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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21. Questions

When Belle got back to her hotel room, she was still dazed from the surprise make out session she'd just had with Louis. She felt like a robot as she walked in the room, kicked off her shoes, took off her beanie, washed her face and brushed her teeth, and climbed into the lavish bed. She pulled the duvet up to her chest and layed flat on her back, staring up at the white ceiling above her.

Thousands of questions rushed through her head: Why had Louis kissed her? Why had he so abruptly cut it off? Did he want her to be his girlfriend? Was Niall aware that Louis had feelings for her? Did Louis have feelings for her? More importantly...

Did she have feelings for him?

Well that was undeniable. Belle wasn't going to sugarcoat the truth just to make herself feel better about the complicated situation. She liked Louis. Of course she did, why wouldn't she? He was sweet, talented, affectionate, they had common interests, and not to mention he was so attractive he could basically be a male model. More than all that though, Belle felt that when Louis looked at her, it was like he really saw her. He saw past who her father was, saw past the fact that they were technically "coworkers", saw past a pretty face. She felt like he could see the real Belle Costa: just an ordinary girl with extraordinary dreams. No one else had ever looked at her like that.

The next thing to run through Belle's mind was what her next step should be. Should she bring up the subject to Louis? Or should she wait on him to make the first move? How would she answer Niall if he ever got around to asking her out?

Belle sighed in frustration and spoke out loud to herself in the dark room.

"Geez Belle, you just had to go on tour with the five most eligible bachelors on the freaking planet."

***

Little did Belle know that at the exact same time she was staring up at the ceiling and pondering over her sticky situation, Louis was still back at Niall's flat doing the exact same thing. As soon as Belle had left, he had returned to the living area where the other boys were and resumed his position of pretending to be asleep.

When Belle had arrived at Niall's place earlier, Louis knew. He knew for a fact right then and there that he had feelings for the mysterious girl that he desperately wished to know more about. When she walked into the room, his heart fluttered. When she showed her dazzling smile, his palms got sweaty. When she covered up her mouth to stifle a giggle so she wouldn't squeak, his breath hitched. This girl affected him like no other had before.

So as soon as Belle entered their little social gathering of eating and watching the Manchester United and Liverpool match, he had closed himself off. He did what any "rational" guy would do, and totally ignored Belle; he pretended that she didn't exist. Even when she leaned back into Niall's chest and turned her head to laugh in the crook of his shoulder at something Harry had said, Louis put his acting skills to good use and pretended like their proximity didn't set his heart on fire.

When everyone had started to fall asleep, Louis had honestly tried to follow suit. It was so difficult though, trying to sleep when the girl that he had such strong affections for was just across the room where he couldn't touch her, or hold her, or caress her. It was killing him. So he just turned his back on them and pretended.

He'd been aware when Belle had got up. He knew that stifled giggle, those light, graceful footsteps. He didn't quite know what she was up to when he felt her presence getting closer and closer to where he was laying, and he had to hold back a sigh from escaping his lips when he smelt her floral perfume towering over him. It made his heart swell when she placed the blanket over top of him. It was such a simple gesture, and yet so much more in his mind. He could feel her intense gaze when she was peering down at his "sleeping" form, and it took every ounce of his willpower not to open up his eyes just to look into her pretty brown ones. When she pressed her soft lips to his cheek though, that was the deal breaker. He knew right then and there with every fiber of his being that he had absolutely fallen for Anabelle Lee Costa. He'd had to bite his lip to hold back a laugh when he heard her stumble back and almost fall. He'd quickly learned that Belle was quite clumsy, which he found adorable.

Louis heard Belle exit the living area but he never heard the front door open. In his mind, he was worried that perhaps she'd gotten lost on her way to the door, Niall's flat was pretty big after all. He got up immediately and wasn't going to make his presence known until he saw her in the hallway, struggling to put one of her shoes on in the dark. Her name had fallen from his lips like it was meant to be there, and he felt bad when she had squealed in fright at the sound of his voice.

The kiss wasn't planned or premeditated. Louis just couldn't control himself, she was so perfect. Perfect for him. Her lips had been right there for the taking, and it had just felt so right to turn her around when she'd started to walk away and press his own against them. She had responded eagerly and the only reason Louis broke it off was because he was afraid of losing what little control he had. Belle was a mystery to him, and he knew she was just as confused about her feelings as he was, he could tell that much from how she had kissed him back; nervous but willing. He had to take things slow with her if he ever wanted a chance. He also had to be more interesting than Niall, who he knew wasn't going to back off any time soon.

What killed Louis the most though about this whole situation was that Niall was so into Belle. The poor bloke hadn't had a girl in so long and he had immediately attached himself to her. If only his Irish friend knew just how close he and Belle had technically already gotten...

So now, less than an hour later, Louis was laying back on the couch, surrounded by his four best mates, staring up at the ceiling just like Belle was doing in her hotel room. A different set of questions were running through his mind though:

Did Belle like him back? Was Belle aware of the fact that he had feelings for her, or was she thinking that he was just out looking for a good time? Should he confide in one of the boys? Will Niall hate him if and when he finds out? Should he make another move on Belle or pretend the kiss never happened? Was the kiss a mistake?

No. The kiss wasn't a mistake, Louis was sure of that. Nothing that good and nothing that brought such a smile to his face could possibly be a mistake.

As all these questions and more ran through Louis' mind, he slowly fell into a deep sleep, with the taste of Belle's cherry lip balm still making his lips tingle.

At the exact same moment in time, a fifteen minute walk away on the fifth floor of a four star hotel, Belle was also falling asleep, with the name of a brown haired blue eyed boy slipping from her lips...

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