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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38. So It Begins.

Belle briskly walked to her hotel room, tears freely flowing down her pretty face. Her mind was numb, the only thought she could produce was that she had to protect the boys no matter what. She'd already lost Alan, if she lost Louis and the boys the same way...Her whole body shuddered at the image.

Reaching her room at the end of the hall, Belle huffed in frustration because she didn't have the key card. It was probably back with the boys. Could things possibly get any worse?

Belle turned and leaned back against the mahogany door, sliding down against it and letting the tears consume her. She didn't know how long she was sitting and crying when a familiar voice called out.

"Need this?"

Belle didn't have to look up to know who it was, but she did anyway. His bright blue eyes sparkled with concern and worry, overshadowed by sadness.

Belle chuckled sadly, wiping away some stray tears with the back of her hand. "I can't do anything right today huh?"

Niall didn't respond, just stuck out his hand to help Belle to her feet. She stared at him for a moment before finally placing her small hand in his larger one. He pulled her up roughly, and she stumbled into his frame. Niall braced Belle by putting his hands on her waist. They both froze for a split second.

"Uh, here's your key." Niall finally said awkwardly. Belle shook her head a bit to refocus.

"Oh. Thanks." 

With that being said, Belle turned around and slid the key card in, stepping inside her room. Niall followed.

Without turning around, Belle said, "Niall go away. You're just going to make it that much harder." Her words were broken from the tears.

"Belle why are you doing this?"

"I've already told you." Belle pulled her suitcase out and started throwing random clothes in it. "I won't let any of you get hurt because of me."

"What so you're going to run away from us?" Niall's voice rose and he stepped up closer to Belle. "You're being a coward Belle, you belong here with us!"

"No Niall!" Belle shouted, looking up at him with a mixed expression of terror and melancholy. "I don't belong here, if I did then all this wouldn't be happening!"

"Dealing with shit is a part of life Belle! You can't go back to the people who treat you like shit and live a miserable life just to protect us, you can't be that...selfless!" Niall was shouting now, eyes wide.

Belle stared at Niall for a moment and realized that next to Louis, she would miss him the most. Despite their awkward start, the two had become close friends. He was always there for her, and they'd truly opened up to each other. 

"Damn it Belle." Niall said exasperatedly, Belle absorbed in her own pitiful thoughts. "If you don't care about leaving all of us, at least think about Louis."

Belle literally flinched in pain, her heart wrenching at Louis' name. She was hurting the guy she loved in order to protect him, but nobody could see that.

"Niall please stop--"

"No Belle, I won't stop. You're tearing him to pieces! He's back there with the boys and Paul falling apart, he thinks you don't love him!"

"I do love him!"

Niall scoffed, throwing his hands up in the air. "Well you sure as hell have a great way of showing it!" He said sarcastically. That one cut deep, and Belle turned her face away.

"Belle," Niall's  voice softened after a moment and he slowly walked over to where Belle was standing, taking her face in his hands and making her look at him. She looked up at him through wet eyes. "You can't leave us." He said quietly. "You just can't. It'd be like if I left the band, or any of the other boys. You're a part of us, we need you. It...it won't be the same. We won't be the same."

Belle bit her lip hard. "That's what I'm hoping for." She finally said.

Niall inhaled sharply, frustration on his face. "Damn you Belle."

Then Niall crushed his lips against Belle's as hard as he could, holding her face against his. Belle was too startled to respond, her eyes flying wide open in shock.

It was over as quickly as it started, and Niall pulled back to look at Belle, still cupping her face, breathing heavy. "You're leaving no matter what I say to you so I had to get that out of my system." 

Belle just stared in surprise. Niall chuckled sadly and let his hands drop, turning to exit the room. Belle stood awestruck.

"Goodbye Belle. But just remember," Belle turned to look at him, stopped in the open doorway. "You always have a place with One Direction. Be safe okay?"

Belle couldn't even muster a nod, her lips tingling with the lingering taste of Niall.

With that, he walked out of the room. 

***

Two hours later, Belle was waiting in the airport for the first flight to America. Once Niall had left, she had thrown everything she needed into her bag and left less than five minutes later. She had to pass the boys' rooms on her way to the elevator and she couldn't help but hear the angry screaming going on inside. 

Now in the terminal though, her flight boarding in twenty minutes, Belle cleared her head of all thoughts. If she started to think about them, she would turn back. And she couldn't do that; she had to protect them at all costs.

"Miss Costa?" A voice suddenly called out. Belle jumped. She was wearing a hoody and sunglasses, hoping not to be recognized by any fans.

Turning around slowly, Belle saw a tall dark skinned man looking at her with a friendly, business like smile.

"Who are you?" She asked.

"My name is Winston, I'm here on behalf of your father."

Belle exhaled tiredly. "Oh." 

"Mr. Costa is extremely happy to know you are returning to Costa Enterprises--"

"I just decided two hours ago how does he even know?"

"So he sent his private jet for you, would you please come this way?" Winston continued, ignoring Belle's question.

Belle sighed. "My flight boards in twenty and I already bought the ticket--"

"Mr. Costa insists ma'am." Winston said firmly. 

Belle looked up at the man who was tightly smiling at her. 

"So it begins." She muttered.

"Ma'am?"

Belle dismissed his question with a wave of her hand, standing up and picking up her bags. "Nothing. Which way?" 

Winston just nodded and started to lead Belle to one of the private terminals.

Belle couldn't help but feel somber. It was selfish, but she honestly just wanted to run back to the boys right then and there. More specifically, back into Louis' strong, safe arms. He would protect her, she knew that.

But she couldn't protect him. Except by leaving.

Thus, Belle followed Winston to her father's private jet. To her old life. To the life she despised. To where she didn't belong. 

And away from the only true family she would ever have.

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