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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26. Never Been Better

"Did you miss me?" Alan asked ecstatically with a wink before wrapping Belle in yet another bone crushing hug.

Belle's face was scrunched up in confusion as she just stood there, not even making a move to hug Alan back. Louis had sat up on the bed at this point, and he caught Alan glaring at him over the top of Belle's hug. Why was this guy that he had never seen before hugging his girl? And why did he look so familiar...?

"Alan." Belle adressed her old friend in a not-so-friendly tone as the tall, tan, and blonde haired guy finally released her. "What the hell are you doing here?"

Alan chuckled and closed the door behind him, leaving him, Belle, and Louis alone in the hotel room. He turned back to Belle and flashed her his award winning smile. "What, I don't get a 'Hi Alan, good to see you'? Or a 'What a pleasant surprise Alan, it's been too long!'?"

Belle's face remained expressionless. Louis on the other hand had his fists by his side and his jaw clenched. So this was the ever so famous Alan, now he remembered. He recognized the tall blonde from Belle's old Twitter icon he and the boys had commented on when they first met Belle. She had changed it a while back though, to one of the selfies she and Louis had taken on the plane ride from New York to London. Belle hadn't even spoken to or mentioned Alan since they'd arrived in England, so why was he even here?

Belle continued to glare at Alan with a mixed expression of shock, anger, and confusion. The last she had spoken to Alan he had admitted he loved her. Now he was here and it was great to see him, but absolutely horrible timing. Louis had just been about to ask her something...

"Alan how did you even find me?" Belle finally choked out, instinctively stepping back towards Louis, her constant source of comfort.

Alan winked and took another step into the room, leaning forward and pushing Belle's arm playfully. "Oh you know me Belles, I've got sources." Alan laughed and when Belle didn't reciprocate, he stopped and cleared his throat. "So, uh, who's your friend here?" He asked rather coldly, and Belle remembered that Louis had never met Alan and vice-versa. She took in a breath as Louis stepped up and put his arm around Belle's waist. She relaxed immediately at his touch, whereas Alan stood up to his full height and puffed out his chest, narrowing his eyes at Louis.

"I'm Louis, Louis Tomlinson." Louis finally said in a fake friendly manner, extending his left arm out for a handshake. Alan looked at it incredulously and Louis smiled smugly. "I'm a good friend of Belle's. A...real good friend." 

Alan relaxed somewhat at the use of the word "friend" instead of "boyfriend", but he was still visibly tense. He looked at Belle whose cheeks were flushed red. Alan turned his attention back to Louis and smiled arrogantly before accepting his handshake.

"Hi there." He said. "I'm Alan Fuller. I'm...also a really good friend of Belle's. Right Belle?"

Belle said nothing, but rather looked on as the boys firmly gripped each other's hands. It was obviously a silent competition as to who had the strongest handshake, which in their minds translated to who was the manliest. The two boys stared at each other, Louis' gorgeous aqua blue eyes intently gazing into Alan's bright green eyes, seeing who would look away first. Their grips became tighter and Alan bit his lip as Louis squeezed as hard as he could whilst smirking smugly. He was obviously the stronger of the two. Several seconds passed and neither of them had given up, but both were getting red in the face. Finally Belle couldn't take it anymore.

"Louis." She said quietly, leaning into him with her shoulder. He ignored her and kept smugly staring at Alan, who was now struggling to breathe from Louis' tight grip, much stronger than his. "Louis." She said a bit more firmly and Louis finally released Alan's hand. Alan began to breathe again and Louis just looked down at Belle with a bemused smile. He was satisfied he had "won".

"Yes love?" He asked sweetly, as if he had no idea what she had been so concerned about. Belle just rolled her eyes and turned back to Alan, whose face was returning to its natural color. He looked mad though, and his eyes flitted down to where Louis had his hand resting on Belle's waist.

"Alan, look it's very sweet of you to come see me, but I-I don't quite understand...why you're here." Belle finally said, trying to be sensitive enough not to hurt Alan's feelings, but firm enough to get her point across that she wasn't too excited about his unannounced arrival.

Alan chuckled and rubbed his chin, looking around Belle's hotel room and avoiding eye contact with Louis. "Belle you're leaving on a tour in two days. Or so I've heard. You see, I wouldn't know for sure though because you haven't talked to me in oh I don't know, a month!" Alan's voice gave away that he was clearly upset. He relaxed a bit as he stared at Belle's pretty face. "I-I wanted to see you before you left." Alan's eyes flitted cautiously to Louis' before he lowered his voice. "I want to talk to you Belles."

Louis tensed up and Belle took in a deep breath. Okay, so she felt pretty bad now. After all, Alan had been the one to encourage her to follow her dream, and truth be told he was the only reason she had even been afforded this amazing opportunity to get away from her old life. And she had basically cut him off when she left America, without even giving him a decent thank you or goodbye. She had wronged him, and she knew it.

Belle looked up at Louis. "Lou, can you give us a sec?"

Louis' face turned stone cold, but Belle saw the hurt flash in his eyes. "W-What?"

Belle turned her back to Alan and faced Louis, their chests almost touching. She took both of his hands in her own, and Alan took a few steps back, knowing Belle wanted to say something privately to Louis.

"Louis, I just wanna talk to him." She said, her voice low. "Just for a few minutes. He did come all the way out here to see me, I can't just tell him to leave." Louis looked away from Belle's eyes and over the top of her head to glare at Alan. "Hey," she said, getting his attention back on her. She squeezed his hands tightly. "He's my friend Louis, I care about him."

Louis' jaw clenched and his expression became a mixture of hurt and anger. Belle realized her mistake and opened her mouth to try and fix it, but Louis beat her to it.

"Oh so you care about him just like you said you 'care about me' earlier? Is that all I am to you, just 'your friend'?"

"No Louis, I didn't mean it like that, I--"

Louis shook his head from side to side and pulled his hands away from hers. "No, I understand Belle. I mean it's no big deal right? We're not official or anything, we're just two friends fooling around. Nothing more." Louis scoffed and reached back to grab his phone off of the hotel bed. "Have fun catching up with your friend." He spat, walking past Belle towards the door.

"Louis wait!" Belle shouted, but it was futile.

Belle quickly turned to follow his movements and Louis stopped, but not for her. He stood shoulder to shoulder with Alan, with Louis facing the door and Alan facing the room. Alan turned his head away and shoved his hands in his pockets as he stood there awkwardly. Louis lowered his voice as he menacingly whispered right into Alan's ear, low enough that Belle wouldn't hear his threat. 

"You do anything to hurt her and I swear to God it'll be the last thing you do."

Alan's eyes grew wide and he continued to look at the floor while he discreetly nodded once to affirm that he had heard Louis loud and clear. Louis looked once back at Belle, who was biting her nails and trying not to cry, before he flung open the door, stepped out of the room, and slammed it shut. Belle inhaled sharply and sat down on the end of the bed, holding her head in her hands as she cried quietly. Alan continued to stand there awkwardly, rocking back and forth on his heels.

He chuckled weirdly and tried to lighten the atmosphere, saying, "So Belles...how are you?"

Belle looked up at him with a sad smile and bitterly laughed through her tears. "Oh you know Al." She said drily. "Never been better."

~~~~~~

Author's Note: I know, I know, you're probably all thinking, "OMG Louis just left like that?! Whaaaa?!" but DON'T WORRY! There is a master plan in everything my lovelies, so never fear, for a plot twist is near. ;)

So I just wanted to say again that I appreciate all of your comments so so much, they really do encourage me to continue writing to the best of my abilities. So as a thank you, I'm going to start giving shoutouts to a "commenter" at the beginning of each chapter from here on out! So comment below what you like, don't like, would change, or any questions you have! And also comment if you are Team Louelle or Team Alelle!

Much love and don't forget to like and favorite! xx

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