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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37. Turning Back

Belle was starting to wake up, and her head was throbbing. Familiar voices flooded her subconscious, but she was too tired to open her eyes and see the people she held most dear to her heart. 

"It's been three damn hours, when is she going to wake up?"

"Louis calm down, she was in shock for two hours before passing out, cut her a break."

"Zayn's right, she just needs to recover from hearing about...y'know..."

"Just say it why don't you Harry. From hearing that Alan is dead. He's fucking dead and I could have stopped it."

"What are you talking about Louis? What do you mean you could have stopped it?"

"He's the one who called me and warned me about Belle's dad's whole plan! He risked his own life to save her, and I should have done something when I heard him sc--"

"Louis?" 

All five boys and Paul quickly snapped their heads over to where Belle was laying. Her voice was groggy and hoarse, her eyes just barely opening. Louis immediately rushed to her side and grabbed her hand, the boys and Paul likewise surrounding the twin bed she was lying upon.

"Hey love." Louis said with feigned cheerfulness. "How are you feeling?"

Belle blinked her eyes a few times and looked around her, taking in her surroundings.

"Where am I?" She asked, clearing her throat to speak more clearly.

"You're in mine and Liam's hotel room. We would have taken you to the hospital but the paparazzi would have had a field day, so we brought the doctor to you." Louis responded thoughtfully, holding Belle's hand with both of his own.

Belle looked around and saw that an IV was hooked to her arm on the other side of the bed, and she had been changed into a pair of sweats and tshirt. She mentally thanked God that she hadn't been changed into a hospital gown. That would have been dreadfully embarrassing.

Zayn, Liam, and Harry were looking at her with sympathetic smiles, Paul was looking at her with a tight smile as well but he looked upset, and poor Niall looked downright uncomfortable, not even being able to make eye contact with Belle as he rocked back and forth on his heels with his hands in his pockets.

Belle smiled back as best as she could and it was like the whole room let out a collective sigh of relief. She reluctantly pulled her aching body up to a sitting position on the bed and let out a deep breath when she was more comfortable. Everyone was still looking at her expectantly.

"What happened?" She finally asked.

Louis' face paled. "Y-You don't remember?"

"No I remember." Belle said bluntly. How could she forget that her best friend was dead and it was her fault. And that she had been harboring a grudge against him even though he had done so much for her. "I mean why did I black out?"

The color rushed back to Louis' face. He really didn't to have to tell Belle about her dad, Olivia, and especially Alan if she had forgotten. "Well the doctor said you most likely went into shock after seeing Olivia." He replied.

"Not to mention you were severely dehydrated from the show." Liam added.

So that explained the IV, Belle thought to herself. 

Belle simply nodded at the explanation of why she passed out. "How long was I out?" She asked.

"About two or three hours." Harry answered.

"Shit it must be after midnight, what are you guys still doing here?" She asked incredulously. She was slowly regaining her senses back.

The boys chuckled humorlessly. "Well we had to make sure our favorite girl was going to be alright." Zayn said teasingly, poking her leg from his seat at the foot of her bed. Belle smiled and lightly laughed. Nothing was funny though.

An awkward silence fell over the room.

"Could someone explain to me what...happened....with Olivia?" Belle finally asked quietly.

The boys all inhaled and looked seriously at each other. Louis was the first to speak.

"Olivia was being paid by your father to give him information about where you were, what you were doing, that kind of thing." He said bluntly. "And yesterday, after the show, she organized for you to be taken out by the tour bus while we," he gestured to the other boys, "were performing. I, uh, I found out about the plan, but she was keeping me away from you so I couldn't make sure you were safe. And then she wouldn't let me speak to Paul about the situation, and nobody would believe me."

"And the rest of the 'security' team was working with her as well." Paul added, a harsh undertone to his already gruff voice.

Belle inhaled, blinking her eyes a few times to try and understand the situation more. "So how did you...?" Her understood question trailed off.

"Well when you were performing, the boys helped me create a scene so I could distract the fake security team while I snuck into the room where Paul was in 'meetings' and he believed me--"

"Never trusted that bitch to begin with." Paul interrupted. The boys chuckled and murmured their agreements.

Louis continued. "Paul believed me and we went out to the tour bus where we saw these two big guys in a black vehicle, waiting on you. They were arrested and they immediately ratted out Olivia too."

"Oh," was all Belle could muster. After a few silent seconds she followed that up with, "I'm sorry."

The boys all looked at her in surprise.

"Why are you sorry?" Liam asked.

"Because if it weren't for me you guys wouldn't be involved in this whole mess." Belle replied simply. "My dad is a bastard and you guys are constantly looking out for me even though it's not your job and--"

"Hey don't say that--" Louis tried to add comfortingly.

"No Louis I'm serious." Belle interrupted harshly. He was taken aback at her tone, as was everyone else. "This is my fault. I can't change that I was born a Costa... but I can change the fact that you guys have to deal with me."

Belle took her hand out of Louis' and reached over to the IV.

"Belle what are you talking about?"

"Belle stop it, you can't be serious."

"What are you saying?"

Belle shut off the fluids and carefully removed the IV from her arm. Several med classes in high school had actually served her well. She bent the crook of her arm to prevent excessive bleeding.

Four of the boys and Paul had stood up at this point, and were objecting to Belle's vague statement. Louis, however, was still sitting beside the bed, motionless and speechless.

Belle threw back the covers on the bed and slid to the opposite side of the bed, away from Louis, where she very carefully stood up. When she started to wobble on her feet a bit, Niall (who had been oddly quiet this whole time) immediately reached out to help her. She looked up at his blue eyes and saw something she certainly didn't expect.

Hurt.

Why was he looking so pained that she wanted to leave? She was bringing more trouble than good, that much was obvious from Louis' taped up hand.

Belle had to tear her eyes and arm away from Niall before she burst into tears at his heartbreaking facial expression.

"Guys just stop!" She yelled at Harry, Liam, Zayn, and Paul, who were still objecting. They all went silent and looked at her. Louis had put his head in his hands, still sitting beside the bed. She couldn't bear to look at him yet. "I love you guys too much to keep causing trouble for you all. That's all I do." 

They started to object again but Belle held her hand up and they quieted. "I can't do this to you all. It's obvious that my father will go to any expense to get me back to America, and I could never forgive myself if any of you got hurt."

"Belle we can get the authorities on our side and make them see that--" Paul started to say.

"It would never work." Belle interrupted. "Don't you get it? Nothing can stop him. Except me...going back." She said somberly.

The boys were quiet now. Belle tilted her head to the ground as a single tear slid down her face. 

"I wouldn't be able to look at myself in the mirror if something happened to any of you like what happened to...Alan."

A small choking sound came from across the room and Belle glanced at Louis. His shoulders were shaking and his head was still in his hands. Belle sniffed and bit down hard on her bottom lip. More tears fell down her face. She had to take a deep breath before speaking again.

"Tonight was the last show before the week break right?" The boys nodded sadly. "Well that gives management some time to find another opening act. I'll just...I'm just going to pack up my stuff and get on the quickest flight home that I can."

"Belle," Niall started to say. She glanced at him in surprise, it was the first time he had spoken. "I thought that...I thought you said we were your home?"

Belle's shoulders shook with held back sobs. "I'm sorry." Was all she could say. "I'm so sorry." 

Belle pushed past Liam and Zayn, heading for the door as quickly as she could so the boys wouldn't see her break down.

"No!" Louis cried out, bolting from the chair so fast it fell over. Belle had opened the door just a fraction of an inch when Louis reached from behind her and slammed it shut. He spun her around in his arms to face him.

"How can you do this to me?" Louis asked frantically. His eyes were red and tears stained his flawless cheekbones. "You said you loved me, how could you leave this? How could you just cast aside everything we have?"

"I'm leaving because I love you Louis!" Belle shouted back. She looked down at the ground and cried. "I love you. I truly do, all of you. And that's why I have to leave."

With that being said, Belle slipped out of Louis' hold and walked out of the hotel room, turning her back on the most important people in her life.

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