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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35. Journals

I woke up on a rather comfortable mattress. The bed was dipped at the side, and that’s when I realized Niall was sitting beside me. He was on his phone; he hadn’t seen me waking up.

Suddenly, I remembered the text. The first threat from all the messages. Someone was on the search for me? Was it my mother?

Was it my father?

Just the thought of him sent shivers down my spine.

“Oh, you’re up.” Niall said, turning around.

“Well, you seem enthusiastic.” I spat back, rolling my eyes.

Niall let out a loud sigh. “Aria, come on.”

“No.You come on. You can’t just expect to open up to someone on something that I’ve been keeping a secret on. Do you think it would be easy for me to tell you something that I’ve been keeping a secret from everyone?”

“So, no one knows?” Niall asked, biting his lip.

I decided I wouldn’t lie to him, taking a deep breath.

“Well, since you friend exactly being the best friend possible, I felt like going to my brother instead.” I admitted, keeping my voice firm.

“Wait. You’ve got a brother?” Niall questioned dumbly.

“Liam, you idiot.”

“Oh.”

Niall looked hurt, but I couldn’t help it.

“So he knows everything?” Niall repeated quietly, staring at his lap.

“Pretty much.” I answered quietly.

“Will you forgive me? For being an ass?” Niall spoke up, running his fingers through his hair. He looked almost distressed, begging for my forgiveness.

“Maybe. Maybe later.” I answered, rolling out of bed. I quickly left the room before I could give in. If Niall thought he could gain forgiveness that quick, he was completely wrong. He being pissed off for something secretive like that pissed me off. A lot.

I fell face first onto the sofa, staring at the blank ceiling.

“You are strange.” An Irish voice rang through the room. I looked up quickly, glaring at Niall.

“I’m bored. Don’t judge.” I snapped, digging my face back into the couch before I could start laughing from my silliness. Suddenly, I was being thrown over Niall’s shoulder, held securely by his strong arms.

“What the hell! Put me down you idiot!” I yelled. Niall just ignored me, shuffling down the stairs with me slung over his back. He pressed a hand to my eyes, shielding me from where he was taking me. His grip was slightly hurting my thigh, his nails digging lightly into my skin.

“Niall, don’t hurt me!” I yelled dramatically.

“Shut up.” I heard him snap. Suddenly, I tensed.

I felt him stop walking for a second. It felt almost as if he was climbing up something.

And then suddenly, I was falling.

But instead of hitting to floor and dying, I plunged deep into another plush couch cushion.

“Niall!” I screamed. He grinned, collapsing on top of me.

“Scared you, didn’t I?” Niall whispered, sticking his tongue.

“You bastard.” I yelled, trying to get him off of me.

“Wait.” Niall begged. “Hear me out, please.”

“What, Niall?” I groaned, ceasing my struggling. Niall looked troubled. I was trying to keep my breathing at a normal pace at I stared into his captivating blue eyes. I forced myself not to stare at his full, pink lips, which were only a few centimeters away.

“You know, I’ve always hated it when I’ve seen a guy treat a girl the wrong way.” He began, taking a small chunk of my hair and twirling it around his index finger. “It always makes me feel like that girl would be better off with me.”

“And?” I said quietly, wanting to grab his face and kiss him right then and there.

“Oh no, that’s all.” Niall sighed, rolling off of me. He gave me one last glance before walking into the kitchen, leaving me alone on the couch.

“You need help!” I yelled, stumbling up the stairway.

“But you like me anyway!” he yelled back. I rolled my eyes, knowing he was right. Niall was always right. But I was supposed to be pissed off at Niall right now.

“Hey, I’m ordering take out.” Niall shouted from downstairs. I didn’t answer, knowing he would order the food even without my approval. He just cared way too much about his appetite.

I went into Niall’s room, collapsing on the bed. M eyes scanned the room, looking for little things I hadn’t noticed before. He had little Ireland flags for his favorite soccer team, and little action figures fallen on the dresser. Then, I spotted a leather book sitting on Niall’s desk. Cliché at it seemed, this boy, who was obsessed with food and soccer, kept a journal. Before I could fully comprehend my actions, I was making my way to the book at opening it.

May 21, 2007
The school dance was terrible. I don’t think I had ever attended such a boring party. Ron kept teasing me for not having a date. Truth is, I’ve got a crush on his girlfriend and it’s killing me. They love each other and I’ve got no one. I don’t understand why I can’t be good looking and funny. That is what the girls like, isn’t it? I asked Carla but she turned me down quicker than hell. I don’t think I’m ever going to find myself a girl. I’m just not good enough for anyone. There’s not a single girl out there for me. Everyone’s got that special someone but little Nialler here. You don’t know how pathetic I feel. Stupid braces need to find a way to hide themselves, because I’m thinking about ripping them off my teeth.

I got my suit and tie for the dance. Ron and I are matching, but he pulls it off better than I do. Of course he does. I’ve got so much to live up to for being his best friend. I guess I just didn’t understand what I was getting into when I befriended him in the first grade. Maybe one day, I’ll be able to meet his match. Live up to him.

~Niall


I bit my lip, not realizing how insecure Niall was. I didn’t understand why. He was gorgeous. With those blue eyes, that striking blonde hair, and that contagious laugh, I developed a crush on him almost instantly.

I flipped to the last few filled in pages, my eyes widening when I saw a recent date.



September 3, 2013

Today, I was an idiot. I found out that Aria’s mum had been getting in touch with her, and I flipped out. I just care so much about her, and she told me that her mum left her. Wouldn’t you find it suspicious for them to be in touch again? I feel hurt that she didn’t tell me. I bet she told Liam though. She always tells Liam the important stuff.

She says she likes me but I doubt she really does. I guess she just feels bad because she knows that I’m never going to find a girl who really does like me. I wish I could be someone Aria could trust, the way she trusts Liam. I wish we had a real relationship as well. She used the whole “You’re not my boyfriend.” come back on me today. She doesn’t know how much I want to be her boyfriend, but I feel like we should take things slow, too. I just don’t know.

I just can’t help it. She’s so beautiful and funny, and kind. I don’t know for sure, but I think I’ve been falling for her since day one. Her laugh is the most beautiful thing in the world, and don’t get me started on her gorgeous eyes. When she gets mad, it’s the hottest thing ever, and god, the way she kisses me is so amazing. The way she squeezes her eyes shut really tight when she sleeps, and the way she licks her lips when she’s hungry, I don’t think she knows I notice these things about her. She’s the first girl in a really long time that I’ve had such strong feelings for, and I feel like all I’m doing is ruining whatever it is we have.

Anyways, Aria is pissed off at me. And I don’t know how to fix it. I don’t know how to get her to trust me that way she trusts Liam. I don’t know how to tell if she’s beginning to fall for me the way I am for her. I just wish I knew the answer to these things. Maybe then Aria would hate me right now. I feel so bad for trying to force her to explain everything. Plus, I heard her talking downstairs. She’s probably talking to Liam. One day, I want to be the person she’s talking to.

~Niall


I held the journal in my hands, falling back into the bed in silence. I had no clue Niall was that jealous of Liam. It was kind of cute. I felt guilty that I wasn’t telling Niall things the way I told Liam things. I was guilty I made him feel that way. I didn’t know that he felt such strong feelings for me, or that he regretted what he did so much.

“What are you doing?”

Oh crap.

“Uh..” I stammered, slamming the journal onto the desk. He looked alarmed by the fact that the journal had been in my hand.

“You read it?” he asked softly, clenching chunks of his hair stressfully.

“I…I might’ve.” I coughed out, preparing for him to get mad. “Please don’t be mad.” I whimpered.

Niall cracked a small smile. “It’s fine.”

I gulped. “Are you just saying that because you trying to save us from some new argument?” I giggled lightly. I could tell he was trying not to start yelling.

“No. It’s okay.” Niall sighed, eyeing the journal. “I’m just going to go rip that up and burn it now.”

“No.” I protested, sitting up on the bed. “Just… come here.”

I scooted up on the bed so my head was resting on the soft pillows. Niall fell in beside me. We made no contact what so ever.

“Niall,” I exhaled, “I just wish you would’ve told me these things.”

“Same for you.” He said quietly.

“I’m sorry that I made it seem like I trust Liam more than you. I don’t. I trust both of you equally. I really do. I’m sorry that I never tell you anything, or at least that Liam’s knows things about me before you do. I'm so sorry.”

“Don’t apologize. It’s okay.” Niall shook his head, forcing a smile.

“Don’t lie.” I whispered. “Just don’t. Because you’re a terrible liar.”

Niall blushed, slowly taking my hand. He began to play with my fingers, that way he always did.

“I just wish that we talked more. And I guess you read the last entry I wrote. Right?”

“Erm, kind of.” I chuckled nervously.

“Wow. This is embarrassing. I pretty much vented about how beautiful you are to that stupid piece of paper.” Niall snorted, smacking his forehead.

“Well, I think it’s adorable.” I giggled, squeezing his hand.

“I’m a guy.” Niall made a face. “I’m not supposed to be adorable.”

“Well too bad.”

Niall laughed, a real Niall laugh. “Now I’m going to go over that whole last entry, and know that you read the whole thing. God, I’m going to be blushing my ass off.”

“Fine by me.” I grinned.

“Thank god you didn’t read anything else, or…” Niall drifted off, his gaze falling onto me. “You didn’t read anything else, did you?”

“Well…”

“Oh god. I’m officially screwed.” Niall joked, covering his face to hide the obvious blush.

“I might’ve read that entry about your school dance. You said something about not ever finding the perfect girl, or someone who would like you back.”

“I remember that.” Niall sighed, biting his lip.

“Want to talk about it?” I asked, flipping onto my side so my body was facing him.

“It was just one of those dances, where I sat there. All my other buddies had their girlfriends, or dates, and I was just alone.”

“Oh.”

“And like you probably read, I had this really enormous crush on my best friend’s girlfriend. That was terrible.”

I couldn’t help but giggle a little, but I was jealous that Niall had liked someone else, even if it was years ago.

“But then I liked this other girl. Her name was Holly.”

“And how did that go?”

Niall grimaced. “She liked me back, and we dated for a while, but I broke it off after we didn’t see each other for a month because of the X-Factor.”

“Oh. Was she sad?”

“I mean, it was mutual. We both knew it wouldn’t work out.”

“And then?”

Niall smiled down at me. “And then the most beautiful girl in the world showed up.”

“And who was that?” I teased, plastering a smirk on my face.

“Well, she goes by Aria. She’s got long blonde hair and amazing blue eyes. And she is pretty darn awesome.” Niall winked, reaching out to pull me into his arms.

“Well, she sure is lucky. Wish I could be her.”

“You are.”

"Oh, and for the record Niall, I'm not lying about liking you." I smiled, biting down on my bottom lip. It was getting to be a bad habit.

"Well, thats wonderful news."

And with that, our lips connected into a soft, sweet kiss. It felt like we hadn’t kissed in forever, my lips burning from the almost foreign feeling that I didn’t realize I had missed so much. My arms snaked around his neck, smashing our lips together by the force. His hands were placed firmly above my waist, our chests pressed against one other. I could feel his quickening heart beat, thumping against my skin.

My fingers massaged his scalp as he pushed his way into my mouth, the kiss beginning to heat up. His tongue ran across my top teeth, causing me to giggle. It tickled. Niall flipped us over so that he was hovering over me, planting soft kisses down my neck.

We were interrupted by a notification of my phone.

“Dammit.” I muttered, reaching for my phone as Niall chuckled.

The text was from Danielle.

Get on Skype. We need to talk ASAP. Eleanor’s joining a group hangout with us three. Much love xxx

“Who is it?” Niall asked curiously, trying to catch a glimpse of the text.

“Danielle. She says to get on Skype.”

“Alright. I can get my laptop.” Niall smiled, pulling it out of a drawer.

“Thanks Niall.”

“No problem. I’ll bring the food up when it comes?”

“Yes please.”

“Okay.” He leaned over the peck my lips before leaving the room, closing the door quietly behind him.

That’s when I realized, that with every kiss, every word, every laugh, every smile, every day that we shared, I was falling for Niall Horan.

At least I knew he was falling for me, too.

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