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: http://www.onedirectionfanfiction.org/Story/20318/Little-Steps/

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7. I Found You

During the ride back to our hotel, Liam fell asleep again. I had the feeling he wasn’t 100% healthy. I mean, he sleep through our loud and boisterous game of Truth or Dare. His eyebrows were furrowed together, emphasizing a pained sort of look. When we got back the our hotel, the other boys quickly got out, slipping there sunglasses and stuff on while I stayed back to wake up Liam.

“Liam, get up you sleepyhead.” I whispered, shaking him gently. He groaned slowly opening his eyes.

“Up now.” He smiled tiredly, sitting up straight in the car seat.

“Are you feeling alright?” I asked, gripping his arm gently. He closed his eyes for a second, then opened them again.

“Yeah, I’m fine. Just a little tired.” He said. I could tell he was lying. He was so bad at lying.

“Are you lying?” I asked, smirking.

“No.” he answered, not waiting a second longer to hop out of the opened car door, leaving me to come out last. I thanked the driver for waiting longer, and then made my way into the hotel, stepping into the elevator.

“I found you.“ a familiar raspy voice said from the corner of the elevator. I turned around instantly, coming face to face with my father. My heart started beating faster and faster as he made his way towards me.

“You thought I’d never find you again.” He laughed, approaching my weak body.

“Don’t t-touch m-me.” I stammered, holding my fists out.

“You thought you could escape the way your mother did.” He continued, now only a foot away from me.

“I swear, I’ll call the police if-“ I was cut off with a painful slap in the face. Then another one followed on my opposite cheek.

“How dare you?!” my father yelled, kneeing my in the stomach. I yelped, feeling tears rushing out of my eyes. He socked my mouth. I felt my gum beginning to pain, blood oozing out of my mouth.

“Please…stop…”

“You thought you could shield me away from your life by joining that group of boys? Who knows what they could do to you?” he shouted, punching my arm. He scanned my helpless body, deciding where to hit next. He raised his foot, jamming me against the elevator wall by aiming my foot right at my stomach again. I cried out even louder, shouting help. It was no use.

“They would never, EVER hurt me.” I managed to gasp before my father kicked my stomach again, causing me to black out.

The last thing I remember was him dragging me out of the elevator into an empty hallway before getting back into the elevator, disappearing as if he’d never come.



Zayn’s P.O.V.

Where was Aria? She was supposed to have come into our room almost as soon as Liam. Curious, I opened our room door and went next door to Aria’s room, knocking on her door. No answer. I knocked again. Still no answer. I was about to take out my phone and call her, when at the very end of the hallway, by the elevators, I spotted a girl lying limp and bloody of the floor.

Aria.

My breath hitched when I saw her, sprawled out on the floor, breathless. Not a second after, I was kneeling by her side, scrutinizing her weak body. Her face was pale, her hand over her stomach.

“No, no, no…” I whispered to her, though I knew she couldn’t hear me.

I took of my jumper and dabbed the corners of her mouth which were pouring out blood. He eyes were shut closed, not fluttering even a bit.

“Aria!” I shouted, shaking her by the shoulders. She was as lifeless as a puppet. I felt tears welling up in my eyes before I picked her up as gently as possible, rushing her into the boys room.

“Lads! Help! Someone call 911!” I screamed. The boys came rushing out of the bedrooms, gasping when they saw Aria in my arms.

“What the hell! What happened?” Harry shouted, running up to her.

“Who did this to her??” Niall yelled, him voice cracking. Louis was so shocked that couldn’t even talk.

“Where the hell is Liam!” I whimpered, trying not to cry. Liam stumbled out of the bedroom rubbing his eyes. He looked sleepy, until he saw Aria.

“Oh my god.” He whispered, running over to her. He took her out of my arms, setting her down on the sofa. I took that moment to take out my phone and call 911.



Liam’s P.O.V.

The five of us sat in the hospital waiting room, our heads in our hands. I knew we were all terrified of what might’ve happened to Aria. For all we knew, she could be…she could be…NO. She was not dead. Not possible. No.

Zayn and Niall had been sitting helplessly in their chairs, wiping away tears. Even feeling as sick as I was, my mind was focused of Aria. She was like my sister, and I had let this happen to her just because of some silly tiredness. If only I had waited for her when new were coming up to the hotel. I could’ve been there to protect her. I found myself wiping away uninvited tears, regretting my actions.

I could have saved her.

Aria’s nurse walked out of the room, clutching the clipboard in her hand.

“Okay, boys, the good news or the bad news first?”

“Bad first.” Harry squeaked out for all of us, as Zayn and Niall weren’t even capable of talking.

“The bad news is that she’s obviously been beat by someone. She’s got bruises up and down her left arm and all over her stomach. Luckily, her rib cage wasn’t damaged. Her gum is also busted in the back of her mouth.” The nurse said, each and every thing she listed, causing me to die inside more and more.

“Good news?” Louis sniffled, rubbing his red rimmed eyes.

The nurse smiled. “Shes up and wants to see you all.”

At this, even Zayn and Niall looked up, their eyes lightening.

“Shes up?” they shouted, springing out of their seats.

“Boys, calm down. This is a hospital.” I said, though I was just as excited as them. The nurse told us that a maximum of two of us could go in at a time, so she wouldn’t get too overwhelmed. All the boys agreed I should go in first by myself. I took a deep breath and went Aria’s hospital room. She looked up at me, a dim light in her eyes.

“Hi, Ari. How are you feeling?” I asked softly, walking up to her. She smirked that old Ari smirk.

“I’ve been better.”

I sighed, sitting down at the edge on the hospital bed. “Aria, would did this to you?” I whimpered, running my hand gently over the bruises on her arm. I felt her hand touch mine.

“My father.”

At this, I felt anger rushing together inside me. How dare he hurt her!? “I should’ve known.” I mumbled to myself, feeling the need to slap my face.

“Liam, it’s not your fault.” She said quietly, as if reading my mind.

“Yes it is! If I hadn’t lied to you about feeling bad, then I wouldn’t have rushed out of the car-“
“So you really did lie to me, didn’t you?” she asked, a little hurt showing it her eyes. I bit my lip.
“I’m sorry.” I answered, squeezing her hand gently. She was crying now, too weak to raise her hand up and wipe away her tears. So I did it for her, brushing my thumb against her soft cheeks.

“Everything hurts. My whole body.” She cried, squeezing her eyes tightly. “I feel like I’m dying.”
I gulped. “No. You’re not dying. There is no way you are dying right in front of my eyes. No.”

“Calm down Liam. It’s only how I feel. I know I’m not really dying.”

I sighed in relief, not bothering to deny my stupidity. How could she be dying when she was successfully conversing with me?

“Where did he do this to you?” I asked, reaching out of caress Aria’s beautiful blonde hair. Aria bit her lip in thought.

“In the elevator. I stepped in after you ran off and he was there.” She recalled, shuddering at thought. I let out a dry cough, my sore throat getting the better of me.

“I didn’t know you had a cold.” Aria said, raising an eyebrow.

“Just a sore throat.” I assured, clearing my throat.

There was a quick knock on the door and the nurse walked in.

“Your time is up, sir. Please exit the room.” The nurse said, gesturing to the exit. I sighed and turned back to Aria.

“I’ll see you soon. Do you think you’ll be better tomorrow for the flight?”

“I don’t know. The nurse decides.” Said Aria. I nodded and bent down kissing her forehead softly. Her cheeks turned crimson red, complementing her blue eyes.

“Get better, love. Okay?”

“I’ll try, Liam. I’ll try.” She smiled faintly, squeezing my hand. I stood up and walked out of the room, glancing at Louis and Harry who looked up in hope. I smiled and nodded. They got up and went inside Aria’s room, closing the door behind them. I sat down in Harry’s seat, between Niall land Zayn.

“How is she?” Zayn asked, his nose pink from crying.

“She’s good. She doesn’t seem as bad as I thought.”

“Think she’ll be out for the flight tomorrow?” Niall asked, chewing his lip.

“I think she will, but the Aria said the nurse decides.”

Niall and Zayn both sighed at the same time, tapping their feet impatiently. I knew they were anxious to see Aria.

I just hoped she would get better soon. My life didn’t seem quite complete without her humor and sarcasm to keep me company.

She was part of my life. Part of One Direction’s journey.



Niall’s P.O.V.

After Zayn got his turn with Aria, it was mine. I walked into the room, staring at the floor.

“Hey Niall.” Said that beautiful voice that lit up the entire room. I looked up, focusing my eyes on the girl in the hospital bed. She was so ill yet still so beautiful.

“Hi Aria.” I smiled, walking over to her. She sat up straighter in bed, wincing a little. I figured it was the bruises.

“The nurse said you were bruised a lot. Does it hurt?” I asked, mentally face palming myself at the stupid question.

“See for yourself.” Aria answered, slowly lifting up the hospital shirt. Her stomach was covering with purple marks, the middle on the bruises sprinkled with blood.

“Ouch.” I muttered, putting a hand to her stomach gently. I rubbed her tummy, blowing lightly on the bruises.

“That tickles.” She giggled, pushing away my hand. I bent down and kissed her flat stomach, pulling her shirt back down.

“I need you on that plane trip tomorrow.” I started, pushing a strand of hair out of Aria’s face.

“I don’t even know if I should continue this job anymore, Niall.” Aria sighed, making eye contact with me. “I feel like I’m holding you all back. What if you guys didn’t know me? You would be in your rooms, finishing packing instead on worrying about some ugly, sick girl.”

“You are not ugly.” I told her sternly.

Aria blushed, “But still, being here is wasting your time.”

“No it’s not. I’d rather much be comforting a girl than wasting my time in my hotel room.”

Aria let out a deep breath. “I wonder where I would be now if I hadn’t met you guys. Probably being beat up by my dad or some-“

“What? Did you just say your dad beat you? I asked, completely shocked by this terrifying information. Aria slapped a hand over her mouth, her face going completely red.

“You weren’t supposed to know that.” She squeaked, covering her face with her hands. I took a deep breath, calming myself down.

“Sorry. That wasn’t the proper way to react.”

Aria showed her face again, her eyes shining from upcoming tears. “Maybe I should’ve told you earlier.”

“No. Only tell me when you’re ready.” I said, smiling down at Aria, the angel that accidentally fell from heaven.

“I love you guys. All of you.” Aria whispered, taking my hand. She squeezed it tightly making sparks fly up my skin.

“We love you too, Ari. More than you will ever know.”

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