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After the run through I took the clothes back from the boys. Luckily, I had very little to tailor and I was taking the boys for tuxedo fittings tomorrow morning. When noon finally rolled around I was more than happy to escape the boys and go out with Eleanor.

She came inside, spent a few minutes with Louis, and then we took off for some nearby restaurant that she swore had the best French fries in the world. “So what’s up, Gemma?” She asked as we settled into a booth. “You look like you need to talk about something.”

I took a deep breath. “Zayncametomyhotelastnightwithflowersandheaskedmetobehisgirlfriendandweslepttogether.” The words came out in a continuous stream.

Eleanor frowned and laughed. “The only words I caught were Zayn, hotel and slept.”

“Zayn came to my hotel last night with flowers and he asked me to be his girlfriend. And we slept together,” I said more slowly, suddenly embarrassed to be discussing this with someone I hardly knew.

Eleanor smiled and ordered us each a beer and a basket of fries to share. “I can’t say I’m that surprised. He seemed absolutely smitten when he told Louis and I about your picnic. But I get why you wanted to talk about this with a girl. I’m guessing the boys were brutal when you showed up to rehearsal this morning.”

“They were. But I threw it back in Louis’s face.” I told her about my clever comeback and she grinned.

“I wish I could have been there for that. How are you handling the fans? They can get brutal sometimes,” she asked more seriously.

“I’ve already gotten so many death threats, and that was before we were official. I’m worried about what’s going to happen when it becomes public knowledge that we’re dating,” I confessed.

“It takes getting used to,” she said. “But most of the fans will like you. I get a lot of hate mail, but I get even more that says how much people love me. You just have to remember that when they’re cruel, it’s because they’re jealous. They sit around and pine over these boys, and we get to spend all our time with them.”

“That’s true. But it’s still weird to have people hate me without even knowing me,” I said, munching on fry. “I’m just stressed because I don’t really know anyone here. I need girls to talk to about this kind of thing.”

She smiled. “Well I’m around if you ever need me.”

I smiled back, glad that she was so nice. “Thanks. Good to know that I’ve got at least one friend who can relate to this.”

“Danielle will be excited

“He told me he loves me,” I murmured.

Eleanor choked on her beer for a moment. “After four days?”

I nodded. “And I said it back.”

“Did you mean it?”

“I’ve never felt anything close to what I feel when I’m with him. It’s got me really freaked out, because I barely even know him.”

“Then why do you love him?” She pressed.

“He looks at me like I’m the most beautiful thing in the world. And he sends me the sweetest texts for no reason at all. When I look into those eyes I feel like he can really see me,” I answered, my voice growing farther away as I picture that beautiful face. “Plus the sex was great.”

Eleanor laughed and threw a fry at me. “No wonder the boys like you so much. You’re as bad as they are.”

I laughed and we spent the rest of lunch talking about lighter subjects. By the time she dropped me back off at my hotel, I felt much better. I loved the boys, but I could only handle so much testosterone.

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