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?


49. Sharpie Wars


Five Days Later...

"Niall stop!" Belle shrieked, running away from Niall to the other side of the room, laughing hysterically.

"What, so you can mark on me but I can't mark on you?" Niall teased, walking slowly towards her, holding a Sharpie menacingly in his hand. "Now something about that doesn't seem right about that Miss Costa." He said cheekily, winking at her. Belle giggled.

"Niall I'm serious. If you mark on me with that I swear I'll--"

"You'll what?" Niall taunted, backing Belle up against the wall and inching closer and closer with the Sharpie. He was grinning wide, and Belle couldn't help but smile at his happy and carefree expression.  

"I'll...I'll..." Belle was at a loss for words and looked around for an escape.

Niall grinned even bigger. "That's right, you won't do anything. Because I am the master at Sharpie wars!" 

With that being said, Niall lurched forward at Belle, attempting to mark her face, mirroring the mark she had left on him just minutes before. Belle shrieked and dove under his arm to escape, but Niall caught her around the waist and picked her up with just one arm, making her laugh loudly.

"No Niall please! Please no! Ah Niall!" Belle said in between laughs as he drew a mark on her face much bigger than the one on his.

As soon as his work was done, Niall turned Belle around to face him, grinning evilly. "See? Told you I was the master at Sharpie wars."

Belle rolled her eyes and put on a mock pout. "Jerk." She muttered teasingly. Niall just laughed and pecked her on the nose. 

"You're cute when you pretend to be mad." He said. Belle scoffed and shoved him away playfully with her hand. Niall just laughed.

"Oh shut up." Belle muttered, biting back a smile. She began walking towards the conjoined bathroom to Club Kaylie to wash off the marks on her face. Niall followed close behind.

"What're you doing?" He asked, his Irish accent thick and raspy, sending tingles down Belle's spine.

"Washing this marker off my face, what do you think?" Belle said sarcastically, looking at Niall over her shoulder.

"No, no wait! I want to take a picture first!" Niall said, grabbing Belle's arm and pulling his phone out.

Belle sighed. "Niall you know we can't take pictures. It's too soon." She said sadly.

"I'm not going to post it, or show it to anyone. This one's just for me." Niall replied with a smile. Belle looked at him and couldn't help but smile too. He was just too cute.

"Alright fine." She consented. "But just a couple." She added with a point of her index finger. Niall chuckled and nodded.

Niall pulled up the front camera on his phone and they snapped three selfies: One making silly faces, another just smiling, and a cheeky one that Niall quickly snapped of him kissing Belle's cheek and her laughing. 

"Okay I think that's enough pictures Irish." Belle said teasingly, heading towards the bathroom again. Niall followed suit.

"Ah you're wrong there. I could never have enough pictures of you, beautiful." Niall said seriously. 

Belle froze as she stood in front of the mirror, Niall standing just behind her. She looked down at nothing in particular and smiled to herself. It was the little things like that that Niall would say that just made her heart swell. He truly cared about her, she could sense it in his words. That boy would die before hurting her. It was a new experience for Belle to have someone who just loved her without any strings attached.

Belle's eyes flitted back up, meeting Niall's gaze in the mirror. He stepped closer to her, and she leaned back into his chest as he placed his hands on the counter in front of them, trapping her between him and the sink. He gently swept her hair over one shoulder and pressed a feather light kiss to her neck. Belle leaned her head back onto his shoulder and sighed in content. When she was with Niall, it was as if the rest of the world just faded to nothing. She forgot about Louis, about Alan, about Costa Enterprises, about the media. She was just...happy. 

"You wanna know something?" Belle suddenly asked as Niall kissed her neck yet again.

"What?" He mumbled against her skin, his breath hot on one of her most sensitive spots. Belle shuddered involuntarily and she felt Niall's chest rumble as he chuckled darkly.

Belle rolled her eyes at his satisfied smirk and quickly turned around in his embrace, throwing her arms around his neck. He followed suit, wrapping his arms all the way around her waist and pulling her flush against his body. They smiled at each other.

"I'm really happy when I'm with you." Belle finally said. Niall had a slight look of shock, not expecting such blunt honesty from her. A split second passed though and he beamed, showing all his teeth. He didn't say anything, rather just leaned down and pressed a sweet kiss to her lips. 

"Well knowing that you're happy makes me happy." He mumbled, and they smiled against each other's lips.


Thirty minutes later, Belle and Niall were Sharpie free and cuddled up in the pillow pit, watching a movie together. Belle had her head in Niall's lap and he was stroking her hair gently. Over the past five days. the two had been together each day, but only hung out at Kaylie's house. They couldn't take the risk of anyone finding out about them. And by anyone, they meant Louis and the other boys, or the media. 

However, there wasn't really anything to 'find out' per say. They weren't an official 'couple', they weren't really labeled anything for that matter. They were definitely more than friends though. And there was a looming hope for the future between them. 

"Oh great, it's the sickeningly cute not-really-a-couple." A sarcastic voice suddenly rang out in the room, and Niall and Belle both looked over their shoulder at who it was.

"Oh hey Kayles." Belle said nonchalantly, smiling at her friend before looking back at the movie. 

Kaylie knew all about Belle and Niall's situation and, in her own words, "shipped them so fucking hard she could bite her hand off". She was the only outside person that knew about their secret 'relationship', and had helped cover for them multiple times over the past five days. Belle had realized by now that she had made a wise choice in befriending Kaylie; they were basically sisters at this point.

"Sup bitches!" Kaylie replied cheekily, making Belle laugh. Kaylie threw her purse on the bed and jumped into the pillow pit right beside Belle, making her bounce up and down and laugh. In typical Kaylie fashion, she threw herself on top of Belle and turned to watch the movie as well.

"Uh, Kaylie, you're interrupting our cuddle session." Niall said in mock seriousness.

"Shutup leprechaun." Kaylie said, her voice muffled since her cheek was pressed against Belle's stomach. "Nobody asked you."

Belle chuckled and turned her head to look at Niall. "Niall this is her house." 

"And I am covering for you guys' secret keeping asses, so I'll interrupt if I want to!" Kaylie said, sitting up to look at Niall with a smug expression. "So there Mr. Smarty Pants." She added, sticking her tongue out before throwing herself on top of Belle again. Niall just laughed.

A few seconds passed of the trio of friends just watching the movie in silence. Then Kaylie spoke up suddenly.

"Louis was asking questions today." She said solemnly.

Niall and Belle both snapped their heads up quickly, first glancing at Kaylie then looking at each other. Niall scrambled for the remote and muted the TV.

"What was he asking?" Belle asked. Niall couldn't help but cringe at the sadness in her voice. She obviously still cared for Louis, which didn't surprise him. Their history was deep after all.

Kaylie took in a deep breath and sat up, criss-crossing her legs and looking at the 'couple'. Belle sat up too, leaning back against Niall, who wrapped a protective arm around her. "He asked me how you were doing. He thinks that you've been holed up here for the past several days because you're torn up about you guys' breakup, or whatever the hell it was. Then he asked me if you," She nodded her head at Niall, "had been over here any."

"What did you say?" Niall asked hurriedly.

"Now I told you guys when this started that I wouldn't lie to Louis--"

"And we would never ask you to." Belle interjected seriously. 

Kaylie smiled meekly. "I know you wouldn't. But when he asked me, I did modify the truth a little bit." Niall and Belle both looked at her with confused expressions. "I told him the truth, that Niall had been over here quite a bit, but when he asked what you guys were doing I told him you were just working on some songs together. Which isn't exactly a lie, right?"

Niall nodded. "Yeah, we have been doing some song writing. Among...other things." He added cheekily with a wiggle of his eyebrows. Belle rolled her eyes and smacked his arm lightly. 

Kaylie scrunched up her face. "Ew, too much information."

"Kaylie ignore him, he's just screwing around." Belle said.

Niall chuckled. "You mean we have been screwing ar-- hey ow! Quit it!" Belle had grabbed a pillow and started to whack Niall with it, making Kaylie burst into a fit of giggles. After a few good hits Belle finally quit, leaning back into Niall's arms with an exasperated huff. 

"Quit being a little shithead and pay attention!" Belle scolded him playfully. Niall scoffed, but wrapped his arm around Belle again.

"You've been hanging out with Kaylie too much." He mumbled under his breath. Belle grinned and turned around to kiss him on the cheek before turning back to Kaylie, who had a look of disgust on her face.

"Ugh, you guys make me sick with all your cute lovey dovey shit. But anyways, back to what I was saying. Louis is all worried that Belle is falling apart or something, and he asked if he should come over here and visit."

"You said no, right?" Belle asked in a rush.

"Of course I did, it would just cause more trouble if he talked to you." Kaylie replied as if it were obvious. Belle and Niall both breathed a sigh of relief. "But I did tell him that he needed to talk to you." She added matter-of-factly, pointing at Niall.

"Wait what?" Niall asked incredulously. "Why would you tell him that?" He added, his voice rising in pitch.

Kaylie rolled her eyes. "Because, you idiot, you're in a band together! And you've been hiding out here so much the other boys are worried about you! I want you two to be an official 'thing' more than I want nutella - and that's a fucking lot - so I'm doing everything I can to make sure this," She gestured between the couple, "works out! Which means that your bubble gum pop boyband stays the fuck together!"

Niall was silent for a few seconds and Belle turned around to face him again. "She's right Niall. You have to talk to him. You don't have to say anything about us, just...just clear the air between you two. Make things right between you guys for the sake of the band."

Niall looked into Belle's eyes for a few moments, taking in a deep breath. Finally he looked back up at Kaylie. "Alright fine. I'll talk to him. But if he kills me it's your damn fault." He said seriously, pointing at Kaylie.

Kaylie rolled her eyes. "What're you gonna do? Cast a leprechaun spell on me? Send me to the end of the rainbow?" She asked teasingly, smirking at him as she stood up from the pillow pit and hopped out, walking towards the door.

"Oh good one Kaylie, a leprechaun joke, never heard one of those before!" Niall called out sarcastically, earning him the middle finger from Kaylie as she exited the room and closed the door behind her. 

Belle was giggling as Niall looked down at her and he couldn't help but smile. He had finally won the girl for once.

Now all he had to do was keep her.

And try to keep his best friend too.

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