aftermath // n.h

// iv //

Valeria Del Rosario Reyes, you are a dead woman! Valerie couldn’t contain her thoughts as she felt her body start to shake. You just had to give me this type of sign, huh universe?

While the assistant showed signs of distress, Mark caught wind of it and instantly thought of the worse. “Val, are you ok? What’s wrong?” He quickly stood up from his desk and walked towards her. “Who’s out there? Do I need to call security?”

“It’s him, Mark. Niall Horan is your dad’s client,” she exclaimed, hopefully in a hush tone she imagined in her head.

Mark mentally face palmed, realizing this was just his assistant fan girling, and laughed lightly. “I didn’t take you for a fan, Valerie.”

Val grabbed her boss’ head with her two bare hands and spoke sternly, “BABY DADDY. NIALL HORAN.”

“Oh.” Mark said, casually before realizing what she meant and formed an O with his mouth. “OH!”

Before Mark had a chance to react, his office door was pushed open and that somehow, not surprisingly though, caused Valerie to stumble back and land on her butt. Her boss managed to stay on his feet and compose himself as much as he could considering the news he just received.

The assistant on the floor groaned loudly as her boss failed to try to suppress his laughter. I would kill for some kind of coordination, Val pouted to herself, maybe I should just stay behind this door until the meeting is over.

Dean walked in with Niall coming in right behind him, gently pushing the door to close but it didn’t quite do the job. Valerie couldn’t help but get distracted by the singer’s whole behind. She tilted her head to the side, momentarily diverted by what was clearly a great behind.

“Mark, this is Mr. Niall Horan.” His dad introduced them.

The lawyer stifled a laugh and shook Niall’s hand, “Nice to meet you, Mr. Horan.”

“Likewise! But please, call me Niall. Dean’s told me a lot about you,” the singer smiled.

“I couldn’t help but notice Valerie wasn’t at her desk. Is she out sick? It is Liam?” Dean asked his son.

Mark let out the laugh he’d been holding in and simply pointed towards Val’s direction. Both Dean and Niall looked behind them and saw her on the floor. Valerie awkwardly waved and smiled, this isn’t embarrassing at all.

Niall immediately offered his hand to help Val up, “Well how’d ya end up down there, miss?”

The assistant hesitantly took it, too afraid to make eye contact with the singer. “Tt’s a special hobby of mines,” she joked.

“Valerie, I was worried for a second. I didn’t see you out there,” Dean went in for hug.

“Well you know your son keeps me busy!” She kissed his cheek.

“Niall, this is Mark’s legal assistant. She’s basically the daughter I never had!” Dean gushed over her.

“You have such a familiar face, Mark’s legal assistant and the daughter Dean’s never had,” Niall said as they shook hands.

Valerie laughed nervously, “Well I was fortunate to get a photo with you a little over a year ago. On my birthday.”

“Lucky girl,” Mark squeezed a comment in.

Valerie gave her boss a stern look with her eyes and a stiff smile. “I’ll step out and let you guys go over some things. The paperwork will be ready for you to sign, Mr. Horan, when y’all are done.”

The assistant quickly stepped out and let out a deep breath she didn’t know she was holding in. Once Val was sat at her desk, she immediately pulled her phone out and texted both of her roommates in a groupchat.

To Ella and Liv: guys I’m freaking THE FUCK OUT RIGHT NOW

While Valerie waited impatiently for her friends to text back, she couldn’t help but notice how shaky her hands were. Now is not the time, the assistant warned herself. A couple minutes later she finally received responses from Stella and Olivia.

ella: WHY??
liv: what did you do?

Val rolled her eyes at Liv’s text and quickly replied.

val: first off, I DID NOTHING. secondly, NIALL FLIPPIN HORAN IS HERESDFGHZ

Not even second later after that text was sent Valerie received multiple texts at the same time.

ella: wowowowow
liv: that’s a sign from the universe!
ella: how do you feel???
liv: you can’t ignore the sign you said you needed to convince you
ella: oh! invite him to dinner and then ease him into it

The young mother groaned quietly as she sat there in her own self pity. Jesus was definitely not on her side today. He doesn’t even remember sleeping with me, she thought, well of course because it was a one night stand, Valeria. It’s not like Val left a note for the guy either. It was her choice to disappear without waiting for him, but what was she supposed to think? She had woken up to empty bed.

“Valerie!” Mark snapped her out of deep thought.

Valerie looked up to see her boss and Niall standing in front of her. She could tell Mark was desperately still trying to contain himself. It’s a wonder how he got through that meeting.

“Sorry,” the assistant could feel her cheeks warming up. She reached out for the file she created and grabbed a pen as well to finally put the client’s name on the tab. Val took out the papers that needed a signature and set it in front of Niall.

“I know you signed these already with Dean, but due to short notice and a reassigned lawyer, your signatures are needed again. Where the signatures are needed are marked by the sticky tabs,” Valerie explained, giving a small smile to the singer.

Niall smiled back, “Thank you, ma’am.”

“Hey Val,” Mark started, “Will you be using those backstage passes I gifted you for the jingle ball?”

Valerie discretely, attempted to at least, glared at her boss for bringing that up. Note to self: strangle my boss, she joked to herself. “Um, no I won’t be. Liv and Ella will be going in my place,” she said as an excuse... and a lie.

“You won’t be going?” Niall asked with curious eyes.

Val cleared her throat before speaking, “No. There are only two passes, but that’s ok.”

“Shame,” Mark muttered.

Can I strangle him now? Please? Valerie pleaded to the higher ups.

“I can put you on the list,” Niall instantly offered, “Both of you. It’s the least I can do for the help.”

“Unfortunately, it’s father and son day but Val you should go!” The lawyer had a beautiful way to put his assistant in a tight spot. Liar, liar, pants on fire! Val sang in her head.

Niall smiled at both of them, “Can’t take that away from ya, can I? Valerie, what do you say?”

“I would really love to, but I have a baby... to babysit. A newborn... parents first night out since he was born,” She lied. “But again, my friends will be there. They’re fun. Mark can send you a picture of them. He’s a weirdo.”

Niall and Valerie laughed as Mark rolled his eyes. Clearly he didn’t find the joke as amusing as they did.

The singer’s eyes lingered on the assistant and she couldn’t help but look down. Under any circumstances Valerie would be flattered, but what she felt instead was guilt.

“Well if ya change your mind, just say the name of the law firm to my security and they’ll bring you to me,” Niall spoke his final words to her.

Val nodded at the singer and proceeded to block both of them out mentally so she could finish panicking internally. Such an inconvenience of them to remain in front of her desk, she couldn’t even panic in peace.

Was this the only time Valerie had to tell Niall Horan that she birthed his child? Would he be staying in the city for a couple days after the Jingle Ball? Val wasn’t ready to spill the beans whatsoever. We don’t even know each other, she said to herself. As if that would have stopped that night from happening. Niall’s number was at her disposal at anytime, but then he’ll doubt her even more if she waits any longer. How do you tell a man, who you don’t know, that he has a child?

Lord please help me, Valerie pleaded.

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