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:


21. Meeting Cody Kendrick

Another day passed, and I was over my daze. I had to get over it. It meant nothing, and I couldn’t let it get in the way of my life. A prank, I thought. It was a prank.

Lou was absent that night of the concert, so I took her place. I had just walked out of Zayn’s dressing room, just finished his hair and makeup, when I realized there was one person left to apply make-up and fix hair on.


Every time I put makeup on the boys, my heart fluttered at the thought of being so close to him. My fingers tingled and I worried that I would drop the makeup powder or what not of which I was holding.

Knocking on the last closed door of the hallway, I waited patiently. Silence. So, being the jumpy old me, I knocked again, harder this time. Finally, the blonde boy came to the door, opening it with a smile.

“Hello!” he greeted, way too enthusiastically. Way too much.

“Hi…” I answered rather skeptically, stepping into the dressing room. He followed me in and sat in his chair, as he had learned to do many times before.

I opened the drawer of his dressing table and took out the hair spray, along with other products and combs. I silently started to mess with his hair, brushing his bangs up in a quaff and topping it off with gel and hair spray. As I worked on the rest of his hair, I couldn’t help but notice his feet tapping crazily.

“What is up with you?” I finally snapped, harsher than I had preferred. “Quit the foot tapping.”

Niall stopped, staring at me as it fixed the last strand of hair.

“Did you eat too much sugar?” I laughed, reaching for the powder.

“No, I’m just very excited.” He admitted, a large grin of his face.

“Why is that?”

“Uh, I’m always excited.” He said in a “duh” tone.


Niall looked up at me, tilting his head slightly as he looked into my eyes. His eyes were sparkling as usual, only this time there was an extra shine. I cleared my throat and started to lightly press the powder to his face. He kept still like I wanted, before finally letting out a groan.

“Why do we need this stuff anyways? It’s going to come off when we sweat.” He complained, obnoxiously wiping his hand on his face taking some makeup along with it. I did the first thing that my muscles commanded. I slapped him, not hard, but enough for him to frown with big eyes at me.

“What was that for?” he smirked, obviously not hurt.

“Don’t mess with the makeup.” I demanded, glaring at him. He chuckled, planting a sloppy kiss on my cheek. I gritted my teeth, trying hard not to blush.

“You’re blushing.” He sang happily, winking at me seductively.

I could not take this anymore. Time to be mean.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing? You do realize you have to be on stage in thirty minutes!” I yelled. Niall froze, glowering up at me. I kept a hard gaze on him, keeping him silent.

“Thank you. Now stay still, and quiet.”

Finishing the makeup, I put everything back into the drawers and slipped the makeup into my bag.

“You may talk now.” I instructed, smiling lightly at him. Instead, Niall looked at me for a second, then got out of his chair, without a word. He looked like he was going to cry.

Feeling guilty, I followed him out of the room, only to see him running down the hall way toward the sound room. I sighed, heading back into his room to grab my makeup bag.

I quietly strolled backstage, where the five boys were talking and taking swigs of water, warming up their voices. I watched for behind a pillar as Niall sand some chords to “Live While We’re Young.” That was when Liam decided to look up, and saw me leaning against the wall. He smiled at me, which caused the others to turn their gaze to me as well.

“Hey,” Liam called, smiling flawlessly at me. I smiled back, glancing at Niall. He stuck his tongue out at me, rubbing his face with his hands as if to mock my commands. I rolled my eyes and turned away, walking around backstage. Pretty soon I had gotten lost between the various doors of the backstage, suddenly colliding with a very hard chest.

“Aria!” the person cheered, taking me into a hug.

I leaned back a bit, seeing that I had collided with Josh. I grinned.

“Long time no see!” I giggled, punching his arm lightly. Talk about biceps.

“I haven’t seen you around much. Where you been?”

“Oh, well I’m substituting for Lou. She had some incident with Lux or something.”

“Well, it’s great to see you again. I’ve got to get to the stage.”

“Alright, I’ll see you around!” I waved as he turned around and headed towards the stage stairs.
I continued roaming that backstage floor, until I heard screams coming from the other side. The boys must be out now. Smiling to myself, I headed towards the stage stairs and made my way up to the stage curtains. There were a lot of guys with headphones on, sitting in chairs, playing with the different buttons and switches that I assumed controlled the boys’ earpieces, microphones and karaoke music. One guy, who looked in his late teenage, looked up at me, his eyes a striking blue, like Niall’s.

“Hello, aren’t you the boys assistant stylist?” he asked, taking his headphones off and setting them down around my neck. I nodded, a bit skeptical of this stranger.

The man stuck his hand out in front of him.

“I’m Cody Kendrick. Assistant of the sound control manager.” He smiled. I folded my arms across my chest, deciding I would smile.

“Aren’t you a bit young to have such a big job?”

He laughed lightly, straightening his blue Areopostale hoodie out. “I get that a lot. I skipped a grades, went to filmmaking college. My dad knows my manager though, so I got a pretty good job here.”

I nodded, showing him that I understood, and then held out my hand, as he had taken his away.

He shook my hand with his warm one, then looked up at me with a smile.

“Wanna see how the sound control works?” he asked, slowly taking off his headphones and handing them to me while I nodded. He got out of his chair and motioned for me to sit in it. A few of the other crew guys were giving us looks.

“Don’t mind them.” Cody laughed, “just don’t mess anything up.”

I playfully glared at him before sitting in the chair, putting the headphones over my ears.

Instantly, I could hear the boys singing coming from stage. Harry’s deep raspy voice was booming through the headphones. Then came a mixture of all their voices. They sounded so beautiful. I heard a phone ringing from behind me, instinctively turning around. Cody held his finger up, gesturing “one second”, and then turned away, pressing the phone to his ear.

Minutes later, he came back with a giddy smile of his face.

“Who was that?” I giggled, setting the headphones down.

“My girlfriend.” He grinned, staring into space for a second.

“You must really love each other by the way you keep staring off.” I said, gaining his attention. He nodded vigorously.

“I do love her.” I sighed with a smile on my face though I couldn’t help but wish that I I had a perfect relationship with someone I loved. Until half way through the show, Cody showed me how to work the different sound effects and adjust the volumes of the microphones and music. He soon has to get back to his work, leaving me to roam again.

An hour later, the sweaty boys came offstage to the fans screaming, stumbling into the “lobby” of the backstage.

“Best show yet, I think!” Zayn laughed. Obviously, none of them had seen me sitting there quietly.

“Did’ya all see Aria out there tonight? I think I may’ve got her a bit mad earlier. She didn’t seem to be watching us.” Niall brought up, wiping his sweaty forehead with his sleeve.

“I don’t know, but you’re right. Shes normally watching us from the reserved section.” Louis thought out loud. I took this as a chance to sneak up behind Niall, pressing a finger to my lip for the Zayn and Liam, who saw me coming.

“Boo!” I yelled, wrapping my arms around Niall’s waist from behind. He jumped, turning around in my grasp so we were facing each other.

“Hey!” he laughed, wrapping his arms around my waist. He was sweaty.

“Eww.” I groaned, pulling away, and wiping my arms. “You guys are so sweaty.”

“Wet. We are very wet.” Louis joked, making Harry crack up. I rolled my eyes and Louis’ immaturity.

“I’m starving. Can we go out for some food?” Niall whined suddenly, holding his tummy.

“Come to think of it, I’m pretty starved as well.” Liam added.

“Okay, let’s go!”

The next few days consisted of the boys sneaking out, leaving me to occupy Liam while they planned for his birthday, which was coming up in less than a week. Danielle was apparently already in Paris, along with Eleanor, Louis girlfriend. Liam didn’t look like he suspected a thing, believing excuses like “we’re going to the pub” and “Aria wants you to stay here.”

So naturally, I had to talk him up.

We chatted about numerous things, like relationships, tour life, past memories, and of course, Niall.

I loved how easy it was to talk to Liam, and I loved the fact that I felt like he was my brother. Still, I knew I would never want to date him, ever, as that may put our relationship as friends into jeopardy.

“So, I was talking to Niall the other day.” Liam said, somewhere in our long hours of talking.

“What did he say?” I asked, curiously, nudging his shoulder.

“He told me he’s found the perfect girl.” Liam sang, winking at me. I frowned.


Liam looked confused, setting his hand on my knee. “What wrong? Shouldn’t you be happy?”

“Why would happy? He’s obviously found a girl who’s much better than me.”

Liam smirked, ruffling my hair. “Aria, Aria, Aria, stupid, little Aria,” he sighed, shaking his head slowly, “HE WAS TALKING ABOUT YOU!”

I winced when he shouted. “How do you know that?”

Liam groaned, squirming in his seat. “Well, it’s kind of obvious it’s you. He’s not been seeing any other girl here, has he?”

“You don’t know-“

“No, he hasn’t. And therefore, he was talking about you.”

We got on with our usual banter, until we eventually calmed down and snacked on food, watching movies in silence.

“LEEYUM!” a high-pitched voice yelled, front the front door, banging the piece of wood that I swore would break down any second.

“Calm your tits, Louis. I’m coming!” Liam shouted, running towards the door. I followed behind him. The boys piled into the house, holding cans of whipped cream.

And they were all aimed at me.

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