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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48. Give Me A Chance"

As Niall stepped out of Kaylie's house, slamming the door behind him, he couldn't hold in his frustration any longer. 

"Fuck!" He yelled, storming over to his black Range Rover and kicking the front tire. He then took off his green snapback and threw it on the ground with all the might he could muster before putting his hands on the back of his head and pacing in fury. He was breathing heavily, anger radiating through his entire system. Why did he always have to get the short end of the stick? Liam and Zayn both had girlfriends, Harry was basically dating a girl, Louis had Belle. Who did he have? Nobody. And the only girl he wanted was back together with his best mate.

Niall couldn't help but be furious with himself for getting his hopes up. He actually had this dream-like fantasy that when Belle came back, she would fall into his arms for comfort, then realize that she had feelings for him too. Then they would date and live happily ever after. Like that would ever happen though. 

Composing himself slightly, Niall bent down and picked up his snapback from the ground, brushing the dirt off of it with an exasperated sigh. With a defeated expression, he clambered into his car and slammed the door shut. He put the keys in the ignition but didn't start it up. Instead, Niall just let out a deep breath and put his forehead on the wheel.

"I'm never fucking good enough." He muttered to himself.

A few silent minutes passed in the vehicle, the only sound was of Niall's heavy breathing. He kept thinking to himself, 'Belle could never love me. Louis is the perfect boyfriend, I'm just the sucker that fell for her. I don't have a chance.'

Niall's thoughts were interrupted though when he heard light tapping on the driver's side window of his car, making him jump. His head snapped up and his breath hitched.

Belle was on the other side of the glass, smiling sadly at him. Niall took in a deep breath and gulped before stepping out of the vehicle.

Belle had taken a few steps back so the door could swing open and when Niall closed it behind him, she stayed where she was. The two friends were about three feet apart, Niall in his sweatpants, Supras, and white tshirt, and Belle in her running shorts and tanktop. 

A few awkward moments passed, Niall looking down at his feet and scuffing his shoes on the pavement of Kaylie's driveway.

"Where's Louis?" Niall finally asked, still not making eye contact.

"Oh, he uh, he parked out back. He's leaving right now." Belle said nervously. Niall just nodded silently. "Niall please look at me."

"Belle things are already awkward as it is I don't think--"

"Niall." Belle interrupted firmly, cutting Niall off. "Please?" She asked quietly, taking two small steps closer to him.

Niall breathed heavily for a moment before looking up slowly. He met her gaze and saw that her pretty brown eyes were glazed over with held back tears, threatening to spill over.

"Shit Belle, please don't cry." Niall said immediately,stepping forward and wrapping his arms around Belle's small frame. That's when Belle lost it, embracing him tightly and hiding her face in his strong chest, letting the tears spill over. Niall just held her tight, resting his chin on her forehead and rubbing small circles on her back. "C'mon Belle, I hate to see you cry, please don't."

"I can't help it." Belle said in between sniffles, clutching Niall's shirt in her small hands. "Gosh it's like no matter what I do I manage to fuck everything up for you guys."

"That's not true--"

"Yes it is!" Belle shouted, burying her face in the crook of Niall's shoulder. "First it was my dad, now I'm ruining things for you and Louis--"

"Belle stop." Niall said firmly, pushing Belle back by her shoulders and bending his knees slightly to be eye level with her. When she wouldn't look at his eyes Niall lifted her chin with his index finger. "You're not ruining our friendship, this is just stuff that happens okay? I...I'll just have to get over this, it'll be fine."

Belle bit down on her lip and squinted her eyes shut, trying to hold back any more tears. "I'm so sorry for hurting you all this time Niall. I honestly didn't know you felt that way for me, if I did I wouldn't have led you on the way I did and--"

"Belle don't blame yourself for this." Niall interrupted. "There's nobody to blame here but me. I shouldn't have said anything to begin with. This is just one of those things y'know? We can't always be with the person we like." He chuckled sadly. "And Belle you can't always make everyone happy."

Belle looked down at the ground and a few silent seconds passed before she finally looked up at Niall with an expression he couldn't quite pinpoint. "W-When you walked out," She began, "Louis asked me what I thought about...about what you had said."

Niall cocked his head to the side. "What did you say?"

Belle took in a deep breath and looked directly into Niall's mesmerizing blue eyes. "I told him that it made things between he and I...a bit more complicated. And that maybe we should just..."

"Just what?" Niall asked, hope coating his voice as he stepped closer to Belle. 

Belle had to crane her neck to look up at Niall now due to their proximity. Her brown eyes were wide. "I told him that I didn't think we shouldn't get back together right now. That I wouldn't drive a wedge between you two."

Niall had to bite back a smile. Belle and Louis weren't together, she had told him they needed to just be friends and coworkers.

"H-He stormed out." Belle continued, bringing Niall back to reality. "That's when I came out here and saw that you hadn't left." She opened her mouth to say something else but then quickly closed it.

"What is it?" Niall asked, cautiously taking Belle's hand in his own, rubbing his thumb over her knuckles. Belle looked down at their hands for a few seconds before looking back up at him.

"There was something that I didn't tell Louis." She said quietly. 

Niall took one more dangerously close step to Belle, their chests almost touching. He raised her hand to his chest, against his heart, which was beating dangerously fast with hope and anticipation. "What didn't you tell him?" He asked.

Belle took in a deep breath. "I didn't tell him that...that I might...feel the same way about...you." She barely whispered, looking away from Niall's eyes as she spoke.

Niall's heart might as well have stopped. Belle thought that she might have feelings for him, and that was enough to give him hope again. 

Suddenly though the atmosphere between them changed and Belle pulled away from Niall. "But it doesn't matter, it's wrong of me to feel that way especially when you guys--"

"No, no wait!" Niall called out desperately, grabbing Belle's wrist and turning her around abruptly. "It's never wrong to have feelings for someone Belle. Sure it could be complicated, and might hurt some people, but you have to make yourself happy too!" 

Belle looked into Niall's eyes, pleading and hopeful. "But Niall Louis and I have so much history, and he probably hates me all over again now, it just wouldn't work."

"You don't know that if you don't try!" Niall exclaimed. "We don't have to be anything Belle, we don't have to have a label, just...just give me a chance. Please."

Niall and Belle both gazed into each other's eyes, Belle contemplating the whole situation. She had broken Louis' heart so long ago, and probably just broke it all over again because his best friend said he had feelings for her, and now she's afraid that she has feelings for him too. It was beyond wrong for her to have feelings for Niall, but she couldn't help it. And she was still in love with Louis too, how did that even make sense?

But...maybe she wasn't in love with Louis. If she really was in love with him, she couldn't possibly have feelings for Niall right? Maybe she had just fallen back into Louis' arms because of their history, and she was extremely vulnerable. 

"Belle I would never hurt you, you know this." Niall spoke again, stepping closer to her and cautiously putting his hand up to her cheek. "You mean the world to me, I liked you the moment you auditioned for us in New York. I knew you were special right then and there." At this point, the two were chest to chest, both breathing heavily. Niall leaned forward and rested his forehead against Belle's. Belle's breathing was staggered and she gently placed a hand against Niall's strong chest. "Give me a chance Belle. Give us a chance. If it doesn't work out, or if it causes trouble, we'll call it quits. But at least try." He said softly.

Belle looked up at Niall through her long eyelashes, feeling his heart beat rapidly against her hand, resting on his chest. They were so close. Her mouth parted slightly, and Niall's eyes flitted down to her lips.

Without saying a word, Niall leaned forward and kissed her softly. Belle responded, wrapping her other arm around Niall's neck and holding him against her. The kiss was soft, and slow, a drastic change from when she had kissed Louis. That had been rough, and desperate. This was kind, passionate, careful. She had never been kissed this way before, as if she were the only girl in the world. Niall's thumb stroked Belle's cheek, while his other hand pulled her flush against him, resting at the small of her back.

It was over almost as soon as it started, and they parted softly. Belle's eyes fluttered back open and she saw Niall staring at her lovingly, a ghost of a smile on his lips.

"That should have been our first kiss." Niall muttered, making Belle blush to which he chuckled at.

Belle's gaze flitted back to Niall's, and as she looked into his gorgeous eyes, she knew that she did in fact have feelings for him, no matter how badly she wished she didn't. Fate had obviously been trying to tell her that Louis and her were not meant for each other, maybe Niall was exactly who she needed.

"We have to be quiet." Belle suddenly said. Niall's face scrunched up in confusion.

"What do you--"

"We can't be seen out in public, and the other boys can't know. If this causes a riff in the band, we call it quits immediately."

Niall started to smile. "Are you saying--"

"And we have to move slow Niall, things with Louis and I are...weird, I don't really know where we stand and--"

Belle was cut off as Niall wrapped two strong arms around her waist and picked her up, spinning her around with a huge grin on his face. Belle couldn't help but laugh at his giddiness. 

When Niall set Belle down, he stepped back and looked her in the eyes, smiling wide. Belle couldn't help but smile back at him.

"What...what made you decide to give me a chance?" He asked, eyes wide and bright.

Belle thought for a moment. "It was what you said before. You're right, I can't make everyone happy. But I think I deserve a fresh start you know? I deserve to be happy too. Niall...I really want to be happy. I haven't been in a really long time." She said sadly, looking down.

Niall gently lifted Belle's chin to look at him and he smiled softly at her. "I can make you happy." He said.

And the strange thing was...Belle believed him.

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