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:


13. Bullying Eve

Niall’s P.O.V.

Holding Aria in my arms, I began to think that even though she didn’t want to kiss me, even though it was rather obvious she didn’t like, maybe we could still be friends? I would never give up on Aria, but I wasn’t going to push her. I understood that her life wasn’t exactly the smoothest, and she needed her space. It was time I give her some.

“Harry said he was out getting lunch with Zayn and Louis.” Aria informed, pulling away from my body. The cold air rushed back to me, making me long for her once more.

“Great, because I starving.” I chuckled, walking back into the hotel room. Ari followed close behind, closing the door behind us.

“Didn’t you just eat breakfast?” Aria smirked, crossing her arms over her chest.

“Yeah, and I’m hungry again.” I answered matter-o-factly. Aria laughed beautifully, tucking her bangs behind her ear.

“So, I kind of want to talk about Liam’s birthday.” Ari began sitting down on the bed. I hid the jolt of pain received when Aria mentioned Liam.

“Of course, love,” I said, sitting down beside her, but not too close. “I talked to Louis about your idea, actually.”

Aria’s eyes brightened as she bounced in her place on the bed. “What’d he think?”

“He said it was a fantastic idea and he’d like to add something Disney related, as well.”

“What’s his favorite Disney character?”

I chuckled, sighing happily at the thought of Liam watching Toy Story, gasping at “scary” parts like a little kid. “Buzz Light-year, hands down.”

“Then, maybe I can order some balloons and plates and stuff.” Aria suggested, rubbing her chin as she thought. For heaven sake, why did I have such an adorable girl next to me, and yet not have her as my own?

“Niall?” Aria said softly, setting her hand on my knee. I jolted from her touch, gaining her attention.


“Can I tell you something, something I have never told anyone?”

I looked into her serious yet calming blue eyes, seeing how emotional she felt. “Of course you can, Aria.”

Aria took a deep breath, taking her hand from my knee. “Ever since I was like, five, I never really had friends. No one ever invited me to birthday parties. I’ve never been to a single slumber party in my life. I wasn’t noticed, like a shadow in the dark. But, the more I heard other girls talking about parties’ they had been invited to, the more and more I had wanted to be invited to one. I just… It’s just that now, I’m actually planning one, and that makes me feel special. Like I’m finally accepted.”

I stared at Aria, wondering how such a caring, friendly, and beautiful girl had never been invited to a slumber party, let alone any party at all.

“Well then, I just approving the fact, that yes, we accept you Aria. Each and every one of the boys including me accepts you.”

“And, I also want this to be the best party ever, just for the record.” She giggled, her eyes crinkling when she laughed.

“I will see to it, my lady.” I winked, bringing her in for a friendly hug. She hugged me back, sinking into my chest. She smelled of fresh strawberries and vanilla, or somewhere in between. Her aroma put me in a daze until she pulled away, leaving my arms empty.

“Should we contact Danielle for the party, ya know, let her know it’s on?” Aria asked, pulling out her cellphone.

“Maybe we should wait until it’s approved by all the boys.” I said. Aria looked up and nodded, slipping her phone back into her pocket.

“Will do.” Aria smiled and lied down on the bed, letting out a large sigh.

I lied down beside her, wishing I could have the perfect life. Wishing that I could get the girl I wanted so badly. Wishing that for, just once, that I could feel what it was like to know that someone liked you the way you liked them.

Aria’s P.O.V.

Management ended up having to postpone the concert like expected, so now the boys had two concerts in a row on the same day. Liam was a bit better, which was a relief for management, and the boys as well. A voice trainer came to the hotel and tested Liam’s vocal chords and checked to make sure his throat wasn’t sore or inflamed. The trainer was by his bed while he was sitting on it, holding his mouth open while the voice trainer put one of the lights and the wooden stick in his mouth. The rest of the boys and I were goofing off behind the trainer, trying to make Liam laugh.

Louis took this time to be the most disgusting as possible, picking his nose and wiping his finger on poor old Harry’s t-shirt. Harry slapped Louis’s cheek, making the voice trainer turn around.

“Is everything okay over here?” She asked, looking at us above her glasses.

We all went stiff, all of us except Louis. “Actually, m’am, we don’t like how close you are to Liam’s mouth. Who knows what you could do?”

The voice trainer blushed, frowning at the boys, though I smile still played on her face. As soon as she took the wooden stick from Liam’s mouth, Liam shook his head with a disapproving look.

“I’d you are going to interrupt this session, then I’m going to have to ask you to leave.” The voice trainer, said sternly, pointing to the door. “Out.”

Louis rolled his eyes, giving her a glare. “Yeah, a make out session. We know you love him, Eve.”

Eve. So that was the poor lady’s name.

“Excuse me, Louis. I do have a husband.” She argued, totally forgetting about Liam. Louis smirked, resting his hands on his hips.

“Does he know your cheating on him? With a nineteen year old?” he fought back coolly, leaning against the wall.

Eve, balled up her fists, her knuckles turning white.

“Watch your back, Louis fucking Tomlinson. I’ll have a word with management.” She growled, and I was a bit taken aback by her word choice.

“You should think about watching your mouth.” Louis answered, raising his eyebrows.

Niall couldn’t take it anymore and cracked up, using Zayn’s arm to keep his balance. Zayn laughed a little too, but controlled it better than Niall.

“Louis, quit bullying Eve.” I snapped, grabbing Louis by the wrist and escorting him out of the room. The other boys followed us out, but I swear I heard Niall whispering to Eve, “You just got burned.

As soon as they were out in the hallway, they burst into laughter. Louis, Niall and Zayn fell to the floor, rolling around hysterically while Harry and I just looked like each other. He didn’t have to say anything for me to know he was thinking “Why am I friends with them?”

“Boys, up now.” I demanded, pulling on Niall’s and Zayn’s arms. Harry took Louis’ dragging them into mine and Niall’s room. We piled them on top of the bed, letting them regain their cool. Zayn recovered first, sitting up on the bed.

“Feel better now?” I smirked, rolling my eyes at him.

“In fact, I do, Aria. Thank you so much for asking.” He mocked, kissing my cheek before he left the room. I blushed when Zayn kissed my cheek, not because I like him, just because it was natural. Niall seemed to notice that, looking down when I caught him staring.

“I’m leaving too. Lou, you staying?” Harry asked, slipping an arm around my waist. It was a friendly action, so I didn’t mind.

“Actually I think I’ll stay.” Louis said, looking back and forth between Niall and I. Harry shrugged and left the room.

“Soo… you two?” Louis asked, when Harry left. Niall shot Louis a glare, as did I, but when I glanced at Niall, my heart softened.

“I thought we went over this Lou. We do not like each other.” Niall implied, patting Louis shoulder harder and harder with every word.

“Well how do you know Aria doesn’t like you?” Louis asked stupidly, staring at me with his head cocked. My eyes widened as Niall turned to me.

“Well, do you like me, Aria?” Niall asked the doubt showing in his eyes. No, not right now. I couldn’t just admit I liked him right now. But what if I said no? Would Niall be relieved, because he didn’t like me? Or devastated because he did?

“Um, well I’m mean yeah,” I started, breathing unsteadily. My heart broke when Niall perked up, “as a friend.” I finished. Louis just smirked, shaking his head at me. I couldn’t believe I dared to look at Niall, and yet I did. Our eyes met for an uncomfortable gaze.

“Well I mean, I don’t like her either.” Niall piped up, leaning back on the bed, resting on his elbows. He was mainly looking at Louis, though I kept glancing at him to see if he looked at me. He didn’t.

“So, it’s settled then Louis,” I said, glaring at him. He looked almost scared, running his fingers through his perfectly styled hair. “Now you know for sure we don’t like each other.”

“Yeah.” I added on, also glaring at Louis. Louis looked at the both of us, raising his hands in surrender.

“Maybe I should’ve just left with Harry.” He mumbled, standing up and quickly heading for the door,

“Yeah, maybe you should’ve.” Niall growled from his spot on the bed. Niall looked frustrated, and he couldn’t keep his feet still. He looked vulnerable. Niall and I both stared Louis down until he left the room, leaving Niall and I to an awkward silence. We didn’t look at each other. I couldn’t look at him. Especially after I had just told him a huge lie. He didn’t seem quite affected by it, in fact, standing up and purposely brushing past me.

He left our room, slamming the door behind him. I take back saying he wasn’t affected. Whatever. He was just probably mad at Louis for making everything weird when we could’ve talked about something…well, not as awkward.

Only a few minutes later, the blonde boy came strolling back into the room holding what at first I thought were beer bottles, but to my relief, in was only a coke.

I didn’t know why, but I wanted to shout at him and tell him to leave.

But you couldn’t be mean to Niall.

Being mean to Niall was like kicking a puppy.

It couldn’t be done.

“Here.” Niall stated blankly, walking in and handing me a coke bottle. I was surprised by his coolness, while at this point; I would be shaking, trying to talk to him. SO instead on talking, I just smiled lightly and took the coke, turning open the cap.

He didn’t talk anymore, instead pulled his laptop out of his suitcase and started to do whatever he was doing on it.

“That was a bit awkward.” Niall coughed after thirty minutes of silence. Yes, I had been counting.

“Yeah… it was.” I answered slowly, making sure my breath would shake when I talked. Thankfully it didn’t.

“But we’re just friends, right?” Niall went on, his words making want to throw up. He only wanted to be friends. Nothing more. At all. Nada.

“Y-yup. Of course.” I stumbled, feeling threatening tears trying to creep out.

“Good. Just so we’re all on the same page here.” Niall smiled, somewhere between fake and real. “Let’s shake on it.”

I almost smirked, shaking his out-stretched hand.

“Friends.” We said together, our eyes meeting for a second of gaze.

“Maybe forever.” Niall conclude quietly, giving one last glance before staring at his computer the rest of the day. I feel asleep listening to the fast tapping of keys from Niall’s fingers.

Niall’s P.O.V.

Hearing the fans screaming as we sang, was music to my ears. But of course, they weren’t screaming for me. Everyone hated me. Not even Aria liked me. I gripped my microphone tighter, my voice shaking slightly as I sang.

I wanna be last, yeah,

baby let me be your,

lemme be your last first kiss.

I wanna be first yeah,

Wanna be the first to take it all the way like this.

And if you,

Only knew,

I wanna be last yeah,

Baby let me be your last,

Your last first kiss.

We all glanced Louis as he sang his solo, and I walked freely around stage, swaying my head to the music.

I panned the upper sections of the stadium, around the VIP section. And then I spotted her. There she was, sitting in a seat, staring back at me with a beautiful smile. Aria. She waved to me, and it surprised me how I could see her from so far away.

Oh who was I kidding? I could spot her from a million miles away.

I waved back to her, hoping she’d see. I think she winked, and then left my gaze. She seemed to be enjoying our performance, just as much as the other thousands of girls present. But as soon as it was confirmed that Aria was having fun, I felt bolder, with a new motivation for singing.

That night, I sang better than I had ever sung before.

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