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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28. Epilogue

ANA

 

I rolled over and pulled the sheets closer to my skin, blinking back the bright rays of sun peeking through the window. Niall and I had jetted off to Italy, and practically sprinted to the hotel. I rolled away from the light and stretched my arm out over the cold matress, searching for Niall. My eyes popped open and I peered at the flat pillow and messy sheets. No Niall in sight.

 

I let out a sigh and sat upright, snatching the small folded paper off of the bed.

 

Look in the closet.

 

Curious, I stood up, running my toes through the plush carpet. I made my way to the closet and pulled the doors open gently. Pulling the door open, I saw... No Niall. Instead, hanging from the empty rod, was a navy sundress and tiny yellow and white striped bikini. There was a small slip of paper attached to the hanger, and I pulled it off as I dropped the sheet to the floor and stepped into the swimsuit.

 

Go to the balcony.

 

The dress hung to just above my skinny knees, and the bikini was even tinier on than off. I snorted, classic Niall. I dropped the paper and it fluttered to the ground as I walked over to the balcony. It was so Romeo and Juliet, the setting and the classic architcture and the sunlight streaming over onto the balcony, heating the stone. I pressed my hands to the stone railing and leaned over the edge, looking out at the view. My hands wrapped around the bottom of the rail, and touched a slip of paper.

 

Look down.

 

I giggled, knowing that Niall would expect me to ignore the obvious. I grinned, looking over and down to the ground. My hand covered my mouth, the giant smile on my face and the giggle I let slip out. Niall grinned up at me from below, a huge bouquet of flowers in his hands, wearing a bathing suit and opaque white shirt, only half buttoned.

 

"Mrs. Horan, I believe you are needed at the beach." He called up, using a very neat American accent. I held up a finger and left the balcony doors open as I dashed through the room, out of the suit doors, and down the spiral staircase to the front door. I shut the door and walked slowly over to the bouquet of flowers, which was now sitting on the ground with another slip of paper next to it.

 

Follow the petals.

 

There was a trail of rose petals that I hadn't seen before snaking along the stone walkway. I held the bouquet to my chest and left the note on the sidewalk as I followed the trail, trying not to step on the petals or the occasional candle. Suddenly, the trail stopped. Another slip of paper sat before me. I knelt, setting the flowers down and unfolding the paper.

 

Look up.

 

I set the paper back on the ground and sucked in a breath before looking up. My heart dropped into my stomach and my heart fluttered. There Niall was standing, maybe ten metres away, surrounded by candles and flowers and vines, all burried in the sand. A string quartet was seated in chairs a few feet away, quietly strumming a tune. I grinned, and approached Niall slowly. He held out his hand and I intertwined our fingers.

 

"Yesterday we were in such a rush to get here that we never really had a first dance. I think I want to give it a go, though." Niall's Irish accent lilted, swinging our hands back and forth. I felt a blush creep up my neck, and I gave a small nod before Niall pulled me to his chest.

 

The quartet continued to play as Niall and I swayed back and forth, our toes sliding in the sand and our hearts pressed together.

 

"I love you endlessly." Niall breathed in my ear.

 

Endlessly.

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