The answer's right in front of you - Mary J. Blige
8:46 p.m. Friday, October 1, 2021
"Oh, tell me something I don't already know." When she hears the voice harmonizing with hers, Michele is shaken, but she doesn't want to mess up now. The other voice, a male, sounds so amazing with hers, and she sticks with the key and note she'd been singing. As the song comes to an end, she keeps her eyes closed for a moment, breathing deeply. She'd done it! In front of the town, she'd sung a song that she loves. And she hadn't passed out. Pride wells up in her, and when she opens her eyes, it's with a dazed smile on her face.
Until she turns to look at the man next to her. There's an electric shock that runs through her body, and her stomach does multiple flips. It's not possible. This guy -- he looks just like Harry Styles. The songwriter and singer. Holy shizz. Not possible. She swallows as he holds out his hand for her to shake.
"Hi," he grins, and the dimple confirms what she fears before his words do. "I'm Harry Styles."
Panic races through her. Finally, her hand trembling, she reaches for his, "Hi, Harry. I'm Michele Moore."
Just then, the silence in the room dissolves as the entire audience rises, accompanied by clapping, stomping, and whistling. Blinking slowing, Michele focuses on her surroundings. Harry Styles sang with her? What kind of alternate reality is this? How much bubbly had she drunk?
8:48 p.m. Friday, October 1, 2021
Michele Moore? Not.... He leans in to ask her if she's the aunt to the Ps, but the crowd bursts into applause, and he can't hear himself think. He'd pictured the town baker in a variety of guises during the last 10 days in town, but to find that she's got luscious long, curly hair that he wants to sink his fingers into AND that she can sing with the voice of an angel is a lot to take in on its own. But to find that she is a fan of his work is overwhelming.
Lee steps onto stage, ushering Michele off. Wait. No. Not yet. He's just met her. Don't take her away yet.
"You're up next, H. I think the cat is out of the bag, though, with that little performance." The owner and DJ winks, and Harry is momentarily disoriented. Oh yeah. He's outing himself as a celebrity. That is the point of this exercise. His eyes follow the brown-headed woman as she weaves through the tables to join Liz and Spencer. He needs to know more. The urge to talk to her is strong. To get to know this woman with so many facets to her personality. Kin to his favorite children.
But the music to What Makes You Beautiful has begun, and Harry knows he needs to perform for this crowd tonight. Help them recognize that it's okay if they acknowledge who he is. He's fallen in love with this town, and he wants to be himself, but they need to know HIM instead of pretending he's just a normal tourist.
So he removes the microphone from the stand and takes over the stage. His usual performance skills burst forth, and he's pleased with the smiles he gets. Women and men jump up, dancing and singing along to the One Direction hit as he struts on stage, giving the performance his patented Harry Styles energy.
It's only when the song is over that he's able to glance back at the table where Michele had sat. To find it empty. What? Where?
His eyes roam the space until he spots her pulling on a coat and exiting. Jumping off the stage, he moves in her direction only to be stopped by townsfolk who want to greet him as -- well, as Harry.
"That was awesome, Harry!" Alison is the first to congratulate him. "The way you harmonized with Michele was beautiful. And wow. You really own that stage."
YOU ARE READING
Book 2 of the Nowhere USA Trilogy Michele and Harry met in the strangest possible manner, and now they need to navigate the waters together so they can mutually care for the Ps. But Michele has an interview for her dream job, and Harry isn't in Now...