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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55. Infamous Aria

They say time flies by when you’re having fun. The past month in London had proved that to me. Niall showed me around, taking me everywhere in the large city, showing me the Big Ben, and the Queen’s palace. We tried to get a palace guard to move by tickling him in the sides, but the damn guy wouldn’t even move a muscle. Niall even made farting sounds with my armpit, Niall grabbed the guard’s nose and pinched it, and the guard frowned, but remained silent. I wondered if that nose pinch was considered rape.

Anyhow, October was soon coming to an end and Niall and I were chilling in the living room and making the best of a Monopoly game when my phone rang loudly, scaring the shit out of the both of us. I grabbed it, shutting the ringtone up and answering the call.

“Hello?”

“Aria, it’s Liam.”

“Oh, hey! How is it going with, you know, everything?”

Niall tilted his head with a curious expression. I mouthedLiam, and he nodded.

Liam sighed on the other end of the line. “Danielle and I had a large argument with her parents and her parents ended up calling my dad. Apparently, her parents think I won’t be there to support my child and that I’ll end up abandoning Danielle and the baby.”

I made a face even though Liam couldn’t see.

“Wouldn’t you have done that already if you didn’t care for the baby?”

Liam snorted. “I know, right? Dani’s parents just don’t seem to understand that. Money wouldn’t be a problem. And trust me, I love that baby even though it’s not born yet. I love him so much and I will fight for it because I love him so damn much.”

"Wait.Him?"

"Yeah. We found out it was a boy." I could picture Liam's sudden loving smile.

“What about Danielle? How’s she doing with all of this?”

“She’s pissed at her parents. Like, so pissed she can barely look at them.”

“Ouch.”

“I think she knows that I care. She knows that I would never turn my back on her and our child. I thought her parents knew that too, but after Danielle got pregnant, her parents seemed to lose all their trust in me.”

“I-I don’t know what to say.”

“The worst part is that Danielle cries every night. She’s so fed up with all of this, and she suggested leaving London. I think she’s ready to just turn down her parents’ wishes.”

“I would.”

Liam laughed dryly. I could almost imagine him running his running over his short hair stressfully.

“I told her parents that I would never let Danielle get an abortion, even if it was there only heart’s desire. They asked me who I thought I was and I told them that I was the baby’s father and that I had just as much say in this as they did, maybe even more. Long story short, they hate me now.”

“I doubt they hate you, Liam.” I said. “They’re just scared of their daughter’s future. They think they know what’s best for Danielle when they’re not reading in between the lines. They really don’t know what a great guy you are and I know that you know that you and I both know that you are going to be a great father.”

“That last part confused me, love.” Liam laughed. Finally, a laugh from the poor guy.

Niall began to look a little impatient, messing around with his Monopoly money and throwing some up in the air to let it sprinkle down on him. I rolled my eyes. What an attention seeking baby.

“Liam, I’m really sorry, but I’ve got someone to take care of. Can we talk later?”

“Is it Niall?” he asked quickly. “Oh, I’m so sorry. I bet I was interrupting-“

“No, your fine. But he’s getting a little impatient so I gotta go.”

Liam chuckled. “That’s the Niall I know. I’ll talk to you later, then.”

“Bye.”

I hung up, tossing my phone onto the couch.

“Baby problems?” Niall guessed, lying on the carpet floor like a diva.

“You could say that.” I nodded, then moved my piece.

“Seems like Danielle’s parents don’t understand how responsible Liam really is.”

“They don’t.” I agreed, wishing that Liam and Danielle had it easier. They deserved better. Both of them were easily amazing people.

“Have you been getting any messages from that mysterious sender recently?” Niall asked, looking up at me.

“No,” I realized. “Not in a while.”

It had been the longest streak of no messages ever which only made me nervous.

“Maybe it really is a prank and they’ve decided to drop it.” He suggested, though I got the feeling it wasn’t that. Maybe they were planning something more dangerous.

“Okay, I have a confession.” Niall sighed.

“What?”

“Monopoly is boring.”

I laughed. “I’m with you on that one. Let’s put this away.”

“Well, what do you want to do?” Niall asked, folding up the game board.

“I don’t know.”

“Well if you got nothing, why not go for a walk?” Niall suggested, giving me a lazy smile.

“I guess.”

“We can stop for food, too, of course.” He assured with a wink. I laughed.

“Okay.”

Ten minutes later, I was wrapped in two shirts and a jacket, jeans, boots and a fluffy scarf. Definitely a different style compared to what I used to wear to California.

Niall shuffled down the stairs, pulling a shirt over his head. He grabbed a jacket off the jacket stand and slipped it onto his body.

“Let’s go.” He held his hand out and I took it.


Niall drove into town, and parked along the road, then led me around, showing me some of his favorite shops and the best places to eat. He stopped a few times to meet his fans, and I knew by the look in his eyes that he really loved them more than he would ever show. He got that little twinkle in his eyes and a huge smile crossed his lips. I was overly surprised that none of the fans badmouthed me, or gave me dirty looks. Either they didn’t look at me, or gave me quick smiles.

Eh. Good enough for me.

As the night approached, the streets began to empty out, and soon we were some of the only people left outside. We began to head back for Niall’s car, hand in hand. That was when Niall stopped me, pressing a finger to my lips. I was about to accuse him of being a retard when I followed his gaze. A figure in black was inspecting his car, and then slipped a piece of paper between wipers. Niall and I watched as the person scampered off, faster than a ninja.

I quickly got a snapshot of the mysterious person. Long brown hair, black glasses, black beanie, black clothing, model body, black converse.

“Who the hell was that?” I whispered, squeezing Niall’s hand.

“I don’t know.” He answered, still eyeing his car. “Let’s wait here for a little bit; that person may come back.”

I recalled the past event, declaring that the person was surely a girl. The person had a feminine figure that could never be pictured on a man.

“The streets seem a lot quieter now.” I hissed, my grip on Niall’s hand continuing to tighten.

“It’s okay. I’m here.” He whispered back, gently tugging me towards his car after three or four minutes.

Niall let go off my hand and pulled the piece of paper from the window wipers. I came towards him, and together, we read the note in silence.

We’re here. We know your every move. Aria, you have your choices. You know your options. You can avoid your warnings and risk Niall’s life, or you can simply come to your mother and father, and everything will be fine. Choose.

I let out a squeak, sitting against the hood of the car.

“Oh my god.” Niall whispered, about to tear the paper up when I stopped him.

“Don’t throw it away. It’s evidence.” I pointed out. He sighed, then slipped it into his pocket.

“Just forget this, okay. Everything is going to be fine.” Niall said as he gave my hand a squeeze. I pulled my hand away, giving him a dubious look.

“No, Niall. Everything is not okay. We’ve got some crazy lunatic after us threatening to hurt you and potentially, me.”

“I don’t know what we’re going to do.” He said, shaking his head. “But for now, let’s just get home, princess.”

I didn’t hesitate to jump into his car and lock my door. He got into the driver’s seat and made sure the coast was clear before zooming off.

I wish I had taken a picture of that girl. I wish I could’ve done something instead of just standing there. But I didn’t.

When we got home, Niall made sure the front door was locked, and that the security alarm was on. Even snuggled up in his arms, with his warm breath against my neck, and the sound snores of Niall in a deep sleep, I couldn’t get a wink of sleep. I stayed up, wondering what I was going to do. I couldn’t let Niall take responsibility of all this. I wasn’t going let him get hurt when the person these people really wanted was me.

 

On the morning of November first, Niall announced that all the boys would be coming to London so they could get started on recording their third album. He said that Harry would be staying with us, and also added that Harry would be bringing Amber. I was content with this; it would be the perfect chance to get to know Amber better.

Later that week, I got my first text from Amber. I had honestly forgotten I even had her number. Her message explained that she was excited to come to London and spend some time with me. She had explained that Harry had told her that I was a really sweet and genuine person and that we would make great friends. I really did look forward to meeting her, but the way she was so straight-forward and bubbly was kind of a new environment for me.

When I responded with,Can’t wait to see you either! It’s going to be great meeting you in person!,she immediately responded back, and soon our simply exchange of messages became a long conversation. She asked me how things were with my dad and I almost spilled the beans about the weird messages I had been getting. It wasn’t hard to talk to her at all. Even through texting, it made me feel like we were closer than we truly were.

I didn’t know if that was a good thing, but it felt good.

Before I knew it, Niall and I were running around, trying to clean up his flat, targeting towards making the place presentable. Or more like,Iwas running around trying to make the place look presentable. The first few hours, I thought Niall was upstairs cleaning his room, but when I went up to see why he was so quiet, I found him in his closet eating a bag of chips. He said, and I quote “crisps help me get energy.”

Let’s just say I got his lazy ass up real quick afterward.

Still, Niall wasn’t the best at cleaning and he argued that I just happened to find fault in his “way he rolled”. Whatever that meant.

When the doorbell rang, I crashed onto the couch trying to look normal, patting my hair, hoping I didn’t look completely pooped even though I truly was.

“Honey, I’m home!” Harry voice yelled as Niall opened the door. A grin stretched across my face instantly, the sound of Harry’s goofy voice exciting me. I stood up and skipped over to Harry. I had to admit; he looked good. Hair gelled up and to the side, white shirt and skinny jeans for apparel.

“Hey, Curly.”

“Hey, Ari.”

We shared a quick hug, and then my eyes fell to the beautiful girl standing beside Harry. “You must be Amber.” I grinned, sticking out my hand.

“And you’re the infamous Aria.” Amber laughed, shaking my hand. Amber and Niall introduced themselves to each other, and the four of us navigated towards the kitchen, where Niall had managed to set out half the bag of a family sized potato chip bag. He had obviously eaten the other half.

“Why don’t you guys talk and Aria and I get some girl time?” Amber suggested, setting her purse on the counter top as she stood up. I felt a little uncomfortable at the term, “girl time”, rather preferring “hanging out”, but hey, they couldn’t be that much different.

“Sure,” Niall shrugged, giving me a small smile. I smiled back and led Amber to one of the guest rooms, explaining it would be her place to sleep.

“I think you and Niall are an extremely cute couple.” She said suddenly, sitting down on the bed.

“Thanks.” I laughed, unsure of what to say.

“So, how long have you guys been dating?” Amber asked, pulling her legs up to sit criss cross.

“About two and a half months,” I answered, surprising myself with the information. Almost three months of dating Niall. I felt proud. “So, are you officially Harry’s girlfriend?”

Amber nodded. “He asked me just the other day with flower petals spread out of the floor spelling ‘will you be my girlfriend.’ Personally, it was a little overwhelming but of course I said yes.”

“I’m happy for you.” I chided, silently wishing I had her long brown hair. Man, I felt like a creep.

“Are things with your dad better, now?” Amber asked her green eyes boring into mine.

“No, not really,” I admitted. “We haven’t had contact for a while.”

“Well, I talked to my dad the other day and asked him what he would’ve wanted me to do earlier, you know, to make our relationship better, and he told me he would’ve liked it if I had tried to talk to him sooner. So maybe that’s what you need to do.”

I nearly laughed. “I’m a long way away from ever having a conversation with him.”I hope.

“Once upon a time, I thought I’d never talk to my dad again, too.”

“Amber,” I started, “things with my dad aren’t what you think. It’s not just a little disagreement we had. It was so much more than that. He did some things that made me completely lose trust in him, and I don’t want to ever repeat that. My goal is to stay as far away from him as possible.”

“But-“

“And that’s final.” I finished sternly, not caring that I was being hard on the guest. She needed to know right away that I would not tolerate her arguments, and that I would not talk tohim. Not even if the world depended on it.

“Okay.” She nodded, her cheeks flushed with embarrassment. “I’m sorry.”

I felt my clenched teeth loosen, and I smiled. “It’s okay.”

There was a quick knock on the door, before Niall and Harry burst in, yelling, “Charge!”

Harry pounced on top of Amber while Niall pinned me to the floor.

“We’ve got em, Haz.” Niall yelled in his thick Irish accent. “What now?”

“Now…” Harry hesitated, and then a devilish grin spread across his lips. “We tickle them.”

“No!” I screamed, and Niall began attacking my sides. I squirmed and giggled, kicking and yelling for Niall to stop. Amber was identical to me, but in the split second that I caught a glimpse of her, she did some excel kick to Harry's chest, sending him flying to the floor. Her eyes met mine, and I gave her a grin of approval. She looked almost relieved, and then stuck her tongue out and Harry moaned in pain.

“Niall,” I gasped. “Please. Stop.”

He sighed, then –thank Lord- took his hands away from me. I sat up, my stomach paining from the ridiculous laughing and Niall and I crawled over to check up on Harry.

“Damn, Amber. You’re strong.” Harry managed to laugh. “Did you take karate classes or something?”

Amber gave him a lop-sided grin. “You could say that.”

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