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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18. Too Close

"Belle? Belle it's time to wake up, we're here."

Belle groaned and threw her arm over her face, refusing to open her eyes even though Louis was doing his best to wake her up. He shook her arm a little bit more.

"Belle come on, we've landed, you have to get up. We're the last ones on the plane, the boys are waiting on us."

"No." Belle replied bluntly, still not opening her eyes. Louis chuckled.

"Well," Louis said, "If you don't get up, I'm, uh, I'm going to have to make you get up."

Belle barked out a laugh and turned on her side, not afraid in the least of Louis' idle threat. She heard Louis take in a deep breath and mumble, "Alright then, we'll play it your way."

Before Belle could even begin to question what he meant, Louis started tickling her sides so bad she squealed, opening her eyes and squirming to try and get out of his grip. "Louis! Louis stop, I swear I'll get up, please!" She squeaked out in between bouts of laughter, but Louis was relentless. Belle did manage to sit up some, and at this point she was basically sitting in his lap. She was laughing hysterically since she was extremely ticklish, and Louis' grin was from ear to ear.

"Say mercy! Say mercy Belle!" He teased, squeezing her sides and tickling her tummy, loving her girly giggles.

"F-Fine!" Belle said breathlessly, still laughing. "M-Mercy Louis, Mercy!"

"That's what I thought," Louis said cheekily as he stopped tickling Belle, but kept his hands on her sides. Belle took some calming breaths, and Louis looked at her in admiration. Her eyes were glistening with tears from laughing so hard, and she was still grinning. Her hair was partially covering her face from where she had been squirming about so much, and he impulsively reached his hand up to push the beautiful brown locks away from her face.

Belle froze, having finally caught her breath. She looked down into Louis' eyes and saw that he had a serious expression on his face now. It was then that she realized that she was basically sitting in his lap and she had one hand on his arm and another on his strong chest. They were extremely close.

Louis tucked the strands of hair behind her ear, but didn't move his hand. The electricity was evident for the both of them.

Before Belle knew what was happening, Louis started to lean in. It was slow, and cautious, and she didn't have enough willpower to move away from him. Instead, she began to lean in too.

Within seconds, their lips were hovering against each other, but they were both frozen. Sparks flew between them, and the tension was thick. Sophie got goose bumps as his hot breath murmured her name against her lips, "Belle..."

Just as Belle was about to close the distance between them, a familiar voice interrupted and she and Louis both froze.

"Louis, come on, we're not gonna wait all day, it's--"

Zayn cut himself off as he saw the pair cuddled up in one seat. Belle was basically on top of Louis, sitting in his lap, and her arms were wrapped around him. Louis had one hand on her waist and another on her cheek, and it was very obvious as to what they were about to do.

Belle inhaled sharply as she realized they had been caught, and she jerked her face back away from Louis'. She looked over her shoulder and let out a squeak when she saw Zayn in the aisle, looking at their very compromising position with an eyebrow raised suspiciously.

"Uh, Zayn, hi. I was just uh," Belle rambled over her words, trying to come up with a believable excuse as she very clumsily got off of Louis, standing up and straightening her shirt out. "You see Louis couldn't wake me up, so he started to tickle me and I kinda freaked out," Belle laughed nervously, avoiding eye contact with neither Zayn nor Louis as she opened the carry on cabinet and got her purse out, "And I sorta ended up in his lap and, uh..." Belle bit her lip and looked up at Zayn for a fraction of a second, seeing that he was still staring with his mouth open in a look of surprise. "Uh, yeah, so I'll see you guys out there." She finally choked out, putting her head down and speedwalking past Zayn towards the exit of the plane.

Louis had not moved from his seat, but rather was rubbing his chin in deep thought, also avoiding eye contact with Zayn, who was still frozen in the aisle. After a few seconds though, Louis dropped his hand on his leg, making a clapping sound to break the silence and said, "Well then, we better get going Zayn, yeah?"

With that, Louis stood up and started opening the carry on compartment to get his bag. Zayn didn't move.

"Louis?"

"Yeah mate what's up?"

"Louis, I saw."

Louis turned to Zayn and feigned a look of confusion. "Saw what?" He asked.

Zayn scoffed and rolled his eyes. "Don't play dumb with me Lou, I saw."

Louis exhaled loudly and closed the carry on cabinet, bag in hand. He looked up at Zayn and said very seriously, walking towards him to go past and to the exit, "I don't know what you're talking about Zayn--"

Louis was cut off as Zayn put a hand against his chest to stop him from going past. Louis first looked down at Zayn's hand against his torso, then up at Zayn, who had a serious expression on his face.

"Louis. I saw." He said once again.

Louis exhaled loudly and closed his eyes for a second. When he opened them again, Zayn's face was still stone rigid.

"Alright fine!" Louis finally said, "You saw, what's the big deal?"

Zayn scoffed yet again and dropped his hand. "What's the big deal? The big deal is that you just met this girl!" Louis rolled his eyes and sat down on the armrest of one of the seats. Zayn towered over him, still shouting. "The big deal is that you said you didn't like her, and you even told Niall he could ask her out! God, Louis!" Zayn threw his hands up in the air in an exasperated fashion. "I mean, what the hell mate, you were just telling us about how you fell for someone that you slept with the other night, you can't just--"

Zayn cut himself off as the gears began to turn in his head. Louis' breath hitched in his throat and he looked up at Zayn wide eyed. When realization finally dawned on him, Zayn paled and looked at Louis with his jaw dropped.

"Th-the girl, the girl you slept with, it was her! It was B--"

Louis stood up and slapped a hand over Zayn's mouth to shut him up, as his voice was getting louder and more shrill with each second.

"Shut it!" Louis hissed, looking up and down the aisle to make sure nobody else had heard what Zayn had been about to exclaim. Zayn looked up at Louis with wide eyes. "Now are we going to talk like reasonable men if I let you go?" Louis asked. Zayn nodded. "Alright then," Louis said as he released Zayn and took a few steps back from him.

Zayn's jaw was still dropped and his eyes wide with disbelief. Louis took a few steps back and leaned his body back aginst the door leading to the flight attendant's lounge, and rubbed his temples.

"You," Zayn began to say, "And...Belle." It was more of a statement than a question and Louis dropped his hands and looked up at Zayn with a very tired expression. Zayn continued, "You guys...slept together?"

Louis took a deep breath and said a very solemn, "Yes."

Zayn let out a nervous laugh. "I-I can't believe it," he said, "You guys just met, h-how did this happen?"

"It was when we went to the club the other night. We both had had a lot to drink, and she said she wanted to go home but she was afraid to be in the city alone at night, so I offered to go back with her. Just to make sure she got home alright. She, uh, she invited me in and well, one thing led to another and..." Louis let his explanation trail off, knowing that Zayn understood what he was alluding to.

Zayn cocked his head and squinted his eyes, trying to make sense of everything. "But, that was right after she talked to that Alan guy," he said slowly, and Louis couldn't help but clench his fists at the mention of Belle's friend's name, "You had to know that she was upset and vulnerable and--"

"Stop right there Zayn, it wasn't like that!" Louis interrupted, pointing his index finger at Zayn menacingly. "I didn't take advantage of her, not at all!" Louis dropped his hand and took another deep breath, calming himself down. "It wasn't like that," he repeated with a much softer tone. He smiled to himself meekly. "It was...different. Special."

Zayn was silent for a moment and Louis quickly cleared his throat and looked back up at him, the smile disappearing. "But it doesn't matter," he said quickly, standing back up to his full height, "Because that's in the past, and I just got carried away back there," he motioned back to the seats where he and Belle had almost kissed. "And besides, it wouldn't work out between us anyways, she doesn't like me like that."

"You sure 'bout that mate?" Zayn asked solemnly, and Louis held his breath. He glanced out one of the windows in front of him and saw Belle, Harry, Liam, and Niall joking around and shoving each other playfully on the concrete next to the luggage cart, waiting on him and Zayn to exit the plane. Belle had on aviator sunglasses and was running a hand through her beautiful brown hair whilst laughing. Niall was right next to her, looking at her and grinning like an idiot.

"Yeah." Louis finally said, not looking away from Belle as he addressed Zayn, "I'm sure."

Zayn looked at Louis oddly and followed his gaze out the window to where Belle and the other boys were. He sighed in understanding before looking back to his friend, who had a pained expression on his face. So he really did like Belle. A lot.

"Louis mate, you don't have to--"

"Let's just go Zayn." Louis interrupted, snapping his attention away from Belle and back to his friend. He mustered a pathetic excuse for a smile in an attempt to placate Zayn. "Let's just go," he repeated himself.

Zayn pursed his lips and nodded, and the two friends exited the plane into Heathrow airport.

They were home.

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