Chapter Seventeen

The morning next, Niall and Tatum packed their belongings and loaded up the car back to Herringdale. It would be some time before they got home, but after the good night sleep they had both gotten, they were prepared. The town was barely waking up when they headed out onto the main road, chatting away about nothing and everything.

"Lets play twenty-one questions!" Niall exclaimed, glancing at Tatum quickly when they made a stop.

She nodded. "Okay. You go first."

He thought for a minute. "What's your favourite colour?"

"Purple. What's your favourite place in the entire world?"

"Home. Who was your first boyfriend?"

Tatum blushed. "Um, Nathan Dinnings. Did you enjoy school?"

"No. What is the last thing you thought about before you went to bed last night?"

"Ice-cream. Why-" She stopped short, noticing the raised eyebrow from Niall. "What? I was craving ice-cream..."

Niall laughed out loud, his grip on the steering wheel loosening. "You're definitely something, Tatum Ryder."


"Welcome home you lovebirds!" Tommy exclaimed, holding the door wide open for the two blondes as they made their way in. "We didn't really miss you."

Tatum rolled her eyes, dropping her bag in the corner and tackling him with a hug. "Well, I missed you, so..."

"Well, I missed you!" Louis exclaimed, grinning as he pulled Niall into a head-lock. "Lots and lots and lots. I couldn't sleep for two days!"

Tatum chuckled, going through all her friends as they embraced her happily. They were all gathered around at Elliot's house. There was a huge mess in the living room where it was obvious they had been playing 'spin-the-bottle.' An empty beer bottle sat in the middle of the room, on its back, as its perimeter looked something along the lines of a dump. Empty bags of crisps, juice boxes of all types and countless paper cups were strewn here and there. It made the girl's stomach drop as she hated clutters like this. It was like a slap in the face, even though it wasn't her house.

"What did you all do in here?" She asked, her eyes widening when she noticed a can of Pepsi sitting half-full on top of the DVD player.

Denver walked up behind and wrapped his arm around her small shoulder. "We had a party, babe. Best one yet. Eli's parents went to Canada for a week for some job thing."

"They're being promoted." The brown haired boy explained, casually dropping himself into the conversation upon hearing his name. "If all goes well, they'll be moving to Canada."

Tatum turned to look at him, her eyebrows furrowing. "If they move, won't you as well?"

Everyone in the room fell silent. It was not an eerie silence that made one's heart stop beating, but a silence that spoke of importance that was to come. She glanced between everyone, her eyes stopping to meet Arden's nervous ones.

"What's wrong?"

Liam, who was the first to smile at her, nodded at Elliot who was the most scared to speak his mind. This must have been something really huge if he was so anxious.

"We've been signed, Tay.


He grinned at her. "Jared called the afternoon you and Niall left. He said that since our fame was sky-rocketing and our little tour was so successful, we deserved it. So, yeah. We've been signed to Columbia Records."

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