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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17. Oh How I Wish That Was Me

"Belle? Belle you alright love?" Louis asked for the fourth time in the past three hours.

Ever since Belle had seen the tweet from Alan, she had been oddly quiet. Louis was clueless though as to the reason, so he was worried that perhaps he had done something wrong. Perhaps he had been a little too forward with his flirting while they were taking pictures together and tweeting each other. Had he freaked her out?

Belle was looking out the window at the clouds, but Louis' caring voice brought her back. She rolled her head over to him and stopped biting her nails so she could muster a smile at him. He was obviously worried about her, and she felt bad for not really talking to him much for the past few hours but she was so deep in thought over what Alan had tweeted her.

"Yeah," she finally said, "I'm okay. Just a bit tired I s'pose."

Louis smiled sweetly at her and replied with, "Alright, I'll let you get some rest then."

Belle smiled meekly at him before turning her head away again and leaning back against the headrest and closing her eyes. Maybe she should get some rest after all, that would make this long flight go by faster anyways since they did have about three hours left until they landed in Heathrow.

A few minutes passed and Belle heard Louis say, "Excuse me ma'am, could I get a pillow and a blanket please? Thank you" to whom she assumed was a flight attendant.

Another minute passed and she heard Louis say thank you again to someone, then she felt him shaking her shoulder lightly. Belle opened her eyes and turned to face him.

"What is it?" She asked tiredly.

Louis had a pillow on his lap and a navy blue blanket in his hand and he just smiled at her, patting the pillow and saying, "Come on, that can't be comfortable. Lay down."

Belle chuckled. "Louis, you don't have to--"

"I know I don't have to," he interrupted her matter-of-factly before grinning widely and saying, "I want to."

Belle chewed her bottom lip and thought about it for a minute before saying, "Alright if you insist."

Louis laughed and raised up the armrest between their two seats. Belle tucked up her knees beside her and very cautiously laid her head down on the pillow in Louis' lap. When she did so, Louis draped the blanket over her body very caringly.

"There you go love. Better?"

Belle took in a deep breath and relaxed her shoulders. "Much," she replied in a tired voice, and she actually was much more comfortable.

Louis chuckled and murmured, "Good, I'm glad."

Belle could feel herself drifting off when Louis started lightly playing with her hair. She immediately tensed up at his touch and he stopped what he was doing.

"I'm sorry, your hair is just so...I don't know, I just really wanted to touch it." He said, obviously embarassed. Belle could imagine how red his cheeks were.

Belle chuckled. "Oh it's no big deal," she said, "I was just surprised. Actually, I-I love it when people play with my hair." She managed to stutter out, biting her lip and being thankful that her face was turned so Louis couldn't see how furiously she was blushing. He just chuckled though, relieved that she hadn't been too weirded out by him.

"Oh," he said cheerfully, "Well then I'll keep doing it."

With that being said, Louis went back to running his fingers through Belle's long wavy brown hair. He was very gentle with her, not wanting to tug at her scalp, and Belle immediately relaxed. It felt like all the tension and worry in her body just disappeared. She let out a deep breath of contentment and slowly fell into a deep sleep.

***

"She's beautiful."

"You think I don't know that Zayn?"

"Relax mate, I was just saying."

"Louis you can't get too attached to this girl. You heard what management said--"

"Oh shut up Liam, I heard them. She's just nice, is all."

"Yeah, 'just nice' my ass. You like her!"

"Shh! Don't wake her up guys!"

Belle could hear the distant voices of the boys as she slowly started to wake up, but she didn't dare let on that she was awake. Were they talking about her? Well, obviously they were since she was the one Louis didn't want to wake up.

It was quiet for a moment and Belle relaxed her body even more to make it seem as though she were really asleep. The boys continued and she was awake enough now to recognize each of the voices as they spoke.

"She's breathtaking, even when she's asleep," Niall said.

"Ooo, Niall, you like Louis' woman?" Harry teased, and Belle heard someone whack him on the arm, most likely Niall, and Harry hissed in pain. "Ow! What was that for?!"

"She's not Louis' woman, she's not anyone's woman! Right Louis?" Niall asked.

It was silent for a moment. "Y-yeah, like I said, she's just a friend," Louis lied, stuttering over his words.

"Oh really?" Liam asked, "So you don't have any feelings for her whatsoever?"

"Of course he doesn't!" Zayn said, "He still has a thing for that girl he told us he hooked up with the other night."

"Oh yeah," Harry weighed in, "I forgot about that. I still can't believe you fell for a one night stand, she was probably just another girl looking for a good t--"

"Hey shut it!" Louis shouted at Harry, and Belle tensed up, feeling his anger radiate through her body. She could feel all five boys looking at her even though her eyes were closed, so she let out a soft snore to make it seem as though she was still asleep. She heard Louis exhale in relief. His next words were barely above a whisper, but they still sounded menacing, "Don't talk about her like that, you don't even know her. She wasn't just 'another girl' Harry, she was...different. I don't expect any of you to understand, so until you do, just shut up."

Belle wanted to cry at Louis' sweet words that were actually about her, but she couldn't let on that she was awake, nor let on to the boys that the girl Louis had slept with was actually her. The boys were silent for a moment before Harry finally said, "Wow Lou, I-I didn't realize, I just thought--"

"You're right, you didn't realize." Louis interrupted before taking a deep breath. "But it doesn't matter, she's in the past and we're in the present. So let's just, not bring her up again okay?"

The boys all mumbled their agreements.

"So, that still means that you're not into Belle, right?" Niall asked quietly.

Belle could feel Louis' chest rise and fall as he took a deep breath.

"'Course not," he replied. Belle could tell he was lying.

"So uh," Niall said nervously, "You wouldn't be upset or anything if I, uh, asked her out on a date when we get to London?"

Louis' entire body tensed up and an awkward silence fell over the boys. Belle held her breath.

"Nah mate, go ahead." Louis said through clenched teeth. He was feigning a smile though.

"Great!" Niall said cheerfully, oblivious to what Louis was actually feeling.

The boys continued to talk a little bit more and Belle could feel herself fading once again. Louis was quiet though.

About five or ten minutes later, she heard the other four return to their own seats. Louis began to hum to himself as he ran his fingers through her hair. Then she heard his sweet voice sing softly,

"Oh how I wish that was me."

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