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As we pulled up to the rehearsal studio half an hour later, I was relieved to see that there were no fans waiting by the door. Zayn explained that this was a secret location, and that the only reason they were around the other day was because it was a stadium rehearsal. “Brace yourself,” he whispered as we approached the entrance.

“For what?” I asked nervously.

“The boys are probably about to tease us mercilessly,” he replied, rubbing his neck which, similarly to mine, was covered in hickeys. I had managed to cover most of mine up with some makeup, but his were on full display. “Louis especially, since he saw me sneaking out last night.” He pushed open the door and immediately three of the boys were in our faces.

“Well, what do we have here,” Harry began. “If it isn’t the star-crossed lover, finally showing up to rehearsal.”

“I’m five minutes early!” Zayn protested, punching his shoulder good- naturedly.

“But you brought an extra,” Liam said, smiling wickedly. “I don’t bring my late-night exploits to work with me.”

“I work for you!” I laughed, setting down the bags with the nearly finished clothes.

“You look nice, Gemma,” Niall offered, wandering over. “Why is everyone smiling?” He asked, looking around. “Zayn, did you get in a fight? You’re covered in bruises.”

“They’re not bruises, Niall,” Louis said, his eyes gleaming. “Gemma’s got matching one, look!”

Niall glanced at me, seeing the feint remains of the concealed hickeys. “Ooooooooo,” Niall laughed. “I wondered why you didn’t ride with one of us to rehearsal this morning, Zayn.”

“I’m just going to check in with Paul,” I muttered, slipping away from the group. I could hear them teasing Zayn as I walked to find my boss.

“Is the wardrobe done yet?” He asked, looking at the bags of clothes. “I’d like them to practice the costume changes today.”

“They’re not fitted yet, and I need to take them to a tuxedo shop sometime in the next couple days to get the encore song stuff, but other than that I’ve got everything,” I replied.

He nodded. “Excellent. I’ll let them know.” He waved over two girls who looked to be in their late teens. “This is Samantha,” he said, pointing to the red-haired one. Then he pointed to the dark- haired one. “And this is Katie. They’re your new assistants for the show.”

“Hi!” Katie said.

“It’s nice to meet you!” Samantha added. They had identical Irish accents, which reminded me of Niall.

“I’m Gemma,” I said, shaking hands with each of them. I showed them my sketches and had them help me sort out the clothes by who was wearing them. “They’ll probably need our help during the costume changes, since they’re supposed to be quick”

“Katie, could you help Louis?” I asked. She nodded so I turned to Samantha. “And will you help Harry?” She agreed. “Excellent. I’ll help Zayn. Niall and Liam should be ok since their stuff is pretty basic.”

The girls shared a look when I mentioned Zayn and I rolled my eyes, assuming that they had been hearing the rumors or seen the photos on Twitter. “Right, well. I’m going to go tell the boys the plan. Have you guys been introduced yet?”

“No,” they said in unison.

“We’ve only just arrived last night. We flew in from Dublin for the job,” Katie said.

“How old are you girls?” I asked, leading them towards the boys.

“We’re eighteen,” Samantha replied. “We just finished our first year at design school, so Paul thought we’d be decent assistants.”

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