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:


14. Dance Lessons

After the concert, we crashed in our hotel rooms, Aria as well. She was obviously tired from screaming and jumping around like she had. She was curled up in a ball on the bed, snoring so softly, she sounded like a baby. I was so glad that even though she didn’t like me, that she was at least my friend. That at least, we had some sort of connection.

Still asleep, Aria took my hand and pulled it to her cheek, rubbing her cheek against my skin. I bit my lip to hold back a laugh. How could she be acting so stupid and yet still be so adorable?
Tonight, she seemed different though. She looked troubled, muttering the word “Dad” a million times, at least. I shuddered, remembering all the bad things Aria’s dad did to her. How did she, still even consider him her father?

Aria gripped my arm tighter, pulling me into her. I was startled at first by her actions, but then I realized this would be one of the only moments in my life where I would get to cuddle her. So, I took the moment to advantage, scooting as close as possible to Aria, wrapping her tightly in my arms. She nuzzled into my chest, a small smile taking over the frown that had previously occupied her face.

It sucked that I was only her friend.


With two days left in Australia, Liam encouraged us to go take a tour. So we did. We were currently at the Sydney Opera House, signing autographs for a group of fans who had found us.

“Hi, Niall.” One blonde girl said shyly. I looked down at her, coming in contact with striking green eyes.

“Hello, love. What’s your name?” I asked with a friendly tone, taking the One Direction poster from her hand to sign it.

“Oli.” She blurted, before blushing. “Well actually it’s Olivia but everyone calls me Oli.”

“Well it’s been nice meeting you, Oli.” I responded kindly, handing her poster back.

“It’s been even better for me to meet you.” She giggled, pecking my cheek before waving and walking away. I smiled after her, watching her walk away like she was walking on water.

“Hey.” Said a feminine voice that swept my heart away. I looked to my left, which now contained Aria.

“Well hello there.” I smirked, elbowing her side. She elbowed me back, and pretty soon we were in the middle of an Elbow War.

“Guys, stop killing each other.” Liam groaned ,walking up behind us. We were leaned up against a railing watching others take pictures of the Opera House.

“Tell Aria to stop killing me first.” I demanded, shooting her a wink.

“Whatever.” She mumbled, elbowing one last time before joining Zayn, Harry and Louis. I sighed, watching her long blonde hair swish back and forth as she walked.

“She likes you.” Liam sang, and this time it was him who elbowed me. I shot him a glare, but I was sure he could see the hurt in his eyes.

“No, she doesn’t.” I answered stiffly, wishing Liam would just leave. Liam smirked, throwing an arm around my shoulder.

“And why do you think that?”

“Actually, I know it. She literally told me she didn’t like me.” I spat, shrugging Liam off of me. Liam looked shocked, looking over at Aria, then back to me.

“When?” he questioned, giving me a serious look.

“That day when the vocal trainer was checking up on you,” I started, feeling a lump growing in my throat with every word. “We all went to the room me and Ari share and the others left but Louis stayed. He asked us whether we liked each other. Aria said no.” I paused, “SO I said no, too.”

Liam face palmed himself, grabbing my shoulders and shaking my slightly. “You bloody idiot! That was the perfect chance to tell her you like her! It’s so obvious she likes you, too. She was just lying!” Liam yelled, and I had to slap his arm hard for him to shut up.

“You do realize Aria is 10 yards away from us.” I hissed, turning my back to him.

“I very much do, Niall.” Liam scoffed, heading towards the rest of the boys and Aria, leaving me alone. I groaned, turning to face the harbor along the Sydney Opera House. The water was grey, not very inviting. They gloomy sky didn’t help much for the effect. A strong wind blew past, making me shiver. It was only when the wind came, that I felt a tear being pushed down my face.

I never cared about girls. I never hated them, but they never seemed to be interested in me, therefore I wasn’t interested in them. There was a time where I thought I could get a girl, back when I started high school, but watching all those girls run for my friends and not me, I realized I wasn’t meant to have anyone. I was meant to be single. But then, I met Aria. She was probably the only girl I had ever met that made me feel the way I do. She was the only girl I had ever cried over. Ever.

And yet, here I was, feeling the need to give up on her as well.

Aria’s P.O.V.

After visiting the Sydney Opera House, we headed to the park and sat in the grass, eating our food. Liam and Zayn had to pack extra for Niall who was eating like a pig. He didn’t have a care in the world. Niall ended up taking my brownie and half of my apple, but I didn’t mind. As long as I got to keep the chip bag.

I knocked lightly on the door to Liam and Zayn’s room, waiting for someone to open the door. That’s when I heard it. Music. Hip hop music. I felt a little protective. Liam shouldn’t been exerting himself after being sick. I knocked again, louder this time, when I realized the door hadn’t been closed properly. I felt a smirk taking over my face as I gripping the handle tightly, slowly twisting it open. I almost laughed at what I saw.

There was Zayn, his back turned to me, trying to dance. Trying to. He kept tripping over his feet, and he seemed way too tense. I held the door open with one foot, leaning against the door frame. Zayn whispered some cuss words to himself, trying to move his feet with the beat. I stood there for at least 3 minutes, just watching him, when finally I coughed.

Zayn turned around and screamed when he saw me, louder and higher than I had ever heard, fear splashed in his eyes.

“Oh god. How much of that did you see!?” he yelled, blushing furiously. I bit my lip, honestly not laughing. I felt kind of bad.

“You’re not so bad.” I said, smiling lightly at him.

“Shut up, and quit being sarcastic.” Zayn grumbled, shutting the door behind me. I stood in front of him, watching as he nervously tapped his foot. I frowned at him, placing my hand on his shoulder.

“Zayn. I’m not kidding. You aren’t bad at dancing.”

Zayn rolled his eyes, blushing even harder as he spoke. “Are you kidding? I feel like such an idiot when I dance. I suck at it.”

“No you don’t.” I argued, actually feeling the need to fight with him. “I was watching you. All you need is to calm down. Dancing won’t be easy if you just want to get it down. You have to enjoy it.”

Zayn looked like he wanted to protest, but then sighed. “Can you help me, then?” he grumbled, sliding his hands down his face. I giggled, walking over to the CD player.


I restarted the music, taking a deep breath. And then, I let the music lead me. People sometimes told me I should be a professional dancer, but it was never in my liking. I liked to keep it a secret. But here I was, showing Zayn my dancing skills. I moved my upper body to the beat of the music, spinning around here and there. I slid across the carpet, creating new moves with every minute. Zayn stared at me, never taking his eyes off me as I danced. I let my arms sway along with my body, taking deep breaths once in a while. When the song ended, I was breathing hard.

“Wow.” Zayn exhaled, before clapping loudly. “That was amazing! You were amazing.”

I blushed, looking down and the ground. “Thanks.”

“Doe’s Niall know you can dance like this?” Zayn asked, approaching my sweaty body.
I shot him a suspicious look, stepping back. “Why would it matter if Niall knew or not?”

Zayn shrugged. “Well I mean, you guys hang out a lot, and it’s obvious you guys have something, so-“

“Excuse me? Niall and I do not share anything.” I established firmly, glaring at Zayn. His eyes widened and his hands went up in surrender.

“Okay, okay.” He mumbled. I was instantly thirsty after that dancing. I spotted a glass of water on the bedside table. I reached for it, chugging down the water right when I heard Zayn yell.

“No! That’s Liam’s!” he said, slapping his forehead. I immediately set the cup down, frowning.

“Oh, man. Might still have germs, eh?” I muttered, wiping my mouth.


“Too late.” I shrugged, pulling my long hair into a bun.

“So, are you going to try dancing or what?” I laughed, starting the music again. He groaned, giving me the puppy dog eyes, but I pushed him to do it.

I watched carefully as he did the same stiff movements, though a little less tense from before.

“Zany, just relax. Let the music guide you.” He nodded, closing his eyes.

And just like that, he was a million times better. He moved almost…gracefully, as he moved his body with the music. This time, it was me clapping for him when the music stopped.

“Much, much better.” I commented, smiling proudly.

“Thanks.” Zayn blushed, sitting down on the floor.

I sighed, plopping down on the floor. We were silent, each of us choosing a random object to stare at. I chose a flower vase.

“So, did you enjoy going to the Opera House?” I questioned, trying to break the silence. Zayn smiled goofily, nodding.

“Yup. We met quite some hot Australian girls.” He smirked, winking at me. I rolled my eyes, feeling the need to slap him.

“You have a girlfriend, Zayn. Be loyal.”

“I know. But they were still quite hot. Nothing compared to Perrie though. She’s my everything.” Zayn paused. “Even if I meet a million girls, my heart is hers forever. Or at least I hope. You know, I can never get enough of her amazing blue eyes or her crazy personality. She’s the whole package.” Zayn kind of dazed off, declaring his love for Perrie to me.

The way he described Perrie was how I described Niall. He was the whole package. Sweet, funny, kind, cheesy, attractive, and downright adorable. Zayn just stared off into space after that, totally forgetting about me being in there. Wow, that guy was in love.

“Bye, Zayn.” I squeaked, to which he responding with a dreamy wave, making me laugh. I shut the door behind me, wandering the hall. It was empty, like usual. I actually thought that we were the only ones on this floor until I saw an elderly couple entering a room a few days ago.

I skipped back into my room, plopping down on the bed. Niall wasn’t here, so he must’ve been in Louis’ room or something. I shrugged to myself, switching the TV on. Nothing good. So I made my way to the balcony, which gave me a perfect view of 9:00pm in Australia. The lights were beautiful especially the ones surrounding the Sydney Opera House. The Sydney Harbor’s water reflected the view, making everything just so much prettier. I sat down on the bare floor, which was cold from the weather. The light breeze of the current from below pushed my hair from my neck, making me shiver. Still, I didn’t want to leave the balcony. I felt so calm sitting here, being able to think about nothing. That was when I felt something warm like fabric go around my shoulders.

“Hey.” Niall said coolly. I was a bit startled by his sudden appearance.

“I swear, you truly area ninja.” I laughed, pulling the blanket he had placed on me, tighter around my body.

“I am.” He joked, sitting down on the wooden floor beside me.

“It’s so beautiful tonight.” I whispered, looking up at the twinkling stars.

“I know.” Niall said. I looked at him, and he was looking back up at me. He smiled and stuck his tongue out, and I did the same. We shared a quiet laugh before returning quiet again. Even when I wasn’t looking at Niall, I could feel him occasionally glancing at me.

“I haven’t even started packing yet.” Niall said after a while. I gasped.

“Oh yeah. We’re leaving soon.” I responded, though I was too lazy to start.

“Aria, you do realize the ‘soon’ is tomorrow, right?”

I looked up at him, realizing he was right. Screw it. I would pack tomorrow morning.

“I’ll save that for later.” I laughed, wanting so bad to lean my head on Niall’s shoulder.

“Go ahead.” Niall whispered, looking up at the sky.

“What?” I asked, confused.

“You can put your head on my shoulder.” He chuckled lightly, patting his shoulder. I blushed, but did as I was told, not passing up the offer that I rarely got. I rested my head on Niall’s shoulder, and his arm went instinctively round my waist. He pulled me closer to him, resting his chin on my head.

“The view isn’t the only thing beautiful, you know.” Niall said softly., his plunk lips ever so close to my ear, that it tickled lightly.

“What else is?” I asked, though I already had a feeling I knew what his answer would be.

“Well, as you friend, I must say that you, you Aria, are the most beautiful of all.” Niall said, his words causing me heart to melt.

And we sat there together, staring out at the stars.

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