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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13. Management Sets A New Rule

Belle leaned her head back in her swivelling leather chair and sighed. They had been in this meeting for an hour and a half now and she was feeling absolutely dreadful. They were going over important stuff she knew, but she couldn't quite make herself focus. At the moment, management was telling them about how to conduct themselves around paparazzi.

Belle let the voices fade into the background and started looking around at the boys. She chuckled mentally, they looked even more miserable than she did. Obviously though, they had probably heard this a thousand times by now.

Zayn was leaning forward with his chin in one of his hands, with an incredibly bored expression. Harry had his head laid back and his arms crossed against his chest, making loud huffing noises every few minutes. Liam was rubbing his temples in an effort to keep himself awake and Niall had his chin to his chest and his eyes were starting to flutter closed. Belle chuckled out loud at the cute blondie when his eyes finally shut all the way. She leaned a hand back and smacked him in the chest, making him inhale sharply and open his eyes. He looked up at her and mouthed, "What?" Belle pursed her lips to hold back and laugh and rolled her eyes at him before turning to look at the one boy she had been trying not to look at throughout this whole horrible meeting.

Louis was sitting with his shoulders hunched forward, so obviously playing with his phone underneath the table. His brows were furrowed in concentration and every now and then a ghost of a grin would pass across his beautiful face. Belle felt like she could stare at him for hours. Then she got an idea.

Belle very sneakily pulled her phone out of her jeans pocket and unlocked it.

To: LouisTheSexySuperman

You suck at being sneaky.

Belle grinned to herself as she sent the cheeky text and looked back up at Louis so that she could see his reaction when he opened it up. In just a few seconds Belle saw his eyes widen as he read that he had a text from her. He looked up and was surprised to see her looking at him already. Belle just smiled and nodded her head as if to say, 'Go on. Open it.' Louis gave her an amused crooked grin but went back to his phone and opened it up.

From: Belle Costa :)

You suck at being sneaky.

Louis' jaw dropped and he looked back up just to see Belle smirking. He grinned and went to his phone to type a reply.

To: Belle Costa

Do not! You're just too busy staring to see just how amazingly sneaky I really am ;)

Louis pressed send and grinned slyly. Belle's phone immediately vibrated and when she read it her mouth opened and made a little 'pop' sound. Louis put a hand over his mouth to suppress a laugh. He saw Belle type furiously and just thirty seconds later his own phone went off again.

From: Belle Costa

I wasn't staring! I just happened to notice that you weren't paying attention to this horrid meeting either. So I thought I'd make pleasant conversation. So there mr. smarty pants :p

Louis smiled as he read it. Were they text flirting? Just as he was about to respond though, management caught his and everyone else's attention.

"Alright guys, I really need you all to listen up here okay?" Their head manager said seriously. The other boys looked up in surprise, as did Belle. Everything they had been discussing up to this point was self explanatory stuff like what to say to paps, things they should and shouldn't tweet, how to answer questions about the tour, etc. But this seemed a bit more serious.

"Now this is the first time that you boys have had a girl join you on tour. And I'm sure I don't really need to tell you all this, but I'm going to." The woman continued, putting her hands on the table for added dramatic effect. "There is to be no fraternizing outside of the norm between Anabelle and any of you boys. I understand that you all are young, and your hormones are raging, but you are now coworkers. The media doesn't need any more fuel for rumors against the band, and I'm sure you'd all agree. So boys, do you understand?"

The woman looked around at all five of the boys and they nodded. Louis' face had paled but he managed to nod as well.

"Yeah." Liam said simply. "None of us can date Belle. Pretty simple to understand. Right boys?"

Liam looked around and all the other boys murmured their agreements. Louis was quiet.

"Yes, that's pretty much it." The woman said, smiling. Then she turned to Belle. "Miss Costa? Do you understand?"

Belle's eyes got wide and she looked back up at the head manager. "What's that?" She squeaked out, sounding very weird.

The woman rolled her eyes, annoyed that she had to repeat herself. "Do you understand? That you are absolutely not to affiliate yourself with any of these fine young men in an outside of work manner?"

Belle looked around at the boys and made eye contact with Louis. Without looking away from his beautiful blue eyes, she hoarsely choked out, "Yes. I understand."

***

The meeting wrapped up about fifteen minutes later. Belle and Louis hadn't looked at each other or texted each other since the announcement about no "outside of work fraternizing" had been made.

Management exited as soon as possible so they could deal with the media waiting outside, leaving Belle and the boys in the conference room alone. Zayn was the first to stand up, pushing his chair back and stretching his arms out wide. "I'm hungry." He said, putting his hand on his chest and furrowing his brow.

"Me too." Niall said, and Harry mumbled an agreemement as well.

"Well how about we all go grab a bite to eat somewhere close?" Liam suggested, standing up to stretch as well.

Louis groaned. "Ah, I don't want to put up with the paps today mate."

Harry scoffed. "Well you have to eat Lou."

Louis just rolled his eyes. "I know that Harry, I'm just tired and don't wanna deal with the media right now." It was silent for a moment and Louis rubbed his temples. "You know what, I think I'm just gonna head up to my room and take a nap. I'm knackered, and I'll order room service whenever I'm hungry later. You guys go ahead though."

"You sure?" Niall asked.

"Yeah I'm sure, y'all go out."

The boys just looked at each other and shrugged. Harry turned to Belle, who was still sitting down in her chair, texting someone furiously. Louis couldn't help but wonder who it was...

"Belle?" Harry asked, snapping the girl out of her trance.

"Yeah?" She asked obliviously, making the boys chuckle.

"Do you want to go out to eat with us? It's about two o'clock, so there shouldn't be too many paps out--"

"Paps?" Belle suddenly interrupted. "Like paparazzi?"

Harry looked down at Belle and cocked his head. "Yeah. Paparazzi."

Belle broke out into a grin. "Wait, so the paparazzi follow you guys around like, everywhere?"

The boys laughed and Niall replied, "Yeah but don't worry, they shouldn't bother you too bad and if--"

"No, no!" Belle interrupted yet again. "I want them to see me! Are you kidding? I'm going to be on magazines with you guys!" With that, Belle jumped up and grabbed her purse, looking like a giddy little kid.

Zayn, Liam, Harry, and Niall doubled over in laughter at her unexpected reaction to the impending paparazzi she was going to have to face. Louis stood up from his chair at the same time Belle did, smiling at her bubbliness. She was so adorable.

"So you're...excited about the paps?" Louis asked questionably.

Belle turned around to face him with a happy expression. "Of course I am! It's been my dream forever for everyone to know my name and now thanks to this amazing opportunity with you guys," She took a long pause, making eye contact with all of the boys and saving Louis for last, "My dream gets to become real."

With that, Belle bit her lip, trying to keep from smiling like a total idiot. She and Louis continued to gaze into each other's eyes. Their hearts were racing.

"Well," Liam said, clapping his hands together and breaking the moment, "It is our genuine pleasure to help you reach your dream!" He walked over and slung an arm over Belle's shoulder, smiling down at her. "So how about we go get some lunch and you can be exposed to some paps eh? Don't be scared, they just ask you incredibly personal questions, shove cameras in your face with flashes that blind you, say mean things, and make you claustraphobic." He looked back down at her with a smug expression and Belle just grinned, putting her arm around his waist in a friendly way.

"Well what are we waiting for?!" She shouted, making the boys laugh as they headed out of the conference room.

Louis was just standing there, looking after Belle and his four best mates as they left him behind. They got to have time with Belle and he didn't?

"Hey guys wait up!" Louis yelled, walking after them. "You know, I'm not so tired after all..."

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