Little Steps

Aria Lubianco has been through the worst. Found freezing and sobbing on her doorstep by none other than Liam Payne, she is the definition of a strong but broken girl. As she warms up to the boys, feelings arise for one in particular. However, it is almost impossible for Aria to keep herself together when a mystery person begins sending her threatening messages.

As new people enter the story, suspects are chosen and bonds grow, all due in time.

What will little steps get Aria?

Originally by and all credit goes to lalaladooo:


36. Beach Day

“Wake up, beautiful.” My favorite Irish man whispered, tickling my ear. I yawned into his chest, wrapping my arms around his neck.

“I want to do something fun today.”


“Gregg, Denise and Noah have invited us to go to the beach. It’s actually really warm today so we don’t want to miss the chance.”

Now my eyes were wide open. “Yes!”

Niall laughed, kissing my nose. “I knew you’d like that.”

“But, I haven’t got a swimsuit.” I pouted, rubbing my sleepy eyes.

“I figured. We can go shopping, because we aren’t going to the beach until like, two.”

“Alright.” I smiled, sitting up in bed.

“You shower first. I’m going to go see what’s for breakfast.” Niall winked, kissing my cheek before leaving the room.

An hour later, Niall was standing outside the fitting room while I tried on different two piece swimsuits. I found a few cute ones but I didn’t know what to choose one. Though, the one I was currently trying on my favorite. It was a two piece twist bandeau bikini with a pink base and a black bow in between. Still, I couldn’t choose between this one and a one piece swimsuit that was actually really cute. It was plain white and had a few large slits cut open around my midsection and circle up the middle.

It was Niall’s turn to decide.

“Hey, Niall.” I yelled from the fitting room.

“Yeah?” he replied.

“I need you to help me choose between two.”

“Um, okay.” He answered. I could hear him clearing his throat.

I smirked and opened the door.

Niall’s P.O.V.

Aria opened the fitting room stall door in a two piece set. My breath hitched, my face turning red.

“U-uh, I…”

She made me speechless.

God. She looked so gorgeous. Her curves looked perfect in this suit, and actually, it looked cute on her.

“What do you think of this one?” she asked with a sly smile. She knew what she was doing to me.

“It’s…nice.” I managed to reply, chuckling nervously.

“Alright. Keep this one in mind. I’m going to put the other one on.” She winked, closing the door again.

I leaned back against the wall, trying to get my heart beating steady again. Aria was so beautiful, it hurt to look at her. Her body radiated the entire room. I couldn’t even think straight.

Her stall door opened again.

“What about this one?” she smiled, coming out. She did a small pose, smiling at me seductively.

“Aria. Are you trying to kill me?” I asked seriously, sucking in a breath.

“All I wanted as your opinion.” She said innocently, twirling her hair.

“You will be the death of me.” I joked, crossing my arms over my chest.

“So, which one?”

“Are you kidding? You look fit in both of them. I can’t choose.”

Aria rolled her eyes. “Well, thanks for the help.”

She smirked at me before entering the fitting room again.

Minutes later, Aria came out holding the swimsuits in her hand.

“I think I’m going to get the two piece.” She informed, hanging the white one back up.

“Good, because I secretly like that one the best.” I winked, kissing her lips.

Aria giggled, taking my hand. We made our way over to the cashier, who quickly got Aria’s choice checked out and paid for. Aria couldn’t stop grinning.

“Why so happy?” I teased as we walked to the car.

“No reason. It’s just that it’s the first time I’ve ever made you speechless.”

I blushed, stopping in front of my car. “Babe, you make me speechless every day.Sometimes I’m just better at hiding it.”

Aria blushed, leaning in for a kiss. Just as our lips were about to touch, she turned her head so my lips met with her cheek.

“Tease.” I gasped. Aria giggled, escaping my grasp.

“Loser.” She shot back.

“Beautiful.” I grinned.

“Hideous.” Aria giggled, stepping into the car.

Aria’s P.O.V.

Gregg parked his car on the white sand of the beautiful beach.

“We’re here, lil’ man.” Niall grinned down at Noah, tickling him to wake him up. Noah stared wide eyed at the sea of water nearby, a toothless grin appearing on his face.

“He’s is so cute.” I gushed, ruffling his soft baby hair.

“Let’s go.” Niall grinned, ducking out of the car with Noah in his arms. I stepped out after him, going to the trunk of the car to help Gregg and Denise unload the stuff they had brought. Once we found a good spot to set our beach blankets and food baskets down, Gregg took Denise and Noah towards the water.

I sat down on the towel and rubbed on some waterproof sunscreen while Niall looked at me with an odd expression.

“Aria, what are you doing?”

“Putting sunscreen on.” I answered. “Duh.”

“Quit being so safe. Live a little.” Niall smirked, grabbing my hand to pull me up. I dropped the sunscreen as Niall pulled off his shirt, revealing his way too attractive six pack. How was I supposed to have a good time with a bunch of other girls staring at him?

“Like what you see?” Niall smirked, pushing his sunglasses up to rest behind his ears. His blue eyes twinkled in the sunlight.

I blushed and took my towel top off, feeling a little exposed.

Niall grinned, scanning my body from head to toe before grabbing my hand and dragging me towards the water. The water was blue, like, crystal clear clue. It was so pretty, not muddy and gross like alot of the other beaches I had been to. My feet hit the water, and holy mother of God, it was freezing. Niall shivered beside me, still, pulling my hand and me, deeper into the water. We stopped when the water reached to our stomachs, staring back at the shore behind us.

The waves pushed us slightly, but the tides weren’t very strong at all. I put feel the sandy floor of the sea in between my toes, which felt a bit uncomfortable. I was surprised by how clear the water was . I could see my feet at the bottom.

“It’s really pretty.” I smiled, “The water I mean.”

“It is really pretty,” Niall replied, “You, I mean.”

I rolled my eyes. “So cheeky.”

Niall laughed, ducking his head under the water and coming up with dripping wet hair.

“Wow. That feels good.” Niall thought out loud, shaking his head. My legs were starting to numb from the low temperature of the water, but I ducked my head under anyways. I came back up, my hair drenched with water.

“It’s a good look for you.” Niall chuckled, then dived in, trying to swim against the current. He didn’t get farther than a few inches.

“Loser.” I laughed, watching as he resurfaced with a frown.

“I was wondering if you wanted to go out again sometime.” Niall said suddenly, looking nervous. He always bit his lip when he was nervous.

“With you? No.” I joked. His smile halted, and he began to frown.

“Niall, I’m kidding. Of course I’ll go.”

He smiled, pulling me into his bare chest, kissing my hair.

“I hate you.” He chuckled. I pulled away, gasping in fake horror. “You had me scared for a minute there.”

“Aw. Good to know that my reply matters so much.”


“I really like Noah.” I sighed, watching from a distance as the happy family played in the water.

“They are the perfect family.” Niall said, reading my mind. I blushed, looking up at him through my lashes.

“Think that might be us one day?” I asked quietly. I felt Niall taking both my hands and intertwining our fingers together.

“Maybe.” He whispered back, slowly leaning in.

“I guess I do owe you for bailing out on that kiss earlier.” I smirked. I reach out and wrapped my arms around his neck, pulling our bodies into each other.

“Yes,” he chuckled, “ you do.”

When our eyes met, it was like that blue eye connection that set the entire world on fire. Niall ended that by shutting his eyes closed. Leaning down, he kissed me. His lips were demanding and fierce, but at the same time, gentle and kind. They melted into mine, firm and slow, making my knees go weak. His hands roamed my bare back, his fingers tracing patterns that made me shiver.

I heard a camera click.

I pulled away and backed up, startled by the sound. Frantically looking around, I saw a young man walking fast in the water, away from us. He held a camera in his hand.

“Hey, is everything okay?” Niall asked, setting a hand on my cheek.

“Um, yeah. Everything’s fine.” I stammered, biting my lip.

“No it’s not, but I’m not going to push it.”

I sighed. “It’s just that a guy got a picture of us kissing, and I thought you would be bothered by that so-“

“Why would I be bothered by that?” Niall frowned, tucking my hair.

“I thought- um, I thought you would be embarrassed?”

Niall gave me a tight smile. “I’d never be embarrassed by you. Never ever.” He pulled me into his arms and gave me a warm, wet hug. I melted into his strong hold, and we just stayed like that for a while. Until Gregg came and splashed us with water.

Then, it was time for the Water Wars.

Gregg had Denise on his back while I was hoisted onto Niall’s. The game worked, pretty much by each team tackling each other and whichever team stayed up the longest, won.

Denise almost fell off five times, while I managed to keep my balance on Niall the whole time.

Niall and I won the grand prize - bragging rights.

When we got back to shore, the sun was beginning to set and Maura was sitting on the beach blanket holding Noah, who had fallen asleep in his sand covered swim trunks.

We sat around, eating these amazing sandwiches that Niall and Maura had made. Niall ate at least five of them. I still couldn’t understand how he managed to stay so in shape. When the sun was just at the peak of setting, Niall pulled me away from his family, taking my hand and walking along the shoreline.

“Today was fun, don’t you think?” he smiled. I could tell he really wanted to hear me say I had a good time.

“Probably the most fun I’ve had in a while.”

“Good. That was my goal.”

I smiled, kicking the sand as we walked. Niall swung our arms back and forth, connected by our hands.

“You’re the first girl I’ve really liked this much.” Niall told me, pulling our connected hands up to his lips to kiss my hand.

“And you’re the only guy I’ve ever liked for real in general.” I giggled, kissing his cheek.

“I hope we turn out to be one of those couples who work out perfectly. I really do.”

“I don’t.” I smiled. Niall hesitated in his footsteps, walking slower.

“What? Why?”

“Because if we go perfectly together, it’s going to be boring. Just think about it. Nothing would ever be new. It would be the same sweet talk, sweet actions, every single day. It’s healthy to have a banter or argument once in a while, just to remember the other side of our relationship.”

“I guess you’re right.” Niall laughed, his grip on my hand tightening.

“I’m always right.” I scoffed, giggling along with him.


“Is that sarcasm I smell?”

“How the hell do you smell sarcasm?” Niall smirked, breaking out into a loud laugh.

“It’s one of my many specialties, Mr. Horan.” I said, waggling my eyebrows. Niall grinned.

“I think you’re special enough already.”

“Is that an insult?” I gasped.

“No, it’s most definitely a compliment.”

The night ended with a long, passionate kiss, and a beautiful sunset to accompany it.

“Aria! I think you might want to see this!” the loud Irish voice yelled, entering the house. I slumped in my seat at the table, setting down my cup of hot chocolate.

“What is it?” I shouted back. Niall strolled to the breakfast table, holding a magazine in his hand.

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