Endlessly (A One Direction Love Story)

Anika has always been friends with Liam Payne. She forced him to play with her dolls when they were little, saw him in the front row at each of her dance recitals, forced him into the car for hours while she drove to auditions, and made him critique her every move at the studio. But two years ago, she sat backstage as her best friend sang his heart out for the second time. But this time, instead of coming home after two weeks, he was gone. For good. Liam and Ana still spend every waking hour together, but things are different. Niall and Ana are spending every waking hour together, and Liam's jealous. Will it be the classic story of the best friends who are meant to be, or are Liam and Ana destined to be... just friends?

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25. Dinner Date Disaster

ANA

 

There was a knock at the door and I hopped to the door of my flat, pulling my heel on with one hand and putting the back on my earring with the other.

 

"Hey!" I swung the door open and did a double take. Niall looked good. I composed myself and shook the thoughts from my head. I didn't love Niall, we weren't in a relationship. This was just two friends going to dinner and maybe kissing and holding hands and hugging and... what was I saying before? Right, we're not dating.

 

"You look amazing, An." Niall grinned, holding out his hand. I took his arm, hiding my blush, and pulled the door shut. I did look pretty good. I was in blush heels and black jeans, with a white lace top and a blush coloured blazer. There was a mint clutch under my arm, and my hair was curled down my back. Niall didn't look to bad himself, in black jeans and a black polo with a grey cardigan.

 

"Where are we going?" I asked, hopping into Niall's new car and pulling the door shut behind me.

 

"Secret." Niall smirked, brushing his hand over my leg before grabbing the clutch and driving off down the street. He refused to talk to me for the rest of the car ride, no matter how many times I asked questions or tried to make comments, he would just turn and wink or smirk or chuckle. Damn him and his irish ways.

 

We finally pulled up in front of... The Ivy. Oh, sweet Jesus. Niall chuckled at my jaw, which was hanging open. Then he reached over and closed my mouth, before opening the door for me and grabbing my hand.

 

"So, there's probably going to be some paparazzi. Just... don't say anything to them and ignore any pictures that end up online or in the magazines." Niall breathed in my ear, tugging my hand as he lead me through the door. I felt chills up my spine, and just tried to shake it off. No, Ana. No.

 

We sat down at a reserved table near the back, and ordered some red wine, steak, and fried vegetables. Niall laughed at my face when the waiter arrived, setting a huge steak in front of me. I dug in immediately. Eating carrot sticks and grapefruit was overrated. Dancing was overrated. Steak? Underrated. I finished mine one bite slower than Niall.

 

"Someone was hungry!" Niall teased, taking a sip of his wine. I slapped him across the table, but her grabbed my hand and laced our fingers together before I could pull my hand away. He kept our hands together, holding me across the table. I blushed and looked away. You don't like him, you don't like him. I only wished that was true.

 

"Desert?" The waited appeared, lifting our empty plates and putting them on a passing tray. Niall nodded, taking the menu and deciding on something, pointing at it. The waiter nodded and disappeared.

 

"What did you order?" I looked at him, his tousled hair and freckly skin.

 

"Surprise." Niall smirked again, evening his tone like he had in the car. I kicking him under the table and pulled my hand from his, taking a sip of my wine as an excuse for letting go. Niall frowned at me. He knew I hadn't let go just to drink my wine.

 

"I don't have leprecy, Ana." He stared at me long and hard. I looked away, but I could still feel his gaze on me. "You know how I feel about you and you're scared."

 

"Niall, you don't feel anything about me." I said quickly, then facepalmed myself in my mind. I was being stupid, but I couldn't stop.

 

"Yes, I do. You know I still love you, Ana. And you love me back. You're just too scared to admit it." Niall reached for my hand and I pulled it back. This time, instead of looking at me like he was reading my mind, Niall looked... hurt. I had hurt him.

 

"Niall, I'm sorry. I just don't think you love me. You just want to love me, you don't actually feel that way." I cleared my throat and forced another sip of wine down my throat, but this time it just tasted bitter, the way the words tasted in my mouth.

 

"I can't do this anymore." Niall said finally. He pushed his chair back from the table, and grabbed the towell of his lap, throwing it on the table. Niall got to his feet and looked around at all of the other diners, who were staring at the scene he was making. "You can call a cab or something. I can't take this anymore. You're just messing with my head, you're too stubborn to admit how you feel. You're just afraid." Niall stared at me, his eyes twinkling with tears.

 

"Niall, don't do this." I said quietly, glancing at all the eyes on us. I got to my feet and set my towel on the chair, taking a step forward and touching his arm. He pulled his hand away and pulled out his wallet, tossing some money on the table. Then, without another look back at me, Niall turned and walked quickly out of the restaurant. I stood for a moment, staring at his empty chair.

 

I realised everyone was still looking me. I put on a fake smile and sat back down, pressing my face into my hands and holding back the tears that were threatening to spill. This was it. Niall was done with me, all because I was too scared to admit that I was still in love with him.

 

The waiter returned with a huge piece of chocolate cake and extra whip cream, my favourite. I sighed and waved him away, eating the piece of cake all on my own and tossing a tip onto the table before wiping my mouth and walking out in a rush.

 

I flagged down a cab and gave him Niall's address. There was a mob of paparazzi and teenage girls outside of Niall's building, and as soon as they saw the cab, they surrounded us. "Doesn't look like we're getting any father than this." The driver turned to look at me. Without a word, I handed over some money and leaned all my weight against the cab door until I finally shoved two men with cameras away enough that I could get out of the car.

 

"What were you and Niall doing on a romantic outing?"

 

"Are you and Niall back together?"

 

"Is it true you're pregnant with Liam's child?"

 

"What went wrong on your date?"

 

"Do you have anorexia?"

 

"Do you and Niall have a no-strings attached relationship?"

 

I shoved my way past all of the shouts and fans and finally made it through the front door after, slapping a man's camera away. Charlie tugged the door shut behind me and looked me up and down.

 

"You're a mess." He noted. I glared at him and straightened my jacket.

 

"Thanks, Charlie. I wasn't aware that getting mobbed might mess up my hair." I snapped, then stormed to the lift. One thing Niall hadn't anticipated was that I wasn't going to give up. Charlie laughed and returned to his post outside of the lift. I rode up to Niall's floor.

 

My feet were killing me, and I couldn't walk up to Niall and try and talk to him when all I could think about what my feet. I pulled my heels off and hung them from my fingers, taking in a deep breath before knocking on Niall's door.

 

"Liam, thank God you're- Oh." Niall stopped short when he saw it was me and not Liam at the door.

 

"Niall, I know you don't want to hear this, and I'm the last person you want to see right now. But you're right. You've always been right. I'm head over heels in love with you. I just... after you broke up with me I was so scared to have feelings again. For anyone, especially you. But I couldn't ignore the fact that I was in love with you, so I tried to convince myself I wasn't. And it didn't work. But now I'm here, at your door, begging you to take me back. Because I miss your eyes and your freckles and your hair and you skinny chicken legs and the way your lips taste and the way you make my stomach flutter and how much you turn me on and make me feel beautiful and skinny and strong and smart. And I want you back." I let out my breath, which I hadn't realised I was holding.

 

"Niall, I just got your tex- Oh." Liam's voice came from behind me. I almost chuckled at how similar he and Niall sounded when they realised I was here. "Maybe I'll come back later." Liam backed down the hall, and Niall and I waited until the lift doors closed behind him before Niall spoke.

 

"I don't know anymore, Ana." He breathed, running a hand through his hair. I had been so focused on his reaction to notice that he wasn't wearing a shirt. His stomach... oh man. I sighed and tossed my shoes on the ground in the hall.

 

"Well... at least you know how I feel. And... you were right. And just so we're clear, you will never hear those words again. Because a woman is always right. But this time... you were right. I'm stubborn and a coward. But now I'm here and I'm telling you that I love you, and I want to be with you again."

 

"Get in here." Niall smirked, grabbing my waist, and kicking the door shut as he pressed his lips to mine.
 

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