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:


22. Shopping With Eleanor

After managing to escape the huge whipped cream fiasco, I stumbled into the shower and washed all the sticky, white cream off of my skin, then changed into shorts and a shirt. When I came back into the living room, the boys were sprawled out on the couch, swirling whipped cream into their mouths. Niall was enjoying that the most.

"Alright boys, time to clean up!" I yelled, grabbing the cans out of their hands. They each groaned, patting their stomachs in misery. Sometimes, they werequitestupid.

Liam stood up first, weakly smiling and heading towards the showers while dragging his feet. Niall slid off the couch and onto the floor, completely passed out from all the sugar he had taken in. I stared at him for a second, wondering what I should do.

"Bahumbug." Zayn giggled from the corner of the couch. I shot him a look, and he answered with an innocent shrug and a smile that made him look high. He let out a giggle.

No more whipped cream for these boys.


"Please, please, please, please, please!" Louis and Niall jumped up and down on the bed. I groaned, covering my face with a pillow, hoping that would give them the signal to shut up. They were trying to get me to go to a club with the rest of the guys, insisting that I needed to get out more often.

"I promise we won't let you get too drunk! It'll be fun." Louis cried, intertwining his fingers together in front of his face as if to beg.

"We really want you to come. Please?" Niall begged, his feet landing right by my head as he jumped.

"Eleanor's coming too and she said she'd take you shopping!"

I didn't even know Eleanor.

"Fine!" I yelled. They stopped moving. "I'll come."

"Woo-hoo!" Louis cheered, running out of the room.

"I knew I'd convince you." Niall beamed, pecking my cheek. I glared at him.

"No. You tortured me into it."

Niall let out a contagious laugh, running after Louis.

Shortly, Louis strolled back into the room, a large grin plastered on his face.

"Eleanor is coming by in an hour. Get ready." he informed, winking before exiting the room. I sighed, burring my face into the pillow for a good five minutes before sauntering over to my closet to figure out what to wear. I didn't understand how Louis or Niall, or any of the other boys expected me to spend a whole day shopping with a person I has never met in my life.

After showering, I decided on my favorite jean shorts and a loose top that read "YOLO." I quickly headed to the bathroom, taking my makeup bag with me. I applied a little bit a mascara and blush, then pulled my hair up into a high pony-tail. I had just slipped my shoes on when there was a ring of the doorbell, followed by a squeal of "Loouis!"

Eleanor had arrived.

Taking one last glance in the mirror, I grabbed my purse and headed out to the living room, catching sight of a beautiful brunette in the middle of a steamy make out session with Louis. I cleared my throat so that they jumped away from each other, turning towards me.

"One day, when you and Niall and making out, I will interrupt." Louis teased. That was not amusing.

Instead of answering, I looked at Eleanor, who was staring back at me.

"Hi." I said, unsurely. I walked towards the couple and held my hand out to Eleanor. The next thing I knew, I was being crushed against her body.

"I'm Eleanor!" she sang into my ear, pulling away with an even larger grin.

"Aria." I said, a bit fazed by her...enthusiasm.

"So, Lou told me we'd be going shopping. What you want to shop for?"

At this point, Louis had scooted away from us to avoid the girl talk.

"Well, I was going to look for a dress for a night club that the boys made me come to."

"Oh, wonderful! I've been searching up stores and I know this great one we can visit." Eleanor smiled, grabbing the hand of mine which did not hold my purse. "Let's go."

Without giving me a second thought, she was pulling me into a taxi that was waiting for us.

Half an hour later, Eleanor was pulling me into random shops and pointing out different dresses that she liked. I mean, they were all nice, but either too showy, or too not me. I could tell Eleanor was disappointed that I disapproved of all the dresses she picked, but being in a club for the first time in my life, I finally decided I would look and feel good.

Three hours later, we were sitting on a bench outside one of the fifty shops we had been to, completely exhausted.

"Love, you are one picky girl." Eleanor joked, sipping her mocha. I covered my face to hide my embarrassment, knowing she wasn't trying to be mean.

"Sorry. Shopping just isn't my thing, and my style is like, really, really, limited." I laughed, meeting her gaze. Eleanor laughed, her perfect white teeth shining from the sunlight.

That was when I saw it.

Just passed Eleanor was a dress, hung up in the window of a boutique we had not yet visited.

"Eleanor," I breathed, "I think I've just found the perfect dress."

This time, it was me grabbing me, dragging her into the shop. She giggled to herself behind me as I marched straight up to the counter and pointed at the dress.

The French cashier understood what I was aiming for, thank god, and came out of the storage room with a few sizes of the dress. I grinned as a "thank you" and rushed into the fitting room.

Quickly, I stripped off my clothes and slipped the dress on. Somehow, the deep purple and black seemed to make my blue eyes pop out. The dress was tight, so it captured my curvy figure.

I actually lookedokay.

Okay wasgood.


I confidently opened the fitting room door to see Eleanor waiting patiently.

"Damn girl," she exhaled, " You look hot."

I couldn't help but blush at that point.

"Do you think it's the one?" I asked hopefully. Eleanor nodded.

"I know it."

The next night, Eleanor came over with her makeup and her dress, and we locked ourselves in a bedroom, staying there for nearly three hours.

Eleanor had carefully curled my blonde hair into gorgeous curls, then clipped my shorter layers up to form some kind of beuatiful hairstyle I couldn't even explain. I had also allowed her to apply my makeup, and she took it so seriously, focusing on every little brush of mascara and line of eyeliner.

Once Eleanor was finished with her work, she dusted her hands and tossed me the pair of heels that matched with the dress. Then, she excused her self to go change. In the mean time, I stared at myself repeatedly in the mirror, surprised with how good I looked.

An hour later, out walked Eleanor. When I saw her, I knew I was nothing compared that the brunette beauty. She was beautiful.

"Wow. Louis is going to die when he sees you." I laughed, sitting down on the bed.

Eleanor smirked. "He dies everytime I talk." she rolled her eyes confidently. "Like literally, sometimes when we're on a date I see him staring at my mouth, and he's gone all pale."

Thats one thing I loved about Eleanor in only the second day I had known her. She was so confident in herself.

"By the way, when Niall sees you, he's going to pass out. And melt. Into orange juice." Eleanor said with a serious expression. I studied her words for a second.

"How did you know about Niall?" I asked.

Eleanor rolled her eyes again. "Trust me, it's obvious."

Just then, a loud knock was placed on the door.

"You two done? We're getting ready to go!" Zayn yelled from outside. I was surprised that I knew their voices so well.

"Yeah. We'll be out in a second'" Eleanor yelled for the both of us, twirling around in front of the mirror. I smiled at her, at the same time, wishing that I could be that beautiful.

"Okay, are you ready?" Eleanor asked, grabbing her purse off of the dresser. I nodded anxciously, gripping my clutch tightly to my side. Eleanor opened the door and stepped out into the living room of the bungalow. Eah of the five guys turned towards us. Louis's mouth dropped open.

"She issomine." he whispered in a trance, walking towards her. Eleanor teased him, dodging his arms and walking towards Zayn instead.

"Hey Zayn. You're my date tonight." she winked.

"Gladly." he winked, scooting over so she could sit beside him. Louis was glaring at Zayn, ready to pounce. I stood awkwardly at the center of the room, feeling eyes on me.

"You look wonderful." a deep voice spoke up. I turned to face Harry. He shoot me a cheeky smile and a wink, and he didn't look even the slightest embarrassed.

"Th-thanks." I mumbled shyly, knowing that I shouldn't have put extra blush on. Being around these boys was enough.

"She looks beautiful." another voice whispered from behind me. I knew that voice.

"Thats Niall." I answered, turning on my heel to face him. I watched his eyes scan me from bottom to top, top to bottom, taking me in with a look of lust on his face. His eyes flashed of an unfamiliar blue.

"Shall we get going?" Liam finally spoke, adjusting his leather jacket. I met eyes with Liam, nodding with a smile. The boys silently got up, and I chuckled as I watched Louis grab Eleanor's hand tightly.

Jealous much?

The boys had reserved a relatively small taxi car, so naturally, the boys began fighting over who would get to have to "sexy blonde" on their lap for the half an hour ride to the club. I felt extremely uncomfortable watching them fight over me.

"Hey, why don't we let Aria choose who she wants to sit on?" Zayn announced with a proud smirk. I narrowed my eyes at him, then looked shyly back and Harry, Niall and Liam who were the ones fighting. I assumed Louis and Eleanor were already in the car making out or something.

"Okay, Aria. Choose." Liam said confidently, leaning against the wall. The two other boys watched me closely, as if their stares would make me want to pick them.

"Well, I'm not going to pick Liam, because he's got a girlfriend," I began. Harry and Niall cheered, then looked at each other and silenced themselves again. "And I guess I don't want to pick Harry because he's a flirt."

Harry looked defeated while Niall ran towards me, yelling "Victory!" I rolled my eyes as he crushed me into a tight hug. Oh god. He smelled fantastic.

Soon, we were piled in the car, Eleanor sitting on Louis's lap, and me on Niall's. He arms were wrapped around my waist and my back was leaned against his chest. I couldn't even describe the butterflies in my stomach at the moment.

The boys made the car ride quite fun, lurting out random and lame jokes that somehow made all of us laugh at the same time. They sang songs and let their voices harmonize naturally. Niall never let his grip go from my waist, keeping me close the entire time.

"You look beautiful tonight." Niall whispered into my ear sometime during that ride. I felt my cheeks warming up from the compliment, and the fact that he was so close to me.

"You're not too bad yourself, Horan." I giggled quietly, He smiled. We shared an intense stare unti lit got uncomfortable and I turned away.

Soon enough, Niall's hand was on my back, leading me into the night club. I stepped into an environment, a new one that I had never been in before.

"Whatever happens, if you need me, just call." Niall whispered, his lips brushing my ear. I fought backa shiver and nodded.

The boys wandered off to enjoy some guy time, while Eleanor started talking with some pretty girls. I stood in the middle of the club, feeling new, alone, and a bit terrified by the people who were getting closer to being drunk every second.

Hadn't you ever felt that feeling, when theres a million people in a room, and then theres you?

Thats how I felt right now.

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