In The Heat of Los Angeles
I Love You (Under the Influence of Giants)
“Good morning,” came the groggy voice in bed next to me as I finally opened my eyes.
“Good morning,” I replied snuggling into his arms. “Did you sleep well?”
“Like a baby. How ‘bout you?”
“The horcrux kept me up after you for a while but I think I fell asleep around 1:30.”
“That’s better than I expected it to be honestly. I almost thought you’d still be awake going through your email when I woke up.”
“I should’ve been but I was tired and you looked cozy.” He started to kiss my neck.
“I was tired. I’m sorry I fell asleep.”
“It’s okay. I would’ve hated myself if you stayed up with me just so I could read stupid emails about stupid shit that I don’t want to deal with.”
“We have everything confirmed for our trip to England. Eliza booked flights when she got home yesterday.” I felt his lips form into a smile as he kissed me.
“I’m excited to take you home for a few days. Just you and me. Peace and quiet.”
“You’re taking me and the horcrux unfortunately.”
“I know. I’m never going to get you without a laptop or cell phone in your hand.”
“I can do that sometimes.” I raised my eyebrows at him suggestively which made him laugh.
“I guess you do put the phone down when we do that.” My phone started to vibrate on the nightstand as he moved his hands beneath my shirt. “Nevermind.” I reached for the phone and answered it.
“Everlee Scarcello,” I answered. I hadn’t recognized the caller id.
“Hello, Miss Scarcello,” came the British accent on the other line. “I’m Lisa and I was calling you about casting for a new film by Christopher Nolan.” I pushed Harry away as he tried to shove his head under my shirt. I climbed out of bed and started pacing.
“Yes, hello. What can I help you with?” I was trying desperately not to sound like I’d just woken up.
“Well, we wanted to offer a role to Mr. Styles based on his auditions last week. I wanted to confirm your fax so we can send over a contract for you to look at.”
“Of course. I’m not in my office in Los Angeles today so I need to give you a different number.”
“Oh, I’m sorry. Did I catch you on holiday?”
“You’re fine. Don’t worry. Just in Chicago for a few days.” I rattled off the fax number that Dad used at home. “If you send it to that number or to me by email I can take a look at it today and get back with you either today or first thing tomorrow.”
“That sounds wonderful. Thanks so much, Miss Scarcello.”
“No, no, thank you.” I hung up the phone and dropped it onto the bed.
“Did you know you’re beautiful?” he questioned as he rested on his elbow looking at me. I was in just a t-shirt, his t-shirt actually. “You’re pacing.”
“About?” He reached for me as I stopped walking and grabbed the shirt pulling me towards the bed. I straddled him, playfully smiling down at him.
“How to break the news to you?”
“How you’re going to be spending the summer in France?”
“I got it?” he asked. I nodded. “You’re not kidding? I got it?” I nodded again before he pulled me down to kiss him.
“I can’t even begin to tell you how proud I am of you,” I said as I leaned back to look at him. “I’m gonna miss the shit out of you but you’re going to be amazing.”
“I’m gonna miss the shit out of you too. Promise you’ll visit?”
“I mean, you’ll have to twist my arm to go visit France but I think I could maybe pull that off.” He hugged me tightly.
“I wouldn’t be here without you.”
“I know. You’d be in your bed in LA.” He laughed at me.
“I’m not kidding. I wouldn’t be here without you. You are the best decision I’ve made in a while.”
“Right back at ya buddy.”
“You don’t do serious well.”
“Not when I’m barely awake and just got the call that my boyfriend booked his first movie. I’m so proud of you, H.”
“They are going to send the contract here and we can look at it today so we can let them know.”
“Okay. You know what to do with this stuff. I say yes.”
“Well, if the contract sucks no you don’t.”
“No, I do. I will pay them to be in the movie.” I laughed. “I’m just so excited that I’m not singing or dancing in this role. I will literally pay them to be in the movie.”
“Good to know. I will look at the contract and advise you of whether you sign it or not and then we will send it back.”
“Holy fuck. I’m going to be in a movie.” I started to laugh as he flipped me onto my back and stood on my bed. He jumped up and down a little bit before flopping back down next to me. “I…I…I am so lucky to have you.”
“I’m lucky to have you too,” I replied before kissing him. “Evie’s gonna make the big bucks on you some day, kid.” I winked at him in the creepiest way possible. He started to laugh at me.
“We should get up. I’m sure your entire family is already awake.” It was 8:45. I hadn’t even realized the time. Normally a casting agency wouldn’t call me so early but they were calling from England which was six hours ahead of us right now, eight when we are home. They probably expected to either find me being one of the crazy ones in the office already like I usually was or just expected to leave me a message and get a call back later.
“They probably are. We should get up.” We both climbed out of bed and started to get ready. We went downstairs and I snuck into Dad’s office and grabbed the contract off of the fax machine before heading in to find Harry seated at the table with my family eating breakfast. I sat down and started looking through the contract.
“Evie, no work at the table,” Mom said.
“I’m almost done.”
“Evie.” She was more stern this time. I was guilty of working at the table when we were supposed to be sharing a meal and always had been, another trait I inherited from Pops. We often shared meals that were over contracts and just an excuse to multi-task to make sure we ate more than just crap all day.
“It’s work for Harry and I’d like to get an answer to the agency by the time we leave this morning.”
“What is it?" Dad asked.
“A contract for a film,” I replied as I took a bit of toast.
“Anything good?” Mom rolled her eyes at Dad encouraging me to keep working.
“World War II drama by Christopher Nolan. Couldn’t ask for a better debut role.” I took a drink of orange juice next.
“Really?” Mom asked. Now she was invested. I nodded.
“I auditioned last week, it’s why I didn’t go to New York with Evie. I had a second audition on Thursday.”
“And you booked the role?” Mom looked as excited as I sort of imagined Harry’s own Mom looking or her looking if I’d done something great. It made me melt a little to realize how attached my family had already gotten to him. He nodded.
“As long as Evie says the contract is worth it.” He looked at me for an answer.
“It’s worth it. Evie’s getting a new purse today.” He laughed at me before leaning over to kiss me.
“Thank you,” he said quietly.
“You did it all on your own baby.” My phone started to ring on the table. I looked down to see the picture of me and Pops that was his caller id.
“Not at the table,” Mom said as I slid to answer the call. I stood up and walked out of the room.
“Hey,” I answered.
“You get the same fax I just did?” he asked.
“You’re approving it right?”
“Tell that kid I’m damn proud of him.” Harry had followed me into the kitchen. “Why don’t you tell him yourself.” I handed Harry the phone.
“Hi, James,” he said. He paused for a moment and listened to what my Pops said. “Thank you so much. Thank you for getting me the audition. If it wasn’t for you and Evie I wouldn’t be in this position.” He paused again before smiling at me. “She is pretty amazing. Thanks again.” He handed the phone back to me.
“Have him sign it and fax it back. Then enjoy the rest of the day. You’ve got a big presentation tomorrow. I want to hear how it goes. Remember, find us some interns.”
“Got it Pops.”
“You did good, kid.”
“Couldn’t do it without you.”
“Have fun today and don’t spend all your commission money in one place.”
“I’ll try not to. Love ya, Pops.”
“Love ya too, kid.” I hung up the phone and stood on my tiptoes to kiss him.
“I’m proud of you.”
“Thanks,” he replied. He took the contract from my hand and grabbed a pen that he saw sitting on the kitchen counter. He quickly signed the contract. “Go fax that in so I get my girlfriend and not my manager today. Ok?”
“Okay.” I hurried out of the kitchen and into Dad’s office and sent the fax off before going back into our every day dining room and sat down next to Harry. “Sorry, sometimes work calls.”
“We know,” everyone replied.
“Are you done for the day, now?” Mom asked. I nodded and took a bite of my eggs. Sadly I’d let them get sort of lukewarm but at least they were scrambled and good. I ate them quickly so I could catch up with everyone else who was eating at the table. “So I was thinking we could go to the Art Institute today. Maybe get in a little bit of shopping.”
“Whatever you guys want to do works for us,” Harry said. “We are just happy we are here with you.” I felt him put his arm around me and rub my back.
“Well, we want you two to have fun while you’re here,” Mom replied.
“We will,” he confirmed.
“Yeah, we are cool to go along with whatever you want, Mom.”
“You should’ve said you didn’t want to go shopping, dude,” Jonathan said looking at Harry.
“Have you seen his clothes?” I asked making a face at my brother. “He’s more into shopping than I am. I make Ty do it for me most of the time.”
“True,” Harry replied. “I do love shopping.” After we were all finished eating we headed out of the house and walked to the station to hop on the L. It was going to be an immersion course today for Harry based on the fact that we weren’t taking a car anywhere. I knew from all the time I’d spent in London that the tube was how most people traveled around the city but public transport in cities you weren’t familiar with was eye opening for anyone. I was positive that today was the day he’d get recognized in the city yet that didn’t stop him from holding my hand as we walked through the city. He was in his signature black skinny jeans, nearly obnoxious print shirt, and beat up Chelsea boots. He had his hair down as we left and a pair of sunglasses on that frequently got pushed up into his curls. To me he was unmistakable but we managed to make it through the Art Institute and to lunch before anyone noticed. The boys thought we needed to have pizza for lunch and drug us to Giordano’s. Our waitress was the first to recognize him when he ordered a Diet Coke.
“Wait…are you Harry Styles?” she asked.
“I am,” he responded.
“Oh my god. Can I get a picture with you?” She didn’t look much older than 19.
“Of course.” He really was great. He stood up and she pulled a cell phone out of her apron and handed it to me to take the picture.
“On three,” I said smiling at them as I focused the picture on her iPhone. “One…two…three.” I snapped the picture and handed the phone back to her. “It’s cute.”
“Thank you so much. I’m sorry to disturb you while you’re eating.”
“It’s okay,” he said as he sat back down beside me and put his arm around the back of my chair. She left and he leaned over to me kissing my cheek before quietly speaking in my ear. “I’m sorry.”
“For what? Being famous?” He laughed. “You can’t help it. You’ve got a recognizable image and when you throw in the accent they know who you are. I’m actually shocked we made it to lunch before someone asked you for your picture. I heard a few girls whispering in the Art Institute and figured we were done for.”
“I’m lucky that you’re okay with all of this.”
“Why wouldn’t I be?”
“It’s interrupting your life.”
“Nah, I like that people think you’re a big deal.” He laughed before kissing me and going back to conversation with my family. After lunch we were back out on the streets. Between some stupid touristy site-seeing and shopping on Michigan Avenue we managed to kill the entire afternoon. I knew that Monday was Mom and Dad’s traditional date night and I hated the idea of making them miss that this week. “So, Mom, Dad, we are going to take the boys home,” I said.
“What?” Dad asked.
“It’s date night. Take her out to dinner. I’ll feed the boys.”
“No,” Mom said. “You’re only home for a few days. We don’t want to miss out on time with you.”
“I know. But you also have done a LOT for all of us kids this weekend. So Harry and I are going to feed the boys and hang out with them at home. I’ll make sure that they are all in bed on time and have their homework done. You two go enjoy dinner.” It was only about 5:00 but I knew they could go out and enjoy themselves for a few hours if we cut them off now.
“Really?” Dad asked.
“Yes," Harry replied. “Evie is right. You’ve been entertaining us since we got here. Go enjoy yourselves. We will get the boys dinner on the way home and get them ready for school tomorrow. You two should spend your Monday together.”
“Thank you,” Mom said hugging Harry and I before kissing our cheeks. “You two are wonderful.” She turned to look at the boys. “No candy for dinner, even if Evie says it’s okay. Homework and in bed when she tells you. You’ve got big days at school tomorrow.”
“Yes Mom,” all three boys replied in unison. Dad hugged me.
“You’re a good kid, Evie.”
“I try my best Dad.”
“You sometimes try too hard. Don’t let the boys manipulate you two. I’ll bring home dessert if you want.”
“Cheesecake please.” I knew he’d take her to one of his restaurants and all of them had the most delicious cheesecake. It was the signature of a Ferrera Restaurant Group location.
“I could’ve predicted that answer. Have fun with your brothers.” Mom and Dad took off walking and we headed to the L.
“What do you want for dinner boys?” Harry asked.
“Mac and cheese!” Christopher replied.
“That I can do,” I answered hugging my littlest brother. I looked to Harry. “Toph loves my mac and cheese.”
“Well, I’m excited for dinner then.”
“We can pick up something healthier. I know you normally don’t eat like this.”
“We are on vacation. It’s okay. I want mac and cheese. If Toph says it’s good then it’s good.” I laughed at him as he grabbed my hand and we walked up to the L. We waited for a few minutes before it arrived and took us home. On our walk between the station and the house we stopped and picked up everything we would need for dinner. Once we got home the boys got to work on their homework and I started cooking. Harry sat on the counter talking to me and eating a banana while I worked my mac and cheese magic.
“Did you call your Mom to tell her the news?” I asked.
“I did. Earlier today while you and your Mum were trying on clothes I snuck out to call her and tell her. She’s excited.”
“She should be. Her son booked his first film role.”
“That’s not what she was excited about.”
“Yeah, she’s excited that her son is bringing his incredible girlfriend home.” I laughed at him before throwing the towel I’d just picked up at him. “She’s also excited that I booked the movie.”
“And you think I can’t be serious.”
“We both perhaps could do well to be a little more serious than we are.”
“So tomorrow, you want me to go to Evanston with you, right?”
“Of course I do. I want you to see the campus. And then we will stop at my Nonna and Papa’s on the way back here.”
“This is the Scarcello side right?”
“This is the grandparents the love parm comes from, right?”
“I’m excited to meet them.”
“You’ll easily win them over.”
“Why do you say that?” he asked.
“You’re cute. You’re charming. You make me work less.”
“Your father’s parents want you to work less?”
“Yup,” I replied laughing. “They hate that I followed Pops into the business. Nonna thinks I should be married with kids.”
“You’re ambitious. They should be proud of your success.”
“Oh they are but they’d prefer I didn’t spend my good years working my ass off.”
“It’s a very nice ass. I’d like you to not work it off either.” Again I laughed at him. “Will we do dinner with your family tomorrow night?”
“I don’t know. Dad would usually be at work. Mom will have to run the boys around. We could maybe have that third date I owe you.”
“That would be nice. I’d like a little time alone with you while we are here.”
“It’s settled then. Tomorrow night we have a date.” I finished the mac and cheese and threw a salad together. I had put some frozen chicken fingers in the oven while I cooked and took those out too. “Boys! Dinner!” I yelled. I heard their feet running down the stairs and towards the kitchen. They filled their plates up quickly before going to sit down at the table. Harry jumped down off of the counter and came up to me.
“Thanks for making dinner, love.”
“Thanks for going along with my idea. My parents deserved a night out.” He bent down to kiss me before grabbing a plate and getting his own dinner. I did the same and we went to sit down with the boys. Tonight I took the chance to eat quietly and watch my three brothers interact with Harry. The entire trip home was this eye opening experience for me. I sat in awe of how easily Harry fit in with everyone in my life. Friday night it was watching him schmooze everyone from Dad’s partners in the restaurant group to the cheerleaders at Jonathan’s school. He had my aunts and all of Mom’s friends wrapped around his pinky in seconds. Saturday he managed to help me through an absolutely miserable argument with my father and had me slow dancing in the street at the end of the night. Sunday he was learning about baseball from my brothers and then…today. Today, he held my hand as we walked through the Art Institute, my favorite place in the world. He asked me which pieces were my favorite and why. He posed for every stupid touristy picture my Mom could’ve asked for and even requested a few photos of us for himself. He made every waitress at Giordano’s smile when she asked for a picture and he said yes. He snuck into the fitting room in a boutique just to kiss me and then steal the dress I’d just tried on so he could buy it for me. It was so unlike anything I’d had in a relationship. He was perfect. How on Earth was this real?
“Evie,” Harry said waving his hand in front of my face.
“Yeah,” I replied snapping out of the haze I was in. “What’s up dude?”
“Where did you go?”
“My own little world.”
“Do I get an invite there?”
“You’ve got an open invitation any time you want to visit.”
“Good.” His smile nearly made my heart jump into my throat.
“Alright boys, back to homework and then bed.” I started to pick up their plates and take them into the kitchen to clean them off and put them in the dishwasher. Harry snuck up behind me, wrapping his arms around me and leaning down to kiss my neck.
“Your mac and cheese was good. I can see why Toph loves it so much.”
“Seriously, it’s Betty Crocker. I got it out of a cookbook when I had to make dinner at some point when I was younger. He thinks it’s magic and amazing. It’s Betty fucking Crocker.” He started to laugh.
“It’s still good.”
“Thanks.” I turned around to look at him.
“So after dishes we check on the boys and then to bed we go?”
“Yup,” I responded. “Maybe tonight I won’t spend the whole night checking email and you won’t fall asleep watching rom coms on Netflix.”
“That’s really not an abnormal thing for me,” he said. “But I much prefer when you don’t snuggle in a few hours later.” He helped me finish up with the dishes and we headed upstairs to tuck Christopher in bed. He was getting really probably too old for snuggles with his sister before he fell asleep but he always let me climb in bed with him when he went to sleep. We laid there talking about our day until he was finally ready to fall asleep.
“I love you, Christopher.”
“I love you too, Evie. Thanks for being home.”
“You know I miss you when I’m not.”
“I miss you too.” I kissed his forehead before climbing out of bed and shutting the door. Harry stood in the hallway looking at his phone.
“Hi,” I said as I stood in front of him.
“Hi,” he replied. He bent down to kiss me. “Let’s go upstairs.”
“Okay.” He took my hand and held it in his as we walked up to my bedroom. I knew that Mason was in bed reading for a bit and that Jonathan had a bit more homework before he’d be ready for bed. We went into my room and Harry’s lips were immediately on mine. His hands roamed down my body until they reached my thighs and he picked me up wrapping my legs around his waist. “We should be careful. No parents home means we are in charge.”
“You’re telling me you never fooled around with a boyfriend when you babysat as a kid?”
“Oh I did.”
“Then we can pull it off.” He walked to the bed and laid me down before laying on top of me. Our kisses were hungry and hurried. We didn’t know how much time we’d have before one of the boys or my parents knocked on the door needing something.
“Can I just tell you that watching you all weekend with everyone and how amazing you are at just fitting in is an incredible turn on?”
“Is it now?”
“God yes,” I responded. “Everyone adores you. You make it seem so easy.”
“It is. I know they already adore you and it’s obvious how I feel about you.”
“Oh it is?” He glanced down at this jeans that were growing tighter by the second. I followed his glance and started laughing. “You are hilarious.”
“If that isn’t an obvious sign of my affection for you I don’t know what is.” I leaned up kissing him as his hands slid up beneath my shirt. There was a knock at my bedroom door.
“Yes,” I called.
“We brought you cheesecake,” Mom said.
“Shit,” Harry mumbled into my skin as his head dropped onto my chest. I climbed out from under him and he positioned himself strategically so that my Mom wouldn’t be able to see that his pants were visibly tight because we’d been in the middle of something. I pulled my hair up as I opened the door.
“Thanks Mom,” I replied as I took the two boxes and the silverware from her. “How was your date night?”
“Wonderful. Thank you for letting us do that.”
“No problem. I made mac and cheese for the boys. We got Toph tucked in, Mace was reading and Jonny had some more to write of a paper that’s due this week.”
“Dad was checking on them. I wanted to come up and see you two.” I backed away from the door sensing that this wasn’t going to be a short visit to my room and sat down on the bed next to Harry. He rolled onto his side and I noticed that his pants weren’t quite as tight anymore. Mom sat down on the foot of the bed. “I’m really thankful that you both were able to come home for the weekend. Today was really nice having all of my babies home with me and getting to know you better, Harry. Seeing their kid happy is what every mother dreams of and Evie, I haven’t seen you this happy in a long time.” I reached out for Harry’s hand and our fingers automatically intertwined together.
“I am really happy.”
“I know, it’s obvious to anyone that sees you. I’m just so sorry that your father isn’t being as cooperative.”
“We’ve invited him and Jessica over to my house on Sunday for dinner. Evie and I are going to try to make things better.”
“Thank you for doing that, Harry. I’m trying hard to stay out of this. I know you both don’t need me fighting your battles with Jimmy. But if he doesn’t come around on this I will have to involve myself. I’m not going to allow him to try to ruin my only daughter’s happiness.”
“Mom, I’m sure everything will be okay.” I wasn’t sure. If I had to take a guess it was that there was still a lot of road left between the place where my father would be okay with the decisions I was making in regard to my personal life. But the last thing I wanted was for my mother to worry about it when there was nothing she could do to change his mind about the situation. “Sunday is the day. I can feel it. I’m going to show him that I respect his decision in the relationship he’s in and he will respect mine.” Harry squeezed my hand. It was as if he knew I was lying through my teeth but didn’t want my Mom to worry.
“Evie's right, Grace. I think that Jimmy just needs to see how happy we are. Everything about how he found out was wrong. He’d gotten warned from you and then he saw us showing affection in public before we’d even told him ourselves. And Evie was admittedly not on her best behavior that day.”
“I was terrible.” I had been, even I could admit that I was a bitch to the women in my father’s life. Most of them didn’t deserve the behavior and often times I was acting like a spoiled child who didn’t get what she wanted, which was all of my father’s attention. “I have not been very accommodating of his relationship with Jessica. I need to work on that and on myself.”
“Are you still seeing your therapist?” Mom asked.
“Of course. I need to work on this and I know it. I’ll make an additional appointment this week to talk through things with her when I get home to Los Angeles. Maybe she has some ideas on how I can work through this with Pops.”
“And if you can’t work through it you promise you will call me. And if I have to I’ll get on a plane and knock some sense into your father. He always picked his career over his family and I’m proud of you for not following his example in that manner.”
“I have you and Dad to look to when it comes to healthy relationships.”
“You and Marco do have an incredible relationship. It’s inspiring,” Harry said.
“Thank you. We both appreciate that you allowed for us to have a night together.”
“It was nothing,” Harry interrupted. “It was nice to have dinner with Evie and her brothers. And we understand the need for time alone. I’m finally getting my third date tomorrow.”
“I figured Dad would be working and you would have dinner with the boys. So we are going to go out to dinner tomorrow night, just us.”
“That’s a wonderful plan,” Mom said. “I will let you two enjoy your cheesecake and get some sleep. Love you both.” She leaned and kissed the top of my head before doing the same to Harry.
“Love you too Mom.”
“Thank you for today, Grace. It was wonderful to see so much of the city.”
“Anytime, Harry. You are always welcome here.”
“Thank you. It’s really been a great trip. I am looking forward to going to Evanston tomorrow to see Northwestern and then meeting Nonna and Papa.”
“You’ll love them. And you’ll enjoy campus. Evie really enjoys the chances she gets to go back and speak. Alright, you two. Enjoy the rest of your night and I will see you at some point tomorrow. I have to work tomorrow as well.”
“Okay, well we will see you tomorrow night then.” I smiled at Mom as she approached the door.
“Have a good time in Evanston and good luck tomorrow, Evie.”
“Goodnight.” She shut the door behind her and I looked over at Harry.
“You recovered quickly.”
“Your Mom appearing in your room is a mood killer. And when she said cheesecake I got excited to eat dessert.”
“I thought I was dessert.” He laughed.
“Oh you are, love, you are. But we are both excited about the cheesecake.” I handed him one of the plastic forks and napkins and we each opened a box. Dad knew me too well. Both pieces were artfully decorated in chocolate sauce, my favorite topping for cheesecake. I took a bit and moaned as I fell back onto the pillows. “This is really good.”
“It’s my favorite dessert from his restaurants.”
“It’s amazing.” We laid in bed next to each other enjoying the dessert and the company. When we were done eating we put on our pajamas, turned on a movie and climbed under the blankets of the bed.
“I know I’ve said this a lot this weekend but I’m really glad you came home with me.”
“I’m really glad I did too.” He turned in bed to look at me. His arms snaked around my waist pulling me close to him. He was just in boxers and I had on a short, spaghetti strapped nightgown. As our bodies pushed together my nightgown moved a bit and some of our bare skin touched. It was like an electric shock to my system. “This has been a really wonderful trip. I’ve learned so much about you and everything I’m learning makes me care more about you than I did the moment before, which I didn’t think was possible. You’re absolutely amazing.”
“You are too. It’s been pretty fantastic watching you with everyone. I am lucky to have you. Most men wouldn’t care about hanging out with their girlfriend’s eight year old brother.”
“Christopher is awesome! Hanging out with your eight year old brother is fun.”
“I’m glad you think so. Based on your shooting schedule you’d be able to come to Mexico and just fly out from there to France rather than from London or Los Angeles.”
“You’ve been thinking about me coming to Mexico?”
“I have been. Would you like to join us?”
“I would love to.” I smiled at him before closing the space between us and kissing him. “You know I’m going to miss you a lot when I’m gone filming this movie.”
“I know. I’m going to miss you a lot too. But we’ve got some time before that happens. And I will make sure to come visit at least once if you aren’t exhausted.”
“No such thing as being too exhausted to see you, love.” He nuzzled his face into my neck. “It will be a rough few months without you next to me every night.”
“I know but we will survive and your career is going to thrive because of this. We have time before that starts to just stock up on all of the little moments we need to get us through the time apart.” We kept talking until we were both tired enough that we fell asleep. I woke up early Tuesday morning to get ready for our trip to Northwestern. It was one of those occasions where I usually overthought what I should wear. I wanted to impress the students while not coming off like a stuffy suit wearing CEO and not make the professors regret inviting an alum that is so young to speak to the students. I could still pass for an undergrad if I walked around campus in the right outfit. I opted for a short burgundy dress and a black blazer. It wouldn’t be overkill for stopping at Nonna and Papa’s after because if I show up in something that screams board room Nonna will never let me hear the end of it.
“Good morning, love,” Harry said as he walked into the bathroom where I was doing my makeup and standing in just my bra and panties. He leaned down and kissed my shoulder before walking over to the toilet. I laughed as I heard him start to pee.
“We are weird,” I announced.
“Why do you say that?”
“Most people in relationships have a pretty length time period before they use the bathroom with someone else in it. We haven’t really had that period.”
“Nope. We moved through the awkward stages at the beginning of a relationship pretty rapidly.”
“Could be the whole ‘we slept together before a first date’ thing.”
“Probably is. But either way it’s okay. I like where we are.” I moved so he could wash his hands and brush his teeth. After rinsing out his mouth he spun me into him and kissed me. It wasn’t a normal ‘good morning’ kiss it was an ‘I can feel it in my toes, knock me off my feet’ kiss.
“What was that for?”
“Just my way of saying good morning to my beautiful, intelligent and amazing girlfriend.”
“That’s a kind of good morning I can get behind.” He stripped off his clothes and jumped into the shower.
“So are you ready for your talk today?”
“I am. I come talk at Northwestern every semester to the kids in this program. It’s a lot of them asking questions and me giving answers. But it’s good for me and for them. I’ve found some amazing interns from doing this.”
“How many years have you done it?”
“I came back to campus the fall after I graduated.”
“Wow. That’s impressive.”
“I was the young alum with the best job. Granted a lot of the students assume that I only have it because of my last name but I pretty much kill that idea when I start telling them about what my work week is like.”
“Have you ever brought a client with you?” he asked.
“Nope. And today I’m not technically bringing a client. You are going to just sit in the back of the room like any student.”
“I don’t get to gush about my amazing manager.”
“Clients don’t gush. Boyfriends gush.”
“Fine,” he replied. We made our normal conversation while we both finished getting ready and then went down to grab something to eat in the car on the way to Evanston. Mom had left her car for us so that we didn’t have to take the train the whole way. It was a drive I knew well and had made hundreds if not thousands of times during the four years I was in school. “So do you miss college?”
“A ton,” I answered. “It was the best four years of my life. I learned so much about myself and what my goals and ambitions were outside of just finishing school and working. I learned about my values and what I expected of myself. I also had a hell of a lot of fun. Between football games on Saturdays and trips during breaks with my friends, it was the best four years I could imagine. Do you regret not having that experience?”
“I don’t honestly know that I have an answer to that. I don’t regret a second about being in One Direction. It was what I will look back on as the best years of my life. It was like college for you only magnified and on a larger scale. I still traveled with my friends and I learned a lot about myself and what I wanted to do with my life. But I did it while being paid to act like an idiot on stage with a bunch of guys that I loved.”
“I can only imagine. You’ve seen literally almost everything the world has to offer.”
“Yeah, it was incredible but that didn’t mean there weren’t times where I wished I could walk down the street like any normal person. You know be young and drunk in a pub with my mates and not worry that every person there was going to sell the story and their camera phone pictures to the tabloids. I mean my Mum’s iCloud was hacked and pictures of me were leaked onto the internet. Pictures of my private life.”
"I remember that.”
“You do?” I wasn’t his manager at that point. There wasn’t a logical reason I should remember that.
“Yes. I keep my eyes out for things like that. Try to avoid it being the result for my clients and their families.”
"I felt so violated. That was my Mum’s pictures of me and pictures I’d sent her of me with a girlfriend.”
“I can understand that. I may not be on the level you are but it doesn’t mean that I don’t fear being hacked. When you sent me the email from my laptop I almost had a heart attack.” He started to laugh and I glanced at the passenger seat. His smile was huge.
“I like to keep you on your toes.”
“I’ve learned that.” I reached over to take his hand in mine. “You make me laugh a lot.”
“I like the sound of your laugh. So I try pretty hard to make it happen as much as possible.”
“You make me pretty happy, ya know that?”
“You make me pretty happy too.” I pulled onto campus and saw the look on his face change as he started to take in our surroundings. “Wow. This is a really nice campus.”
“It is. I love coming back here.” I pointed out specific buildings to him as we drove through campus and arrived where I would be speaking. It didn’t take long for me to find a parking spot and for us to walk towards the building. I may be able to pass as a college student but I knew that Harry wouldn’t, despite his every effort. Today he’d thrown on a pair of black jeans and a white t-shirt. He’d dug through my closet and found a Northwestern hoodie of mine that was still at home. He’d thrown a nicer shirt in the car so that when we went to visit Nonna and Papa he’d be dressed appropriately. What gave him away was the long hair, the designer sunglasses and the well worn but expensive pair of tan Chelsea boots on his feet…oh and the British accent. While there had been exchange students when I was there it would be obvious he wasn’t one of them because you knew everyone in your program.
“Everlee,” one of the professors greeted me giving me a hug. Professor Charlotte Doyle, she’d been my favorite professor when I was a student and was the original person who had invited me back. “How has your trip home been?”
“It’s been great. How are you, Professor?”
“I’m good. We’ve got a great batch of students this year in the program. You might have a few interested in internships as well.”
“Really? All interested in staying in Chicago or any interested in potentially interning in LA or New York?”
“You might be lucky. I think my top students would be happy to intern in a different city.”
“That’s what I like to hear.” She laughed at me. “Oh my god. I’m terrible. Professor Doyle, this is…” Shit. How did I introduce him to a professor? My boyfriend? My client? My boyclient? This was awkward.
“Hi, I’m Harry.” He stuck his hand out.
“Nice to meet you. I’m Charlotte Doyle.” Professor Doyle raised an eyebrow at me.
“It’s probably a good thing this isn’t a business ethics class,” I said as I shrugged my shoulders. Harry laughed as he put his arm around me. “Harry is a new client and a new boyfriend.”
“You finally figured out how to have a personal life?”
“I’m trying,” I replied as I laughed a little harder. “I don’t know that I’ve completely figured it all out yet. But I’m lucky that I have a partner who is willing to try and help me figure out how to have a personal life.”
“She’s worth it.” Harry smiled down at me.
“I believe that. Everlee was one of my favorite students. If I had a classroom of her I’d be the luckiest professor ever.” We talked to Professor Doyle for a while before she introduced me to the class. I walked onto the stage and hugged her before taking the microphone.
“Hello,” I said as I looked around the large auditorium full of students. “As Professor Doyle said, I’m Everlee Scarcello. I’m a Northwestern alum, class of 2013. That’s right, three years ago I was one of the students in this auditorium being required to listen to alums come and talk to us once a month about what life is like after you walk across the stage in May. I have to tell you, I was as bored through it as all of you look.” The room laughed. I walked towards the end of the stage and kicked off my heels before sitting down with one leg under me and a leg dangling over the edge of the stage. “Real life is anything but boring, let me tell you that. My real life is crazy, a tad bit exciting and often times exhausting. I am the President of the Music Division of Scarcello Mackin Entertainment. We are one of the largest and most prestigious entertainment agencies in the United States, hell who am I kidding, the world at this point. I’m here as proof that life after Northwestern is as amazing as you imagine it. This university and the professors that are teaching you every day are giving you the tools you need to be as successful as you want to be. I’m an open book about my life and how I got to the place that I am so please ask questions. I’d rather not talk at you for an hour, I can and I’m prepared to but I’d rather give you the insight you’re all looking for.” I looked around the room and saw a girl about ten rows back stand up.
“Are those shoes really Christian Louboutins?”
“They are,” I answered smiling.
“Are they amazing?”
“They are. They are also incredibly uncomfortable. Just ask my assistant, they are usually under my desk during the day and I’m running around my office barefoot or in slippers. But it’s part of the uniform for my world. A young woman in my position is expected to look a lot like a model most days while being required to be smarter than every man in the board room with her.”
“How do you handle that?” It was another girl this time about two rows back. She looked like she was someone who was ready to take on the world.
“I handle it very carefully. I have an advantage to a lot of young women in my industry which is that it’s all I’ve ever done. But the disadvantage that ties into that is most men, fuck most people think I got my job because of my father. Wait…should I not swear. If there’s a person in the room offended by that I’m sorry. You’ll learn quickly that I swear a lot. It’s part of who I am. I grew up in between Chicago and Los Angeles with powerful men and women in my life, most of them men. They all swore and smoked cigars and drank scotch and it’s sort of formed a part of my personality. So I apologize if I offended someone with that statement, it’s uncontrollable for me. But as I was saying, a lot of people who sit opposite me in contract negotiations or the competition I face when it comes to signing new artists, a lot of them assume that I got my job because of my father. While I know it would’ve been harder for me to get a job in the industry without my father, I do want to point out that upon graduation from college I had offers at multiple agencies in both the US and the UK and I chose to work with my father. So I face a little bit of a different challenge. Not just that people question my ability because of my gender but also because they assume that I don’t deserve the position that I’m in. It’s unique and I’ve worked hard to fight that belief every day of my career. Most people who know me will tell you I did all of that at the expense of having a personal life and those people are probably right.” I looked at the back of the auditorium to see Harry with his sunglasses pushed up into his hair and a smile on his face. He was in the corner of the room that had a sparse number of students in it, most of them probably too hungover to realize they were sitting next to a super star.
“Did you advance in your career as quickly as you have because of your father?” This time it was a guy in the middle of the auditorium.
“I don’t know. I can tell you that I’ve worked my ass off. I started working part time at SME at 14. I’ve done every job imaginable in that building. From sorting mail and fetching coffee to standing on red carpets with umbrellas over celebrities. I took time after graduating from college to travel Europe with my current roommates before we all started work and I don’t take much time off. For example, I’ve been in Chicago since Friday, I was in New York prior to that and even though I was here to celebrate my younger brother’s 16th birthday I spent quite a bit of time working. In fact, I got a client to sign on to their first film, which is always a big deal for the musician who is interested in expanding their career into film and television.”
“Can you tell us who the client is?” A guy from the back yelled.
“I can’t. Confidentiality agreements.”
“Who is your favorite client?” Someone else yelled.
“Clients are like children. You don’t have favorites. But I do have some that I consider close friends. I think it’s public knowledge that I’m close friends with the guys that were in the Jonas Brothers, Nick is dating one of my roommates. Umm, Ed Sheeran is one of my good friends, though he’s sort of disappeared off of the face of the earth to have some time to himself. I’m proud of him for that.”
“Did you just sign Harry Styles?” This time the question was from one of the girls in the room.
“I did.” I was just hoping that the news that had come out Saturday speculating that he and I were dating wasn’t something that would get brought up. “He’s at a point where his career is going to blow up as a solo artist and I feel honored that he’s trusting me with steering him in the right direction. I feel like there’s always a really bad joke with talking about him as a solo artist and a new direction.” The room laughed again. Harry flipped me off from the back of the room. “Rude.”
“Huh?” someone asked. Shit. I’d said that out loud.
“Umm, nothing,” I tried to smooth it over.
“Do you have a boyfriend?” There it was, the British accent from the back of the room.
“I do. It’s still relatively new but he’s amazing. He puts up with a lot. For example, I tend to think I should check my email constantly. He started affectionately referring to my laptop as a horcrux, which is a joke I’ve used for a long time that he caught on to.” The room laughed. “It is a horcrux. It’s terrible. I’m lucky to have found someone who puts up with my work life being the priority and he’s working with me to try and figure out that it doesn’t always have to be.”
“So you’re proof that you really can have it all?” This time the question came from behind me and was Professor Doyle walking out to sit down next to me.
“I guess I sort of am. I still often times feel like I’m behind where I should be in life based on where a lot of my fellow NU grads are. A lot of my friends are getting married or are already having kids and I’m just now attempting to figure out how to have a serious relationship. I mean I was in one for several years but it was pretty terrible so I try not to even include that. But it does sort of mean that I’m behind where a lot of people my age are. But in my career I’m further than I imagined I would be. So my boyfriend is giving me remedial dating lessons I guess.” The room laughed again. “I really am lucky to have the people in my life that I do. And that starts with Professor Doyle. She supported me when I was a student and trying to work my internship full-time and be a student. She’s someone I still turn to when I need a mentor that isn’t my father.” The questions became less personal and more related to my favorite aspects of my job, what SME was looking at doing for ways to expand our services, and what to look for in a good internship program. I stayed after to meet with some of the students and talk them through what their applications for SME internships should look like.
“You did great,” Harry said as he held my hand and we walked to the car. I’d taken him on a small tour of the campus after I was done speaking.
“Thanks. You’re an ass for asking me the question about a boyfriend.”
“I didn’t ask you who it was. You needed to show the girls in that class that they can be a badass boss and still be the girl who has the love life. You sometimes forget that you’re doing that these days.”
“I guess I do.”
“You really did do great though.”
“Thanks.” My shoes made me a bit closer to his height but I still needed to stand on my tiptoes to kiss him. “You ready to go meet Nonna and Papa?”
“I am. They are the last part of this being the ‘meet the family’ trip of a lifetime.” I laughed. He had really met almost my entire family.
“They’ll love you. Then we will have our date tonight. Then home tomorrow!”
“You’re ready to be back in LA aren’t you?”
“I am. It’s been a long week of being gone and I miss home. What who am I kidding? I haven’t seen my own home in weeks. I miss your home.” He laughed at me.
“It probably misses you too. I know that your pillow was asking about you Thursday night.” I laughed at him as I put the car in gear. It was back on the trip I knew too well. From campus back to home only this time to Nonna and Papa’s.
I pulled up in front of the little house that they still lived in and parked Mom’s car. Despite their son having enough money to buy them any piece of real estate in Chicago they could ever dream of they still lived in the little house my Dad grew up in. I’d been embarrassed the first time I brought Drew here. He acted as if their house was beneath him. The furniture was dated and the house always smelled like garlic because Nonna was usually cooking something. Drew complained any time we had to come here. But for some reason I didn’t have that same nervous energy when I got here with Harry. I knew he wouldn’t judge them the way Drew had. He survived all of my Mom and Dad’s family on Friday. There was no way that he wouldn’t survive this. He took my hand as we made our way up the front walk. I didn’t bother to knock when I got to the door. I just opened it and walked in.
“Evie!” I could hear my grandfather yell from the back family room. He stood from the couch and walked to us. He was short, shorter than me when I was barefoot. His hair completely silver and his skin still darkened by the sun. He spent a lot of his time in the yard. I walked up to him and hugged him.
“How is my little girl?”
“Evie, is that you?” Nonna yelled.
“It is, Nonna. I have someone with me too.”
“Did you bring your Mom?” I could hear her yelling from the kitchen.
“No, she’s got a boy with her. Get in here, Gloria Mae!”
“I’m coming Tony.” Nonna came into the room and I couldn’t help but smile. She had her gray hair in a bun on top of her head and was in a black dress with a floral apron on. “Everlee Mae, look at you.”
“Hi, Nonna. I’ve missed you.”
“How is our little girl?”
“I’m good.” I stopped hugging her and reached for Harry’s hand. “Nonna, Papa, I want you to meet someone very important. This is my boyfriend Harry. Harry, this is Gloria Mae and Tony Scarcello, my grandparents.”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you both,” Harry said as he reached his hand out to shake theirs. Papa shook his hand before Nonna pulled him into a hug kissing his cheeks.
“He’s cute and he’s got an accent,” she said making me laugh.
“Both of those are very true.”
“Where did you find him?”
“My office,” I replied laughing.
“That job is finally doing something good for you. He’s got incredible eyes.”
“He can hear you,” Papa said. “Sorry about her. Evie doesn’t bring men home very often.”
“I’ve learned that along the way,” Harry replied.
“So you met Evie in her office?” Nonna asked.
“I did. I was looking for a new manager and she was just the right person for the job. Turns out she was the right person for a lot else too.” He smiled at me in a way that made my stomach fill with butterflies. Could he be anymore perfect? “The house smells wonderful. What are you cooking?”
“Oh I have meatballs on for our dinner tonight.”
“Are they ready for me to eat?” I asked raising an eyebrow at my Nonna. She knew how I lived and died for her cooking. She probably did this intentionally with the hope of keeping me around longer than just a quick stop at the house.
“They’ll be good in probably 45 or an hour. Do you have time to stick around?”
“Of course we do,” Harry replied. At that Papa led us to the back sitting room and Nonna headed into the kitchen to get something for us to drink. She had homemade lemonade and iced tea that she brought in on a tray along with every snack you could imagine an Italian woman magically pulling out of her kitchen. Olives, cheese, bread, different meats, crackers. My Nonna was like the magical fairy that always had everything imaginable for any visitors, even unexpected ones. It didn’t take long for her to have out a photo album full of pictures when I was a kid. Harry was clearly getting a kick out of seeing me squirm as she showed pictures of me running around the backyard at Dad’s when I was a kid in nothing but my underpants. Eventually Grandma fed us some meatballs and we were on our way out the door to go pick the boys up from school.
“Thank you for coming to see us, Evie,” Papa said. “We miss you.”
“I miss you too. I’m sorry that Pops couldn’t make it back this time. I know he misses you both a lot.”
“He called and said that he’d try to come home with you on your next visit. And tried to convince us to come out to California to visit,” Nonna added.
“You should,” Harry interrupted. “We’d love to have you come visit. You can teach me how to cook for Evie and we can all spend some quality time together for more than just a few hours.”
“We will have to figure out a trip soon,” Nonna answered. She was smitten by Harry I could tell. Just like every other woman in my family she’d fallen for him easily. There were tons of hugs and I love you as we headed out the door.
“They are wonderful.”
“They are,” I replied looking over at him to smile as I drove to get the boys from school. “Nonna loves you. I can tell already.”
“The feeling is mutual. They are amazing. And have a lot of embarrassing pictures of you.” I laughed at him.
“Enjoy this while you can. You’ve got like two weeks before it’s your turn and I’m going to ask your Mum for every embarrassing picture of you as a child.”
“I was a cute child. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about.”
“Everyone had an awkward stage.”
“I don’t think I did,” he replied. “I’ve always been cute.”
“Are you saying I wasn’t cute?”
“No…you were cute. Who can resist a girl with pink glasses, braces and pigtail braids?”
“I hate you.”
“You do not.”
“Nope, I do. Hate you. You’re lucky that there’s still stuff of mine at your house or I’d just leave you here tomorrow.”
“Whatever. You find me charming and hot.”
“Maybe.” We got the boys from school and had them home working on homework when Mom got home to make them dinner. Harry and I changed clothes and headed out on our date. We went to one of Dad’s restaurants that was in a hotel and had a killer view. It was on the 55th floor of a high rise along the riverwalk. We enjoyed our meal and walked the riverwalk holding hands after we were done eating.
“I’ve really enjoyed this trip, Evie. I’m glad that you brought me.”
“I’m glad you came with me too. And not just because going a week without seeing you would’ve sucked. You fit into my family perfectly. My brothers love you.”
“They are a lot of fun to be around. Your parents’ house has this wonderful feeling. I can see why you miss living in Chicago and come home every chance you get. I’m going to miss this place when we leave and it’s not even my family.”
“I think you’re an honorary Ferrera at this point.” He laughed. “And you have an open invitation. Any time I am headed home for a few days you’re welcome to tag along.”
“I’d like that a lot.” He pulled me into a hug. “Evie, I…I’ve really enjoyed this. I’m not sure I’m ready to be back in LA and lose my girlfriend back to the horcrux during the day.”
“You’re gonna have to get used to that. I’ve slacked this entire week. The flight tomorrow is basically going to be me working.”
“I can deal with that if I get to make us dinner tomorrow night.”
“You can cook whatever you want. And I’ll even try to not go into the office tomorrow afternoon when we get back. I’ll work from your house.”
“I’d like that a lot. I like you a lot.”
“I like you a lot too.” He kissed me softly. “We should probably head home. We’ve got to get up early tomorrow to get out of here.”
“I know. I’m glad we switched our flight to get back to LA earlier but I’d like one last day to sleep in if I’m honest.”
“I would too,” he replied. “But it’s important to get back home. We’ve both got a lot to work on and only have about a month and a half before I leave for the summer.”
“Let’s not talk about that. I’m not ready to think about you being gone.”
“We won’t think about it tonight. Just how this has been the best trip either of us could’ve asked for.” We took the train back home and quietly snuck upstairs to go to bed. Tonight I avoided the laptop so we had one last night of us together without it. Harry picked a movie and we fell asleep in each other’s arms. We were up early and ready to head to the airport for our flight home. There were tear filled goodbyes with my Mom, Dad and brothers with promises of phone calls more often and a return to our regular FaceTime schedule. Mom made me promise to call her Sunday night to tell her how the day with Pops and Jessica went and she promised to bite her tongue until I gave my full report. She wanted me to be able to fix this with Pops on my own and not with her input. A car picked us up and took us to the same private airport I’d flown into on Friday and we headed up onto the plane.
“Good morning, Miss Scarcello,” the head flight attendant greeted as we walked on.
“Good morning, Laurel.”
“We have a few pastries and some food ready for your flight. Would you like something to drink?”
“Orange juice and my normal iced latte please. H, do you want anything?”
“I’ll have the same thing she has.”
“Of course, Mr. Styles,” she said and went into the kitchen area. We sat down and I had my laptop out immediately to start going through the massive amount of emails in my inbox. Harry took my iPad and started into the book he’d been reading while we were in Chicago. I barely spoke the entire flight back because of the amount of work I had to do, I felt bad but also knew that I’d be a better girlfriend today if I got through work while we were on the plane. Once we landed Sam drove us through the city and to Harry’s house.
“Home sweet home,” I said as we walked in the door.
“It does feel nice to be back here. Do you need to work or do you want to run to the grocery store with me?”
“I need to work. Are you mad?”
“No, you were really good in Chicago about not letting work interfere a lot. Go get comfy and get to work. I’ll go to the store and find us something for lunch too.”
“You’re the best.” I kissed him before grabbing my backpack and heading into his office and sitting down to work. I only left when he told me he had salads for lunch. I finally stretched in the desk chair and caught the clock on the wall. It was almost 7:00. I had been in here for way too long. I stood up and walked out of the office and towards the kitchen where I found Harry at the stove. “Hey baby.”
“Hi there, love. Get all your work done?” He bent down to kiss me.
“Not even close.” I wrapped my arms around his waist and rested my head on his chest. “What are you cooking?”
“Chicken parm and it’s done actually so have a seat.”
“Yeah, I called your Nonna today to ask for the recipe.”
“You called my Nonna?”
“I did.” He pulled the two bowls out of the oven and put one down in front of me. “I knew that adjusting to being away from home would be rough this first night so I thought I’d make you your favorite meal. And as much as this is like the third time in two weeks that we are eating it, it’s becoming my favorite food too.”
“You are incredible.” He opened a bottle of wine and poured me a glass before sitting down next to me.
“I wanted to do something nice for you. You did something wonderful for me by taking me to Chicago and letting me into your world. I know you were very resistant to this at first.”
“That’s an understatement,” I said as I took a sip of my wine.
“But you did. You took a risk with me and I think the risk is worth it.”
“I would agree with you on that.” I leaned towards him in the chair and kissed him as he sat down next to me. “You are well worth the risk.” I took a bite of my chicken. “Harry, this is amazing.”
“Thank you. Did I make it just like your Nonna does?”
“You did. She will be very impressed. I still can’t believe you called her to get the recipe.”
“Well I wanted to thank her for having us at their house yesterday and the incredible meatballs and the conversation. It was really nice getting to know the family of the woman I’m spending my time with.”
“I’m really glad you enjoyed it. I’m always nervous about that stuff. I fear that my loud Italian family will scare men off.”
“They didn’t scare me off. In fact, it just confirmed for me everything I’d been speculating.” He turned to look at me and twisted the stool I was sitting in so I looked at him. “Everlee, the last few weeks with you have been amazing. I…I…”
“I’ve been trying to tell you this for a while and couldn’t figure out how to do it. So I thought the love parm might help me get the nerve.” The love parm? How would it give him the nerve? Wait…was this really happening? “Everlee Mae, I love you.” My heart jumped out of my chest and into my throat.
“I…I…I love you too, Harry.”
“You do?” He looked like a kid on Christmas. The smile on his face was huge.
“Yeah, I do. I started to feel it coming this weekend. Seeing you practically become best friends with my Dad and hanging out with my brothers without me trying to guilt you into it. But most of all was that you are being so supportive of everything going on with Pops. I’ve always wished to find someone who fit into my life as perfectly as you do. I never imagined I’d find someone like you. But you’re amazing and I love you and I’m already dreading being apart from you for the summer while you film your movie. I’m used to falling asleep with your snoring and you taking up half of the bed. And just being here. It’s not going to be the same in LA without you.”
“I’ll miss you too and maybe even miss that horcrux of yours. Love, supporting you as you go through a rough patch with your father is what I’m going to do. It’s my fault that you’re in that place but I feel so lucky that you decided not to listen to him because I was terrified that you would. I knew I loved you but also knew that your father and your job were likely more important than me.”
“No, they should be. I’m new and he’s your father. But I’m glad you didn't make that choice because I love you and would hate to lose you that way.”
“You’re not going to. I’m not going anywhere. Especially now that you know how to make the love parm.” He laughed before kissing me. “I love you.”
“I love you. And I really like saying that.”
“This was the perfect end to a really great trip.”
“I couldn’t agree more,” he said before kissing me again. It truly was the perfect ending to a great few days. This incredible man that I’d been spending my life with loves me. I hadn’t been imagining it. Listening to him say those words made my heart nearly explode. I was in love. It was a feeling that felt new because this was what love and telling someone that you love them for the first time should feel like. Holy. Shit. I’m in love? I’m in love!
NotesFirst of all, I need to apologize about the delay in updating with a new chapter. It's been a helluva last week (well just over a week). I had a really adverse reaction to some antibiotics and was so nauseous I could barely move. Then I was finally over that and got a migraine that lasted most of the holiday weekend. Then last night I thought I'd be really awesome and use a masque on my hair...turns out I am part of the small population that is allergic to argan oil and was out of it most of the day due to benadryl. I still feel like crap but I'm awake so I figured that it didn't matter if it was 2AM here, I needed to get this updated!
Thank you for being incredible and understanding while I dealt with all of that and tried to still produce a decent chapter. This chapter is a bit different than the other chapters as it covers more time than a normal chapter I write. I wanted to get us back to LA and for obvious reasons. I've been planning that in my head for SO long. It was the perfect moment. Basically, the entire trip to Chicago was a dream for Everlee. This man that she's fallen in love with also made it easy for her family to fall in love with him. He was understanding and supportive and despite having a really huge moment in his career he made spending time with Evie and her family his first priority. He's slowly teaching her that her horcrux and career shouldn't be her first priority. And she's actually learning...a little. Obviously, that first day back in LA was Evie being her old self and working, but she needed to. I'm excited to see where things go next and see how their relationship evolves. See how they handle the hurdles that will inevitably come their way, mainly the James shaped hurdle standing in their path.
Thank you so much for your kind words, comments, and encouragement as I write this story. ITHOLA is something I love so much and I'm so happy other people are enjoying it and sharing in this with me. I'm going to try my best to not have it be over a week between now and the next update. I've got a lot of new projects on my plate with my business so I need to focus on that stuff as my first priority. Saturday will be the one year anniversary for me that I've been working for myself. It's an anniversary I wasn't sure I'd ever reach. So I'm going to allow myself to enjoy that for a moment too.
Again thank you for reading and feedback is welcome. I can't wait to hear what you all think of this chapter!