Breaking Free

Ever felt smothered by everyone else's idea of what your life should be like? Have you ever just wanted to say "Stop! It's my life!" to those closest to you? We all have, haven't we? I bet you were too afraid to do it though. So you kept your mouth shut, and did exactly what you always told yourself you would never do: you followed the rules set by people who don't really know you, and let THEM control your life. But what could happen if you finally just said no? If you decided to follow your own dream? Would something amazing happen? Would you fall in love? Would you find what you've been looking for your whole life? What could happen if you just...broke free?

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24. Big Misconception

In the broom closet with Belle and Zayn...

"Ouch Belle what the f--"

"Shutup I'm trying to find the light!"

"That's my foot you're stepping on!"

"Yeah well that's my hip you just kneed you little b-- oh hey, I found the light."

Belle finally put her hand on what appeared to be a light switch and flipped it up, light immediately flooding the small broom closet. She and Zayn both squinted for a minute, letting their eyes adjust, before looking at each other and realizing just how close they were. The broom closet was small, and all the clutter in there just made Belle and Zayn have to stand even closer. It was awkward for the both of them and they tried to create as much distance as they could.

"Belle what the hell did you drag me in here for?" Zayn finally asked, obviously annoyed.

Belle opened her mouth to speak but no words came out. Zayn raised his eyebrows expectantly, looking down at her due to his towering height, her petite frame, and their close proximity.

"Well?"

No words.

Zayn rolled his eyes and laughed a bit before reaching his hand past Belle for the doorknob. "Belle I swear, you're the most confusing girl on the face of the--"

"Louis kissed me!" Belle finally shouted.

Zayn looked at her oddly, scrunching up his eyebrows. He did take his hand off the doorknob though, leaving it shut. "Well yeah, you guys had sex I kind of figured that--"

"No you idiot," Belle interrupted, huffing and rolling her eyes, "I mean he kissed me last night, not when we had sex that night after the club. Which you still better be keeping your mouth shut about." She added.

Zayn cocked his head in confusion. "But...we were all at Niall's place last night, how did that happen?"

Belle looked down at her injured hand and her cheeks flushed red as she quietly mumbled, "When you guys were asleep." Zayn chuckled a bit and she looked back up at him. "Oh shut it. I must have been too loud and woke him up when I was leaving so he came to check on me before I made it to the front door. I didn't know anyone else was up so he scared me, and he came up to me in that hallway and was letting me know it was just him and then I was about to leave when he-" Belle's cheeks turned even more red. "Y'know..."

"Uh, no I don't know." Zayn said.

Belle took in a deep breath and exhaled. "He pushed me up against the wall and kissed me Zayn!"

Zayn's eyes got wide. "Oh." He said.

"Oh? That's all you have to say?"

"Oh, um...good for you?" He asked tentatively.

Belle rolled her eyes and looked at Zayn like he was an idiot. "Good for me? No not good for me Zayn! Now Niall is asking me out and I mean he's great and all but Louis kissed me and I can't exactly deny those feelings and I don't know what to--"

"Wait, feelings?" Zayn cut her off. "What feelings? You have feelings?"

Belle paled. "Um, I didn't say that."

"Yes you did."

"Don't know what you're talking about Zayn."

"Belle come on!" Zayn said. "You've already told me pretty much everything since the sex up to this point, just tell me what your feelings are!" Belle was silent and Zayn's voice softened. "Is this a feeling of...love?"

"God no!" Belle shouted. "We just met, love doesn't happen right away! But um...there's definitely a feeling of like there. Strong like."

Zayn chuckled. "Well trust me love, the feeling is mutual."

Belle's eyes widened. "Really?"

"Of course! How can you not tell, it's painfully obvious!"

Belle smiled down at the ground sheepishly, blushing. She took in a deep breath and looked back up. "So what do I do now? I can't go out with Niall, that'd be wrong on so many levels. But I don't wanna break his heart either."

Zayn chuckled deeply. "Don't worry love, he likes you but he'll get over it. My suggestion is that you politely decline, blame it on management or something, and then just back off from him and Louis. That'll work out best for everyone. And then maybe after a month or so, after Niall has time to see you as just a friend and coworker, you can talk to Louis. But not anytime soon."

Belle nodded and sighed. "You're right. Thank you Zayn, really. Nobody else knows about the whole situation and oddly enough I trust you to keep it confidential."

"Don't worry love, I will. You're like another sister to me. A really hot sister."

Belle scowled at Zayn's cheeky comment and smacked his arm with her non injured hand. He just laughed and said, "Alright, alright, let's get out of this damn closet," before reaching for the door handle.

***

Meanwhile back with Harry, Liam, Louis, and Niall...

"Erm...that was weird." Harry finally said after almost a minute of silence, with him and the other boys staring at where Belle had rounded the corner and down one of the hallways backstage, dragging Zayn away by the hand.

"Uh, yeah it was." Liam agreed. "Why did she want to talk to Zayn anyways? Why not me? I'm the dependable one aren't I?"

"Why didn't she answer me?" Niall asked quietly to himself, still furrowing his brow in confusion.

Louis exhaled and rested his back against the wall. "I'm sure she's fine lads, Zayn is just good with advice and they're pretty close here lately." He said nonchalantly.

"Y'know I wouldn't have been upset if she said no." Niall suddenly said after a moment, and the other three looked at him incredulously. Niall chuckled almost sadly. "I mean, I sort of expected her to, we are working together after all. But hey, there's no harm or anything in asking right?" He looked up for confirmation from the boys, and they all just looked at each other sheepishly. "Right?" Niall prodded.

"I don't know, Ni." Liam said, "I'm sure Belle is pretty conflicted, she probably doesn't want to break your heart by saying no but also doesn't want to lead you on by saying yes. She's a girl, and a really nice one at that, so she's probably really overthinking the whole situation. See the dilemma?" He said, looking at Niall sympathetically. Niall looked up at him, pondering what his friend had just said.

"Oh," Niall finally said in understanding, "That does make sense. But it's not that big of a deal, I just asked her out to dinner. You know what, I'm going to go find her and tell her everything is okay, that she doesn't have to worry so much, we can just be friends and I'll be fine." Niall smiled and jumped down from where he had been sitting on the table.

"That's a good idea mate." Louis said whilst smiling and giving Niall a friendly slap on the back. Niall smiled back, but little did he know that Louis was just happy that Niall definitely wasn't going to take hii girl out on a date.

Wait, what?  No not his girl, just Belle. Who is definitely not his girl. But she could be, right? Maybe. Yes. Wait, no. But perhaps... Oh who knew.

The other boys nodded their head in agreement with Niall's decision and Niall took off around the corner where he had last seen Zayn and Belle. It led to a small hallway with just three or four doors on each side before coming to a dead end. Niall walked down the hallway slowly, listening for Belle or Zayn's voices.

Finally, at the last door on the right side of the hallway, Niall heard familiar voices on the other side and he saw light coming from underneath the door. He couldn't help his curiosity, and decided to press his ear to the beige door to hear what the two were saying before he knocked and asked to speak to Belle. He only caught half of their conversation...

“...kissed me and I can’t exactly deny those feelings and I don’t know what to—"

Did Niall hear that right? Belle was saying that Zayn kissed her?! That's what it sure sounded like...

“Wait feelings? What feelings? You have feelings?”

“Um, I didn’t say that.”

“Yes you did.”

“Don’t know what you’re talking about Zayn.”

“Belle come on! You’ve already told me pretty much everything since the sex--"

Niall pulled his ear away in shock. Sex? Zayn and Belle had sex too?! At least, that's what it sounded like to him. Mouth still open in shock, Niall leaned his ear back up to the door to continue listening.

"...your feelings are! Is this a feeling of … love?”

“God no! We just met, love doesn’t happen right away! But um…there’s definitely a feeling of like there. Strong like.”

“Well trust me love, the feeling is mutual.”

“Really?”

“Of course! How can you not tell, it’s painfully obvious!”

So now not only did it seem to Niall that Zayn and Belle kissed and had sex, now they had feelings for each other! He couldn't believe this. But he also couldn't deny the words he was hearing!

“So what do I do now? I can’t go out with Niall, that’d be wrong on so many levels. But I don’t wanna break his heart.”

So Liam was right in his suspicions of what was troubling Belle so much.

“Don’t worry love, he likes you but he’ll get over it. My suggestion is that—"

Niall couldn't listen anymore, he pulled his ear away and stepped back, staring at the door. In his mind, he had just heard Belle and Zayn talking about the fact that they kissed, slept together at some point in the past couple of weeks, and now they had feelings of 'strong like' for each other. No wonder Belle didn't wanna go out with him!

Niall chuckled a bit and put his hands in his pockets before heading back towards the other boys. Sure, it hurt him a little bit to know that Belle didn't like him but one of his best mates, but it wasn't like he was in love with her or anything. He'd asked her out because she was hot and had a nice personality. He wasn't left heartbroken or anything. He just still couldn't get his head around the idea that Belle and Zayn slept together.

If only he knew the truth...

Niall was still chuckling at the situation when he returned to Harry, Liam, and Louis. They looked at him oddly.

"Well? Did you talk to her?" Harry asked.

Niall grinned. "No, but just wait."

"Wait for what?" Louis asked incredulously.

"Just trust me guys, you're not going to believe this." Niall said in a goofy tone, grinning like an idiot because in his mind he knew a dirty little secret that no one else did.

"O...kay?" Liam said slowly, very confused. Niall just chuckled again.

The boys were about to continue questioning Niall, but were interrupted as Belle and Zayn reentered the room, laughing about something. Belle immediately got a solemn expression though when she saw the other boys. Zayn put his hand on her shoulder and gave her a reassuring smile. Belle nodded at him and walked up to Niall.

"Um Niall?" She asked softly, turning away from the other boys.

"Yes love?" Niall asked sweetly. It was a bit creepy to Belle how big he was smiling. He was acting like he knew something...

"Well, uh, I don't think it would be wise for us to go out. I mean you're an amazing guy and anyone would be lucky to have you but I just think that--" Belle stopped rambling when Niall held his hand up to her.

"Belle don't worry." He said as he dropped his hand to his side and smiled at her. "I know."

Belle cocked her head in confusion. "Huh?"

Niall leaned his head down towards her ear and almost whispered, "I know."

Belle looked back up at him with an oblivious expression. She whispered back, "You know...what?"

Niall chuckled and stood back up to his full height and scanned the room. The boys were looking at him with bewildered expressions. He just laughed again and threw a wink at a very confused Zayn. "Well Belle," he said mildly loud, "I know that you have a dirty little secret you've been keeping from everyone."

Belle paled. Louis' eyes got big. Zayn's jaw dropped.

What did Niall know and how did he know it?

"W-What?" Belle stuttered out.

Niall smiled smugly again and said, "Don't worry love, I understand that you don't like me as more than a friend and it's fine, really. But why didn't you tell me you shagged one of my boys?"

"What?!" Harry and Liam exclaimed while Zayn dropped his head and Louis sunk down to a sitting position against the wall, his expression unreadable.

"Shit." Louis mumbled as he put his head in his hands. Nobody heard him.

"H-H-How did you--"

"I heard you and Zayn talking in the broom closet." Niall interrupted Belle matter-of-factly.

Belle tried to form words but she didn't know what to say.

"Wait does somebody want to explain what the hell is going on?!" Liam said loudly, very confused by the situation.

"Who did you have sex with Belle?" Harry asked quietly.

Belle turned to him and her mouth was still parted. She slowly began to speak in a small voice.

"Well I guess the cat's out of the bag now." She said slowly before chuckling sadly. "I-I sorta had sex with--

Belle finished her sentence with, "Louis" at the same time Niall said "Zayn" and Louis said "Me."

The room was silent and everyone looked at each other with confused expressions

"Wait I thought you had sex with Zayn?" Niall finally asked, his eyebrows scrunched at Belle.

"Why the hell would you think that?!" Zayn shouted.

Louis' jaw was dropped in utter shock.

"Well- I- Because I heard you guys in the closet!" Niall shouted, trying to defend himself. 
"You guys were saying stuff about kissing, and having feelings, and sleeping together--"

"Feelings?" Louis suddenly interrupted, standing up to his feet and briskly walking over to Belle. "You have feelings too?"

"Too?" Liam asked incredulously.

"I-I--" Belle choked on her words as she stared up into Louis' eyes. He was standing straight in front of her now, their chests almost touching. She had to lean her head back a bit to look at his flawless face.

"Niall you idiot we were talking about her and Lou not her and me!" Zayn exclaimed.

"What feelings do you have?" Louis whispered softly, looking down at Belle as the rest of the room around them faded to black, leaving just the two of them staring into each other's eyes.

"But how did you know about the two of them when we didn't?!" Harry asked.

Zayn rolled his eyes, "Because I caught them almost making out on the plane when they were taking so long and Louis told me--"

"He told you but not us?" Liam asked. None of the other four boys were taking any notice to the situation between Belle and Louis in the middle of the room.

"Belle?" Louis whispered, leaning his face down to hers and lifting her chin with his index finger. Her pretty brown eyes were wide. "Do you have feelings for me?"

"Guys it doesn't matter who he told, what matters is that not all of us were informed and Niall jumped to conclusions about--"

"Hey don't blame me!" Niall cut off Harry. "You would've thought the same thing if you'd heard what I heard!"

"I-I think so." Belle finally said softly as Louis' face inched closer and closer to hers with every passing second. Louis smiled.

"Really? Because...I'm pretty sure I have feelings for you too." Belle's eyes sparkled and she and Louis both smiled at each other, feeling as if they were the only two people on the planet.

"Look why don't we just ask Louis about this whole situation when obviously--"

Liam stopped talking and Harry, Niall, and Zayn stopped coming up with more things to be upset about as they all turned their attention to the center of the room where Louis and Belle pressed their lips together. The boys couldn't be mad anymore once they saw the sight; not even Niall. How could they have not seen it before now?

Belle and Louis were perfect for each other: they were like two matching puzzle pieces, or rythym and blues, or bourbon and coke. Everything seemed so right as the blue eyed boy and brown eyed girl kissed each other sweetly.

As long as they could do this; As long as this could happen; As long as Belle and Louis could be together...everything would work itself out.

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