m just so sorry that he’s being so ridiculous about this. I really thought that by telling him before you did that I’d save you from this.”
“How did he react when you told him?” I asked.
“Only slightly better than he was last night to you from the sounds of it. He was upset and felt you were being immature and not focusing on your image. He also didn’t figure it would last to become something serious. Other than Anthony you haven’t even tried making it past a second date with someone in a year.”
“None of them were worth a third date.”
“I haven’t actually made it past a second date yet,” Harry said. “She’d promised me a third date and both times we ended up eating at home. I think she’s trying to find a way to drag me along so she doesn’t make it to three dates before she breaks up with me.” I started to laugh really hard.
“I’m not going anywhere. And I feel terrible that you haven’t gotten your third date.”
“You could go out tonight without Dad and I,” Mom said.
“No, I’ve been looking forward to the double date,” Harry interrupted. “Evie and I can have a third date by ourselves at some point. Technically we’ve shared a lot of meals and gone out several times we just didn’t declare them as dates.”
“Yeah, I referred to you as my boyfriend after two dates. That shit doesn’t normally happen so I think you’re okay.”
“True. What time is everyone leaving?” Harry asked as he hugged me tightly.
“They should be up soon is my guess. Early flight. Kammi wants to start packing up her stuff so they can start moving it.”
“How are you feeling about her moving?” Mom asked.
“I’m okay with it. I’m surprised it’s taken this long. But I’m happy for them both. They deserve to be happy and moving in together is a huge move. I don’t imagine it will be long before they get married. I think they’ve just hesitated to move in together because he lives with Joe and she lived with all of us.”
“That’s a lot of being around people,” Harry said. “Alone time is always nice.”
“You two have been enjoying a lot of that based on what your friends say.” Mom was trying to find out more information.
“We have,” I replied.
“Have you stayed apart from each other yet?”
“When she was in New York.”
“But not other than that?”
“No.” I was a bit embarrassed to admit this to people. I didn’t want anyone to think I was being stupid and getting attached too quickly. Mom knew I’d been staying at Harry’s and she knew I was happy. But I was still worried that she’d think I was moving too quickly with this. “Umm…we’ve been working a lot so it just makes sense for me to stay with him.”
“You also really like spending time together and don’t know when you’re suddenly not going to be able to spend time together. So you’re trying to get in as much as possible now.”
“That’s exactly what I think,” Harry said. “I have to go back to England in a couple weeks and if I get cast in the film I auditioned for I leave at the end of May.”
“Hopefully not before you get to come to Mexico with us.” Mom was trying to be sly.
“I haven’t been invited to Mexico yet.”
“Consider this your invitation.”
“I think I’m going to wait for your daughter to invite me. Especially if her father is going and my presence will make a tradition awkward. If Evie decides that she wants me there and I can be there then I will be. We are traveling to England right before she would be heading to Mexico though.”
“We? You’re taking her home?” Mom asked.
“I am. I’m doing a magazine shoot, clearly need my manager there. Also helps that my girlfriend can meet my Mum on the same trip.”
“That will be fun. Evie loves England. She nearly took a position there when she graduated.”
“Oh did she?” Harry asked.
“Yes, a rival agency offered me a spot in their London office.”
“Interesting. You picked LA over London?”
“You’ve also apparently picked LA over London on a fairly regular basis.”
“True,” he replied. I heard movement coming up the stairs from the basement. Joe and Eliza appearing first followed by Ty.
“Hey guys,” I said looking at them. “Ready for your flight?”
“Hungover and not looking forward to an early flight is more like it,” Joe said. “Kammi is psychotic and I am voluntarily going to be sharing a home with her.”
“Enjoy that,” Ty said. “It will be nice to not have the morning person in the condo anymore.”
“Agreed,” Eliza and I replied simultaneously.
“Agreed on what?” Kammi asked as she walked into the room with her luggage and Nick following behind her. He also looked hungover.
“That we are all three excited that there will no longer be a morning person in our condo,” I said. She stuck her tongue out at me.
“How are you holding up, E?” Nick asked.
“As okay as I’m going to be. But it’s almost time to perk up and get excited. There’s a Cubs game with my brothers today.” I crawled out of the blanket leaving it with Harry who had stolen it and was wearing it like a shall around his shoulders. I moved to hug my five friends who were leaving soon. “Thank you all for coming home with me this weekend.”
“We are glad we were able to,” Kammi said. “And it was nice to sneak out a little bit Friday while you were with your brothers to see my grandparents. They were excited Nick and I came to see them.”
“Thanks for letting me stay here, Grace,” Eliza said.
“Always, Eliza. Your Mom is just happy that there’s a smile on your face and a reason to stay here other than you and Evie having too much to drink or eating pints of ice cream while you cry at rom coms.” Mom hugged her tightly. “I love you, Elizabeth Joy.”
“I love you too, Grace.” It was like we both grew up with two Moms because I sat here watching mine nearly cry saying goodbye to Eliza. “Thanks for everything and we’ll see you soon.”
“Good luck moving and send me pictures once you and Nick have yourselves settled together,” Mom said to Kammi.
“I will. Keep E in line while we are gone. We all know she needs it on occasion.”
“I’ll do my best but you know when she and her Dad are together for too long they get out of hand. I’m just glad you guys are leaving me a helper this time.”
“Yeah, have fun at the game man. She’s a bit nuts when she’s at a Cubs game,” Joe said.
“A bit?” Nick replied. “She threatened to fire me as a client because I wore a Dodgers cap…to Dodger Stadium.”
"You were with me! You wore a Dodgers cap to a game with ME! Plus you’re from Jersey. Don’t you consider yourself a Yankees fan?
“I do. But you can like teams from more than one league. So I also like the Dodgers.”
“Whatever,” I said laughing before hugging him. “Good luck helping Kammi move.”
“Thanks, we might need it. She has a LOT of clothes.”
“That she does,” I replied. “Don’t steal any of my clothes that are in your closet.” I looked at Kammi who hugged me.
“I wouldn’t dare. Your temper scares me.” She laughed. “Have fun with him over the next few days. You both look really happy. Don’t let Jimmy ruin this time you have at home with him. Let yourself enjoy this,” she whispered.
“I will. I’m just going to ignore him until I’m back in the city. Or at least ignore him the best I can ignore my business partner.”
“Eliza will play interference if she needs to.”
“I know. I just wish this wasn’t happening. Can’t he see that this is different?”
“He will,” she said. “And if he doesn’t then that is his problem and not yours. The rest of us can see it.”
The goodbyes were difficult but easy. I knew I’d see them in a few days but after last night I felt like I needed The Circus around me. That’s when I felt Harry’s hand on my back. I realized that I would be okay, I had him here with me. And we were facing this together. It was weird, this wasn’t shit I was normally used to doing. I was used to going it alone when it came to my partner if there were issues with my father. But here he was, standing beside me, ready to take on the fight. Everyone climbed into the Uber they had ordered and headed to the airport. We decided to eat breakfast at home today rather than go out before the game. The boys were all excitedly talking about the game. They honestly had no idea that it would be better than they expected it to be. I was anxious to have them see what I’d done for Jonny for his birthday. After breakfast we all headed upstairs to start getting ready.
“I’m gonna shower first,” I said as we walked into my room.
“That’s fine. You have more hair than I do.” He threw himself onto the bed and grabbed my iPad. I leaned down to kiss him softly. He pulled me down onto the bed and looked down at me. “You amaze me.”
“Why is that?”
“You have every right to be a mess right now based on how last night went. But you’re smiling and happy.”
“I get to spend the day with my baby brothers, my Mom and Dad, and this guy that’s been following me around for a couple weeks now.”
“Following you around?”
“You have been.” He paused to think about it and started to laugh, his dimples getting huge.
“I have been following you around it seems. To Malibu and now Chicago. And if I’m honest, I would’ve followed you to New York as well if you’d asked.
“I thought about asking but you had your audition. And it also seemed soon to be like dragging you across the country.”
“You drug me to Chicago.”
“Technically, my Mom invited you.” I smiled before he bent down to kiss me again. “I need to get ready for the game.”
“I know. You need to shower. But I need one more kiss.” I leaned up to kiss him before sliding down the bed and out from under him. I went into the bathroom and turned on the water. It wasn’t long before I was under the water and washing the last 24 hours off of me. It had been a rough night and I’d heard nothing from Pops since we got off of the phone. Normally when he realized he was wrong I'd get a bouquet of flowers, a piece of jewelry or a new handbag delivered with an apology note. He apologized to me the way he did the women he was in romantic relationships with though I often got pricier gifts. Nothing had come this morning and I felt like nothing would be coming. He didn’t think he was wrong and probably never would. He truly believed I was in the wrong for getting into this relationship.
I got out of the shower and wrapped myself up in the towel. I found Harry on my bed with my iPad rested on his chest asleep. He really had stayed up all night to try and take care of me. I wasn’t sure how I got this lucky. I hated the idea of waking him up because he looked like he clearly needed the sleep. I threw on my ripped up jeans and a vintage Cubs shirt before sitting next to him on the bed.
“Baby,” I whispered. He started to stir but didn’t wake up. “H.” Still nothing. I bent down and kissed him softly and immediately his hand snuck up the back of my shirt and the other held the back of my head as he deepened the kiss. I moved to look at him. “You were faking it?”
“Maybe?” he said. “I liked watching you walk around the room naked while you got dressed and had no idea I was watching. I like listening to you sing in the shower. You don’t sing when I’m in the shower with you. It’s only when you’re alone. You have a beautiful voice.”
“You only say that because you want to get laid tonight.”
“I mean that is true.” He raised an eyebrow. “But you do also sing beautifully. So I’m not just saying that to get laid. Though I would give you more compliments if it meant I got more sex.”
“How could you want more? We have a lot of sex.”
“You’re a gorgeous woman. I’m a sane man. I’d be your sex slave if you asked me to.” I started to laugh loudly.
“Get in the damn shower.” He leaned up and kissed me before going into the bathroom and getting ready to shower. I followed him to start doing my hair and makeup.
“At least I’m coy about wanting to watch you get naked,” he said as he pulled his shirt over his head. “You just stand in here while I shower so you can stare at me while I’m naked.”
“I do not. I need to do my hair and makeup. We have to leave soon. If I waited for you to be done in the shower we’d be late."
“You also like watching me naked in the shower.”
“I maybe don’t hate it,” I replied laughing. He pulled his sweatpants off and finally stepped into the water. “Mom got you a shirt for the game. But I don’t care if you wear a Cubs shirt or not. Wear whatever you want.”
“Okay, I forgot to tell you that you look cute in your little Cubs shirt.”
“Thanks, I haven’t decided if I’m gonna wear it or not. I packed the jersey the boys got me.”
“You could do both, right?”
“I could. You can help me decide when you’re done in the shower.” I started to blow dry my hair while he finished his shower. Watching him shave and do his hair in just his skinny jeans was becoming something I enjoyed. I felt like an idiot because I smiled any time I looked in the mirror and saw us together. Once we were both dressed we went down to the second floor of the house to find the boys and Dad all sitting in the family room. “Where’s Mom?”
“Finishing up,” Dad replied. I went into the bathroom and sat down on the sink the way I used to when I was a kid watching her put on eyeshadow.
“You look cute in the new shirt,” she said without really even looking away.
“Thanks. Harry opted to wear his, I told him he didn’t have to. I mean he put some wacky floral print shirt on over it, but I’d expect nothing less.”
“Have you heard from your father?” she asked.
“I’m sorry, Evie. I was really hoping he’d come to his senses when he woke up this morning. I’m sure by the time you get back to LA that he’ll be groveling to be back in your good graces as always.”
“It’s okay. For the first time I realize that I’ve got a partner in this that isn’t you. It’s not so bad when I don’t have to go it alone.”
“He’s a great guy. I’m glad you let him come home so that we could meet him.”
“Me too. Tuesday we are stopping at Nonna and Papa’s on the way back from Evanston. Maybe Nonna meeting him will sway Pops.”
“Maybe, though it’s doubtful. Your Nonna threatened to disown your father when he left us.” Left us. It was always an interesting way to look at it. He did technically leave us, not just her. I’d been through years of therapy to come to terms with that fact and still spent a pretty penny on it. He’d put the success of his business and career over his family and here he was expecting that I’d do the same. Harry wasn’t my family right now, but someday I wanted to have one and maybe he was the person I’d have it with, maybe he wasn’t. It was too early to tell, but it wasn’t too early to figure out that my father hated the idea of it.
With Drew everyone had always known it would eventually end. When we broke up my Dad sat me down and told me that for a long time each phone call I made home that wasn’t part of my normal schedule he was fearing it was me calling to tell them that Drew and I had broken up. Mom admitted that she’d never imagined we’d make it past a year, let alone to six. She was just happy that we’d never taken our relationship to the next level. And my Pops, he never feared that Drew would be more important than my job. Suddenly, he now had a reason to be afraid that someday I’d pick my life over my job.
“It will be what it will be, Mom. I can’t change him. If I’ve learned anything I’ve learned that. I’m sure the article is picking up steam today and he’s just getting more annoyed about it. We’ve been careful most of the time. When we were in Malibu we maybe slipped up a bit. But me posting that picture on Instagram was the confirmation all of those news organizations needed. I actually feel bad for Eliza because she’s going to be the one answering all of the calls and emails about this tomorrow and all week.”
“Will you confirm anything?”
“We haven’t talked about it. I know at some point we have to decide if we release a statement or just say no comment. But for now we haven’t talked about it. I find it ridiculous that I’d need to confirm who either of us is in a relationship with. It’s our personal lives, they can infer what they’d like from what they see. He doesn’t typically comment on his relationships and no one typically cares about mine.”
“Your situation is different now.”
“I know but why should I have to tell some reporter that I love him or something when I haven’t even told him.”
“Do you love him?”
“I don’t know.”
“I am not. I don’t know. Do I think I could love him? Absolutely. Do I think I’m falling in love with him? Of course. But do I think that I could say with 100% certainty in this very moment that the tall boy in the vintage Cubs shirt and skinny jeans with the long hair sitting on the couch with my Dad and brothers is someone that I love. I don’t think I can answer that.”
“I think you’re just afraid to say it but I think you love him. Mother’s intuition. And if you think you love him, you should tell him.”
“When I’ve decided how I feel I will. But it won’t be today and won’t likely be tomorrow either. But when I decide how I feel and you’ll be the second person to know.”
“Second?” Mom looked hurt.
“Yeah, he’ll be first.” She laughed a bit.
“Just as long as you are happy, I’m happy. And if I need to step in and kick Jimmy’s ass then I will.”
“Thanks, Mom.” We were finally ready to leave for the game and headed out of the house. We walked to the station and hopped on the L to head to Wrigley. I was getting antsy, this was the kind of thing I lived for when I came home. All of my family on the train heading to a game together. Harry smiled at me from where he stood beside me, he had his arm around me. He had sunglasses on in an attempt to not look like Harry Styles riding the L to Wrigley, when he smiled and his dimples showed his disguise became a failure.
“I’m excited. I haven’t been to the park yet this year and Jonny still has no clue what is going on.” I’d decided to invite his best friends and a couple of the girls that hung out with them. We were headed in for batting practice so I could check in with some of our clients since Kammi wasn’t able to stay for the game. We got off at the station and as we were approaching Wrigley I started skipping. Harry just laughed at me. “Alright, we have to head down to the field. I’ve got the okay for us to be down there for BP since I need to check in with a few of the guys. KB got it all arranged.” Once in the stadium I saw the boys on their cell phones taking pictures and I realized that Harry was taking one as well. “Whatcha doin’?”
“Taking a picture of my girlfriend in her happy place.” I leaned back to see that he’d taken the picture from beside me. The curly blond hair, sunglasses pushed up and a smile on my face. “You’ve got a smile I can’t even describe. I wanted to remember it.” I leaned over to kiss him before we walked down to the field. I showed the passes we had to the security and then we walked out. It wasn’t long before Kris and Anthony noticed we’d gotten down there. Anthony reached me first giving me a hug and picking me up.
“Hey there shorty,” he said.
“Hey Ant. How are things?”
“Good. Jonny’s birthday game right?” he asked quietly.
“Yes, he still doesn't know about the suite so keep your mouth shut.”
“No problem.” He let go of me and I smiled at Harry before mouthing out ‘hi’. He smiled and replied with a ‘hi’. I didn’t want him to think anything of the hug Anthony and I shared, we were friends and that was it at this point.
“Anthony, I want you to meet someone.” I reached over to Harry and grabbed his hand pulling him towards me. “This is my boyfriend, Harry. H, this is my friend Anthony.”
“Nice to meet you man,” Harry said sticking his hand out to shake Anthony’s. I’d always been amazed by how tall Anthony and Kris both were, Harry held his own next to Anthony, he just looked super skinny in comparison.
“Nice to meet you too. Ev, I didn’t know you had a boyfriend.”
“It’s fairly recent. But we decided he should come home for Jonny’s birthday,” I said.
“Grace decided,” Harry declared. “She invited me without Evie knowing.”
“I finally agreed to it.” Kris walked up behind Anthony.
“Hey E,” he said.
“Ev has a boyfriend,” Anthony announced. I just laughed.
“I’m Kris, nice to meet you.”
“Harry, nice to meet you as well.”
“Kammi didn’t stick around?” Kris asked.
“No, they flew out early. She’s moving in with Nick so they have to start packing her up.”
“They are finally moving in together,” Kris said. “Seems like it’s about time.”
“My thoughts exactly.”
“How is Ty handling it?” Anthony asked.
“Not well,” I replied. “I don’t stay at home much anymore either so it’s he and Eliza.”
“That has to be funny,” Kris replied.
“It is,” Harry confirmed.
“Hey guys,” Jonathan said as he walked over to us. Kris and Anthony both did man hugs with my brother.
“How’s season going?” Anthony asked. “I’ve been meaning to make it to one of your games. Ev sent me your schedule. Our next day off that you’ve got a game KB and I will come out to watch. Have you decided on what position you want to stick to yet?”
“I haven’t. Coach has me pitching and playing first still. Pitching is a lot of fun but I really love first base.”
“It’s the best,” Anthony said with pride. Harry looked a little bit lost with the conversation so I turned to look at him.
“You okay?” I whispered.
“I’m fine. Baseball was not something I watched a lot of growing up so I don’t necessarily understand their conversation,” he whispered back.
“We are going to head to our seats soon. I just wanted to check in with them both and get Jonny down here for a bit.”
“I know and I’m okay. Just a little confused.” Mom and Dad came over with Mason and Christopher to say hi to Kris and Anthony. Dad clearly saw them both most frequently because they were regulars in his restaurants. It wasn’t long before we went back into the stands to head to our seats.
“So are we behind home plate or along a baseline?” Jonathan asked.
“Well, we are on the first baseline,” I said as I kept walking. I lead the way to where we would head up to the suites.
“Where are we going?” he questioned me.
“You only turn 16 once, Jonny. So I got us a suite for the game. Thus why Mom, Dad and Harry all got to tag along. It isn’t just us kids today because it’s a big birthday for you.” Jonathan hugged me tightly in the elevator we were in.
“Thank you, Evie. Thank you so much. You are the best. I’m so lucky to have a big sister like you.” I could feel myself tearing up. “I love you. Thanks for coming home.”
“I wouldn’t miss this for the world. I love you too, Jonny.” We exited the elevator and were taken to our suite. Jonathan walked in to see his friends all inside, they appeared to be freaking out a little bit about being in a suite at Wrigley Field.
“You’re a good sister,” Dad said as he hugged me into him and kissed my temple.
“I try. You know that these boys mean the world to me.”
“I do.” Mason and Christopher had already pulled Harry out to the seats in front of the suite so they could watch the last part of batting practice and hang out with him. I loved to see how he was fitting into my family so easily. It was amazing but also completely terrifying. Was my Mom right? Did I love him? It couldn’t be possible to love him already. Could it? I mean I liked spending time with him and haven’t gotten sick of him yet despite spending nearly every night together since we met. Tomorrow would be two weeks, which was fucking crazy if you ask me, but I’ve seen crazier things in my life. I had always been the person who carefully planned out everything in my life, it would only make sense that when I actually fell in love that it was fast, unexpected and completely terrifying. I saw Harry turn around and look at where I stood at the door and smile.
“Evie, come sit with us,” he said. I headed to the seats and sat down behind Harry. He bent backwards and kissed me. “Hi.”
“Hi,” I replied.
“Do you want me to come sit back there with you?” he asked.
“No, stay with the boys right now.”
“But, you’re all smiley back there. I like being around the smiley.” He turned, cleared his chair and jumped up to sit next to me. “Why are you all smiley?”
“I just like seeing you with the boys. They like you.”
“I like them. They told me they were concerned I hadn’t learned the number one lesson of a game at Wrigley Field. Which I assumed was to cheer for the Cubs. Evidently it was not.” I started to laugh a bit. I knew my brothers well enough to know what the lesson was.
“No ketchup on hot dogs.”
“How is that a thing? And why did they tell me that?”
“Because you don’t eat ketchup on hot dogs. The first time we brought The Circus to a game they all did. So they make sure to explain the rules to anyone I bring that is new.”
“Okay then. Also, Mason claims he’s sending me back to Los Angeles with recipes of things that I can make you for dinner.”
“He seems to think I don’t eat when I’m in Los Angeles and also that I can’t cook.” I turned to look at him. “I can.”
“Oh, I know you can. He just seems to think that I should be cooking you dinner. He says it will woo you.”
“Mason, the 12 year-old ladies man. He’s watched our Dad cook for our Mom his entire life. Dad still woos Mom every day. He thinks that’s what should happen.”
“It should.” I rested my head on his shoulder. “Are you putting on a brave face today or are you actually okay?”
“I have you next to me, I’m okay.”
“What do you mean?”
“This sort of thing between my father and I, it happens. He likes to get angry at me for things that are usually pretty stupid, he tends to get over it the next day. Then I get showered with gifts. Drew hated dealing with the arguments between my father and I. We both know how to push the buttons in the other one that will make what would be a small situation huge. Working together makes it even worse. Drew would refuse to listen to me even talk about it. Last night, you stood by me. You didn’t have to.”
“You’re my girlfriend. I’m going to always stand beside you to help you through this.” He lightly kissed the top of my head. “I…I…I care about you a lot. I also care about what happens to you. I’m sorry that your father isn’t being supportive of us. But I want you to know that I’m going to be here. Do you think it would help if I talked to James and explained things to him. Told him that I wasn’t in this just for fun.”
“You don’t need to do that.”
“I want to,” he said. “I want him to know how much I care about you and that we’ve got boundaries set up for everything that could possibly arise.”
“We will talk about it if he doesn’t apologize by the time we get home.”
“I’ll keep my fingers crossed that this doesn’t last that long.”
“I will too.”
Harry managed to survive me during a Cubs game at Wrigley Field. I felt that he was in luck because we won, if we’d lost he would’ve had a much different experience. We exited the stadium singing ‘Go Cubs Go’ as loud as possible as we walked back to L. Jonathan’s friends were all headed back to the house with us. They were gonna order pizza and play video games while we all went to dinner tonight. Since the kids didn’t have school tomorrow it was an easy decision for them all to hang out at our house. Once we were back home we went up to my room and I laid down on the bed. Harry fell onto the bed next to me.
“I’m exhausted,” he said.
“Me too. Though you’re probably more tired than I am. You barely slept.”
“You cried in your sleep. I couldn’t sleep knowing that something was wrong with you.” He pulled me towards him, wrapping his body around mine.
“You are.” We laid silent in each other’s arms for a while. “How long do we have before dinner with your parents?” I looked at my watch. It was 5:00.
“Like two hours.”
“Nap?” he asked. I nodded before setting an alarm on my phone and snuggling back into his arms. We both easily fell asleep. The alarm went off about an hour later. I shut it off and buried my face into Harry’s chest.
“We need to get up.”
“I know. Tonight when we get home we are going to lay in bed and snuggle.”
“Sounds perfect.” There was a knock at the bedroom door.
“Come in,” I said. The door opened and in came my Mom.
“I thought you two may have decided to take a nap.”
“We did,” I replied. “I don’t think this one slept at all.”
“I got a little bit of sleep but I didn’t sleep well,” Harry responded as I sat up. “I woke up at every noise she made.”
“We will make it an early night so that you two can get back here and get some sleep. Tomorrow is just a family day so we should all be able to sleep in a little.”
“I don’t know that I know what ‘sleeping in’ is anymore," I said laughing.
“Well tomorrow you shall find out.” Mom smiled at me. “We are going to leave in like a half hour. Does that give you two enough time to get ready?”
“Yeah,” I replied.
“Alright, we will see you downstairs.” With that she shut the door and I fell back onto the bed.
“We need to move,” Harry said.
“I know. I just don’t want to.” I groaned before straddling him, kissing him and climbing off of the bed.
“That just wasn’t fair,” he whined.
“Too bad.” I went over to the closet and started to dig through to find something to wear to dinner. We were going to Grace which was a nicer restaurant. I needed to wear a dress tonight. I found a black dress that I’d brought home with me and hung it up before going into the bathroom to touch up my hair and makeup. When I was done I’d found Harry in tight black jeans and a cream shirt with small black polkadots. “You look nice.”
“You picked out a dress. I didn’t figure I should wear my Cubs shirt.”
“Good call.” I started to strip to put on the dress. I found a pair of heels and put them on as well.
“You look gorgeous,” he said as he grabbed both of our jackets off of the chair they’d ended up on last night.
“Thank you,” I replied before kissing him and making sure any of my lipstick didn’t transfer to his lips. “And thank you for going on a double date with my parents. I know it’s a bit awkward.”
“Not at all. I genuinely like your Mom and Dad. This isn’t just because I think I need to impress them. I want to spend time with you and them. It will be nice for it to just be the four of us and not all of the kids and The Circus.”
“You’re the best.”
“I know,” he replied with a smartass smile. “You tell me I’m the best you’ve ever had every night when you lay in bed next to me struggling to catch your breath. You’re quite good for the ego boost.”
“I’m glad I can be good for something.” I laughed as we headed out of the room and downstairs. We made it just as Mom and Dad walked into the foyer.
“You two kids look nice,” Dad said. He had on a pair of black jeans, a striped t-shirt and a black blazer. Mom in a simple black dress.
“You both look good together, as always,” I said. My parents truly were a gorgeous couple. Mom was so happy with Dad. Though the memories were fading now at 25 I remembered how hard things were when she and Pops split. To see that she and Dad happily married this long with their three boys made me happy. I liked knowing that no matter where I was that Mom was taken care of. I knew that Dad was never going anywhere, he was still as in love with Mom today as he was the day he married her, if not more in love. We got into Dad’s car and he drove us through the city to Grace. Mom and Dad greeted everyone politely as we entered, Harry held onto my hand.
“Hello, Hannah,” I said greeting the hostess as we walked into the restaurant.
“Hello, Everlee,” she replied. She’d worked here for ages and as usual I knew most of the people in Dad’s restaurants by name even though I didn’t live in the city anymore. “We have your table ready, Marco.” We were lead through the restaurant and to a quiet booth towards the back. Harry allowed me slide in first and sat beside me. His hand found mine under the table and he threaded his fingers through mine. The metal of his rings were cool against my skin. Dad ordered a bottle of my favorite wine after we each got a glass of water.
“So do you have any places you want to go tomorrow?” Dad asked.
“Not really,” I replied. “Whatever you guys want to do.”
“Anywhere you want to see, Harry?” Mom asked.
“I’m flexible. Whatever the family wants to do. We just want to spend time with all of you. If you had plans for the day with the boys off of school we will just go along with that. Don’t change your plans just because we are here.”
“We could go to the Art Institute if you wanted,” Mom said. “We still have the Van Gogh’s Bedroom exhibit you loved the last time you were home.”
“That could be fun. Would the boys kill us for making them go?”
“They’d be fine,” Dad replied. “If we promise them something good for lunch and something fun in the afternoon we can do that in the morning.”
“I’d like that. Evie has a lot of fond memories of the Art Institute that I’ve gotten to hear. It would be nice to see it.”
“She would be there enough with me on the weekends when I was still doing events as the main part of my job. She’d see all of the brides taking pictures and getting married there. She had her entire wedding planned by 10,” Mom said.
“Mom!” I dropped my head onto the table. “We don’t need to tell him that.”
“It’s cute. Do you still want that?” he asked looking at me.
“I mean, it’s been what I’ve dreamed of my whole life but I guess I’ll just have to wait until someday when I’m planning a wedding. For now I try not to think about weddings unless it’s what I get the person getting married or if my bridesmaid’s dress is ugly.”
“What is your dress like for Jillian’s wedding?” Mom asked.
“Not too terrible. One of those trendy sequin glitter dresses in black. I may actually get use out of it again for some of the fancier events I have to go to for work. I mean if I even have a job when I get back.” I laughed and Mom frowned. I felt Harry squeeze my hand.
“He can’t fire you,” Mom said.
“She’s right,” Dad added. “Jimmy can’t fire you. It would take a majority vote from the board to have you removed. And I’m going to guess none of them agree with him. He’s just being a father, though admittedly in a strange way. Maybe he just needs to see how happy you really are. I can speak as a father, seeing you this happy is what I’ve always dreamed of. I’m going to hope that Jimmy sees the same thing I do.”
“Me too,” I replied as I looked over at Harry. “I’m not gonna hold my breath though. I haven’t so much as gotten a text or email today. It’s rare that on a Sunday when he’s sitting at home that he doesn’t email me repeatedly. He likes to have everything to me Sunday night
knowing that I read emails before I go to bed.”
“Not anymore,” Harry said.
“Will he take your laptop away from you?” Dad asked.
“He will. He held it hostage for an entire day actually.”
“I don’t think she should have her laptop in the bedroom. That’s not a place for work to be done.”
“No,” Dad agreed. “Her mother is guilty of it too.”
“They have me working more events again,” she said. “So with wedding season approaching I’m on overload.”
“Still shouldn’t be bringing her laptop into bed. The bed is meant for sleep and sex, well and the occasional Netflix binge.”
“Exactly,” Harry said. “Though agreeing on the things that should be done in a bed with my girlfriend’s dad feels a little bit weird.” He thinks it’s weird. Try being me dude. He can get away with anything, I’ve learned this quickly. I, however, still evoke the memory of blonde pigtails in my Dad so having my boyfriend admit that the bedroom is for sex and sleep is beyond awkward.
“I would say awkward, not weird.” Harry laughed at me.
“Evie, I stopped pretending you weren’t having sex when you turned 18,” Dad said. “Your mother tried to shield me from the truth for a few years.”
“I think it was a good two years that I had him convinced you were on birth control for your skin.” Mom could barely get out the laughter.
“Can we not talk about that stuff around my boyfriend?” I raised an eyebrow at my parents. They were so strange. “I mean he doesn’t need to hear my parents talk about this stuff.”
“Sorry, Evie tells us we overshare sometimes,” Mom said.
“It’s okay. Overshares about Evie I’m fine with. And now I see where she gets it,” Harry responded. “The first night that we met she didn’t realize that she told me she liked my accent.”
“I blurted it out. I do love his accent. I was also fairly drunk.”
“Evie doesn’t have a filter when she drinks,” Dad said.
“No, she does not,” Harry agreed. “It’s rather entertaining.”
“You shouldn’t be agreeing with that.” I glared at Harry.
“Love, you are pretty funny when you’ve been drinking and you lose your filter around three drinks. It’s a fact.”
“I guess it is.” He leaned over and kissed my temple.
“It’s okay, I still find you cute when you lose your filter.” The wine was delivered to the table and we ordered dinner. I sat back watching Harry interact with my parents. I’d been doing this a lot this weekend. The way he so easily just fit into my family was incredible. My brothers today during the game were trying to teach him about baseball which was completely hilarious. They eventually gave up in the bottom of the fourth and let him just hang out with me. The girls Jonathan was friends with that I’d invited all wanted pictures with him and he was so good with them. It was amazing to see him so great with fans when he was trying to enjoy a Sunday with his girlfriend and her family. I had a lot of clients and had been in public with several of them who weren’t as kind and generous with their fans. Tonight with just Mom and Dad was a nice. He was at ease with the conversation and never hesitated, even when Dad tried to be embarrassing. We finished dinner and got in the car to head home.
“Want to go for a walk?” Harry asked as we got out of the car.
“Sure,” I replied. “We will be back in a little bit. We are going to go for a walk in the park.”
“Okay. See you in the morning kids,” Mom said kissing both of our cheeks. Harry grabbed my hand and we took off to the park across the street from the house.
“I know I’ve said this a lot over the weekend but I’m really glad you invited me to come home with you.”
“I’m glad you came with me. It’s been nice having you here.”
“Your family is incredible.”
“Most of them,” I replied.
“That was why I wanted to talk. Are you sure you’re okay? You had a rough night with your father. It would be okay to be angry or upset.”
“I am, but I don’t need to ruin our trip by allowing myself to be upset about it.”
“You can allow that though. If you need to be I’m going to be here for you. I’m not going to have an adverse reaction to you being upset. I’ve got a Mum and sister. I’ve consoled my fair share of upset women.” I took the hand of his that was in mine and wrapped his arm around my shoulder, still holding his hand. “I want you to know you can talk to me.”
“It’s been tough today. I half expected him to come to his senses by the time he woke up this morning and call me or have a giant bouquet of flowers delivered to the house. I’m beginning to think that my worst thoughts are true. He’s not going to regret what he said. He’s just going to continue to be upset about this.”
“Have you thought about calling him?”
“I have but I don’t even know where to start. He tried to demand that I break up with you. That’s not his call and hurts so much.”
“Maybe he doesn’t know how serious we are about each other.”
“He hasn't even bothered to ask about us. There was the conversation in Malibu and that’s it.”
“Maybe when we get back in town we invite him over for dinner and just talk to him, explain to him that this isn’t a fling and we aren’t just goofing around. That we face this together and talk to him about it.”
“That might work.”
“Next Sunday, we have him over, hell invite Jessica. Show him that you are trying to make an effort and that he can too.”
“You’re really pushing it now,” I said laughing.
“If you want him to take our relationship seriously you have to take his seriously. Call him.” I pulled my phone out of my purse and clicked for my father’s cell phone.
“Hello Everlee,” he answered.
“How was the game?”
“Good. Jonny was surprised about the suite and loved every minute of it. I’m sure you know that we won.”
“I watched the game.”
“So, I wanted to talk to you about something important.”
“Okay,” he replied.
“I understand that you’re concerned about the media covering my relationship with Harry. It’s very new and I can understand the concern about it effecting my image and thus the company’s image. But I want you to know that what is happening between Harry and I isn’t just a fling.”
“We’d like to invite you over to his house for dinner next Sunday. You and Jessica. I think you and I both can make an effort to make things better. I really think you’ll like Harry.”
“Evie, I like Harry. I just question your judgement of being so open about this relationship when it can change the way people think of you.” The words hurt. It wasn't the person it was my behavior that he didn’t approve of.
“Pops, the way that other people think of me shouldn’t matter. What should matter is that I’m happy. I’m really happy. Harry makes me really happy. I’m not going to hide because of the fact that some gossip blog might write a story or publish one of my Instagram photos. He makes me happy enough that I don’t want to pretend like he doesn’t. So, we would like to invite you and Jessica to dinner at his house on Sunday. You could come over in the afternoon, we could all have a chance to hang out. I can cook dinner for all of us.”
“I’ll check with Jessica and my schedule and I’ll get back to you.”
“That’s all I can ask.”
“Will you be online tomorrow at all?”
“I’m spending the day with Mom, Dad, and the boys. But I’m gonna go through my email tonight before I go to bed since I haven’t checked it all weekend.” Harry glared at me so I flipped him off. He knew that I would be going through my email in bed rather than just laying down and watching a movie.
“Well enjoy your time with your family. Do you fly back Wednesday?”
“Yeah, late Wednesday. I should be in the office Thursday.”
“I will see you Thursday then.”
“Okay. I love you, Pops.”
“I love you too, Evie.” I hung up the phone and Harry hugged me.
“No matter what the outcome of this is I’m proud of you for not just being stubborn and refusing to talk to him. Taking the first step in this is a big deal.”
“I know. It’s what happens a lot. I’m often forced to be the adult in this relationship.”
“Either way, I’m so proud of you, Evie.” He hugged me tighter. “I…I’m so proud of you.”
“Thanks.” We finished walking through the park and went up to my room as soon as we got home. He stripped down to his boxers and climbed in bed while I put on pajamas and grabbed my laptop.
“I’m letting you have a pass on this laptop in bed nonsense since you haven’t looked at it all weekend.” I clicked the email application and we both watched as the tally rose. “You have 1,400 emails?”
“That’s not surprising.”
“It’s my life,” I said as I shrugged my shoulders. I started to go through and quickly get through some of my emails. I had the number down to about 1,000 when I noticed that Harry had fallen asleep next to me watching a movie on Netflix. I smiled at him. When he slept he looked like a little kid. I shut my laptop and quickly went to check my social media on my phone before going to bed. I had a notification on Instagram of a new photo I was tagged in.
gracefferrera: A wonderful dinner out at @grace_chicago with @marcoferrera. Tonight we got to have our beautiful daughter @everleemae with us as well as @harrystyles. These two kept us laughing all night, I will be sad to see them go back to LA later this week. It’s been nice having our little girl home for a few days.
It was a funny picture of us. Mom had taken it when Harry was making fun of me about something with Dad. I was trying to pretend like I was mad but it was impossible with the way he was laughing to be mad. I quickly clicked the like button and noticed a comment that appeared.
harrystyles: Thanks for a wonderful night @gracefferrera and @marcoferrera and thanks for raising such a wonderful woman.
He was too good to be true. I looked over at him, still sound asleep, his light snoring the only noise in the room. I plugged my phone in and laid down next to him. He must’ve sensed me moving because he wrapped his arms and a leg around me. It was crazy to think that it was only two weeks into this. But sometimes crazy is a good thing, right?
NotesThank you so much for continuing to read this and being SO patient as I had one helluva busy week last week. I'd originally hoped to have a chapter posted before right now but ended up being put on some antibiotics that have some wicked side effects and have had me sleeping most of the weekend. But I pushed through because I really wanted to tell this story and this chapter.
Things are heating up everywhere! Everlee admitted that she's falling for Harry! Harry told Everlee that he's going to stand by her through anything. And is really trying to help her mend things with her father. Evie had a hard time being the adult in the situation, she had hoped that her father would be the one to make that first move and apologize but she may be right. It may take a lot longer to fix things with her father, but Harry is really making an effort to help her mend those fences.
I hope you enjoyed this chapter. And I sincerely hope that the next update doesn't take as long. I've got another busy week but not NEARLY as busy as last week. There's no all day event as part of this week. I can't wait to hear what you think of this chapter. As always, feedback is welcome and appreciated.
Have a great week.