In a State of Denial: Chapters 2 & 3

As promised here are the next chapters. Because I will be travelling between now and Saturday, I have included Friday’s chapter in with today’s! I hope you enjoy. Also, as stated before Chapter One, if I have made any mistakes regarding One Direction facts please let me know! I’ll fix them 🙂

Mel

~~~~~

 TWO

 

The next morning begins with a breach of security.

Your phone blares next to your head and you grimace, turning over in your undersized bunk and tugging the thin comforter forward until it nearly laps over your ears.

But not quite.

With an effort that is like climbing out of quick sand, you force your body to fight against the restraints of the sheets clinging to your body. You reach for your phone which sits inside a pouch strapped to the railing of your second-level bunk bed (who knew hotels even had those?) You are one of only three female guards, so you have the small room nearly to yourself. Almost. Stifled grumblings come from the bed beneath you as the ringing persists and you whisper apologies.

“Hello,” you croak into the speaker, wincing at the sound of your own voice.

“Wake up, we have a problem.” It’s Paul. You pull the phone away from your face just long enough to glance at the screen. 5:04 a.m.

That’s fine, who needs sleep?

“You hear me?” he demands, his deep voice ricocheting through the phone wire, causing feedback to blare in your ear.

“Yep. A problem. We have one. What is it?” You yawn, pulling yourself into a seated position. One of the other female guards is currently on the nightshift, however Elaina—the oldest female member of the security team—got back only a few hours before you did. As the youngest female (and currently the youngest member of the security team at the ripe old age of 20—you’re dad is a cop; it runs in the family) you probably shouldn’t be complaining.

Still, seven hours of sleep is better than four, you think bitterly.

“We caught a fan attempting to break into the boys’ bus a few minutes ago. Judging from her response when we questioned her, there are more people in the hotel. They know room numbers and it sounds like they may have a key card to one of the rooms, though she could have been lying.”

You sit up a little straighter, mind suddenly becoming focused. “Which room?”

“401.”

Niall’s room.

“I have security lining the hallway,” Paul continues, his voice is tainted with fatigue, and it occurs to you that he’s had even less sleep than you—possibly none at all.

“So, what, we need to search the building? Is that even allowed? The other guests—”

“No we’re not,” he says in answer to your question. “We are limited to the floor the boys are on and that’s it. We can’t prove that any of these people intend harm, so there really is nothing we can do at this point.”

Paul is clearly irritated, you can tell by the sharpness of his tone, the short way he chops off the end of every word. You haven’t been working with him for long, but it isn’t hard to tell that he severely dislikes situations that are out of his control. Something you both have in common.

“So why are you calling me?” you ask. If you didn’t have the hotel’s permission to search for the other so-called fan-felons then what was the purpose of waking you up so early? The thought makes you even crankier, and you dig your fingernails into the palm of your hand as you wait for his response. If it’s something stupid, you are going to lose your mind. Sleep is already a rarity. Being woken at five in the morning for some useless story that can wait until dawn is unforgivable.

“I’ve decided to place a security member in each of the boys’ rooms just in case, that way I know for sure they’re not leaving and no one is coming in.”

“And you’re calling me for…what reason? To say ‘hey’?”

“It’s five a.m. and I’m not in the mood for jokes.” Paul’s voice is gruff and you feel slightly bad for your own shortness; but only a little. “You will be stationed inside room 401. Be dressed and ready in five minutes.”

“Wait, you’re putting me inside the room? Why?!”

“Niall’s request.”

 

 THREE

 

 “Don’t you think this is a little inappropriate?” you ask as Paul gestures for you to follow him down the hall. It’s still too early and none of the other guests have begun to stir. (Which is good for you because you had only just rolled out of bed, tossed on your uniform—black on top and bottom—and called it quits. You probably look like ten piles of crap.)

He turns suddenly, blocking you from moving forward. He’s large, his broad shoulders hovering at your eye line; you are tall, but he is that much taller. “Do I have a reason to be concerned?”
Cold chills run up your arms and you’re relieved that you chose to put on a dark jacket along with your other clothes. At least he won’t see the goose bumps this way.

“Of course not,” you say, and you mean it. “But if you were right about those other fans being in the hotel—if they do have key—wouldn’t a female guard create, I don’t know, a scandal?”
He frowns. “I think the bigger scandal would be that we are so inept at our jobs we allowed fans to break into the boys’ rooms. After that a female guard is nothing.”

You nod. Touché.

~~~~~

            Room 401 is located at the very far end of the hallway next to a window with a view of downtown Boston: skyscrapers, cars, concrete jungle—not that you can see any of it in the five a.m. darkness. It is also directly across the hall from the vending machine room, and you can see Harry jabbing at the buttons on the candy machine, mumbling curses as it refuses to deliver him his—you glance over his shoulder at the machine—

“Sour Patch Kids, huh? Good choice.”

He starts, his eyes flashing to you as Paul grumbles something in annoyance behind you. The atmosphere is instantly uncomfortable; after all, it’s not like you have ever had a reason to talk with him. You mostly work with the other security members, once in a while guarding the boys when all hands are needed, but even then it isn’t as if you have a relationship with them. You are a temporary guard in charge of making sure traveling from one location to another goes smoothly. Paul is the one that works with the boys.

You clear your throat, jamming a foot into the side of the black machine and avoiding the glass face; the last thing you need is a bunch of shattered glass and an injured One Direction member before the show tonight. The candy slowly begins to climb its decent before landing in the tray at the bottom.

Harry looks at you, one eyebrow cocked, and you nod silently before stepping away. Yes, you are all about keeping it cool. Not.

Paul is already waiting outside of room 401 and you meet his eyes as they wander between you and the British boy behind you. They are heavily lidded, underlined by dark circles, and you wonder how he’s still managed to remain on his feet.

Harry must have the same thought because he passes the small pouch in front of Paul’s nose. “Want one?” he asks.

The bigger man shakes his head but his eyes seem a little less strained as he grabs hold of the Harry’s shoulder, steering him in the direction of his room. “I don’t want you boys coming out yet, we still don’t know…” He trails off and Harry bobs his head up and down in understanding.

“I’ll just watch some cartoons or something.” His eyes land on you again as if it is finally occurring to him that it’s strange to find you at this end of the hallway. “What are you doing?”

Behind you the hotel room door opens silently and you to jump when a deep voice laced with exhaustion says, “She’s here to see me.”

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