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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61. The Call

Niall’s P.O.V.

As the boys and I watched Liam sing his solo for the new song, my eyes wandered to Aria who was sitting outside the booth, making funny faces at me. She opened her mouth, pretending to sing, holding a water bottle up as a microphone. Sometimes, I thought my girlfriend was plain retarded.

Just as my turn to sing came, she sat down and watched me intently, not cracking a smile. Way to intimidate me. She swayed along almost mockingly as I sang, then made a duck face and crossed her eyes.

Once we finished recording the song, I walked out of the recording room and straight to Aria.

“Girl, you high?”

She burst out laughing. “Yeah. I’m drunk on you, and high on the summer time.”

Did she just quote that country song?

Since when did Aria like country music?

“Aria, babe, calm down.” I said. “You’re scaring me.”

She smirked and stood up, kissing my lips quickly. “I’m going to go talk to the other guys. I haven’t seen them since that night at the club.”

She skipped off towards Zayn, Louis, Liam and Harry. I watched Zayn pull her into a hug first, followed by Liam, and a kiss on the cheek from Louis. Harry simply gave her a fist bump, then backed off. While Aria made conversation with the boys, I sat down in a chair and drew my phone out from my pocket, re-reading the text again.

Unknown: tell your girlfriend she had five days. Tell her to choose. Tell her the clock is ticking.
Even though I so much wanted to believe this was all bullshit, I knew it wasn’t. I knew it wasn’t a prank, and I knew that nothing was going to be fine. The worst part is that Aria knew it too.

We recorded a few more songs, and then declared a lunch break.

“Let’s go to Nando’s.” I cheered, knowing one way nearby.

“Who is Nando?” Aria said, looking at me questioningly.

Lad,” Louis gasped. “You seriously haven’t taken your girlfriend to Nando’s?”

I realized I hadn’t. Three months of dating and I had never taken Aria to my favorite restaurant in the UK. How could I have forgotten that?

“Okay. We are definitely going to Nando’s.”

 

“Why was this not shown to me earlier?” Aria demanded, stuffing another piece of Perri-Perri Chicken into her mouth.

“Sorry,” I gushed, “I just totally forgot.”

Louis and Harry were making faces at each other, while Zayn and Liam sat eating quietly.

“It’s been a while since we’ve all eaten in a fast food restaurant together, hasn’t it?” Aria said, wiping her mouth with her sleeve. She pouted a little when some of the sauce remained on the fabric.

“Yeah,” Zayn agreed. “When was the last time we did?”

Liam smiled. “With Aria. At I-Hop.”

We fell into silence, remembering our first breakfast with Aria tagging along. That was when we had told her we were in a band. I still remembered how that waitress had given her such a dirty look, and how I had given her a friendly thumbs up to make her smile again.

“I kind of wanted to go bowling.” Harry announced, popping some chicken into his mouth afterward.

“I’ve never been bowling before.” Aria frowned, glancing at me. “We should all go together after you guys finish recording.”

“I can’t.” Louis sighed. “Eleanor and I have a date.”

“Okay. We’ll just go without Louis.” I smirked. Louis gasped, pressing a hand over his heart.

“I’m hurt, Niall. I’m hurt.”

“I don’t care, Louis. I don’t care.” I shot back.

Zayn and Liam laughed, while Louis stuck his bottom lip out of looked down. As the conversation went on, Aria’s cell phone rang. She looked down at the caller I.D. and then excused herself to go to the bathroom, and made a beeline for the door. Five minutes passed, then ten. None of the others seemed to notice how long she was taking.

But then Liam did. He shot me a look from across the table indicating that I should go check on her. I nodded and slid out of the booth, walking over to the lady’s room door. I gave the door a firm knock, then shoved my hands into my pocket and waited.

And waited.

And waited.



Aria’s P.O.V.

As I power-walked towards the bathroom, I knew what I was doing was wrong. Picking up that call was wrong. I pressed my phone to my ear, entering the bathroom.

“H-Hello?”

There was only silence at the other end.

“Hello?”

Still silence.

I took a deep breath.

“Look, I don’t know who the fuck you are, but I need you to stay out of my life, because I don’t believe any of those stupid messages that you’ve been sending me. You have no right to threaten me, or my boyfriend, or anyone else that I care about. So stop messaging me, and my boyfriend, and don’t call me ever again.”

Just before I pressed the “end call” button, a throat cleared on the other end.

“Sorry. Nothing can be done.” The voice said. I could tell there was some sort of device that was disguising it. “You have exactly five days to choose. Which one will it be? You’re precious boyfriend, or you?”

And then he/she hung up.

My hands shaking, I set my phone down on the rim of the sink, leaning over the sink. I squeezed my eyes shut, praying this was just a dream, and that I’d wake up in Niall’s arms, safe and sound. But when I opened my eyes, I was still standing in the bathroom of Nando’s. Speaking of Nando’s, that food wasn’t exactly agreeing with my stomach anymore.

I rushed to the first bathroom stall, locking the door and kneeling down in front of the toilet. And then I threw up all the food I had just eaten.

That’s when I heard someone knocking on the bathroom door. It had to have been a guy, because a female would’ve just walked in.

I just kept throwing up, all the Perri-Perri Chicken, the Nutella, and Hershey’s chocolate.
Everything. My face felt cold, and my hands were freezing. My chest was pounding. I couldn’t think straight. Before I knew it, I was sobbing, my tears making “plop” noises as they hit the toilet bowl.

First, some simple, odd text messages. Then threatening text messages. And now, creepy calls. I didn’t’ know if I could deal with this.

I felt another rush making it’s was up my throat and leaned over the toilet again, vomiting uncontrollably. Do you know how weird it feels to throw up and cry at the same time. I heard the door open, and the oh too familiar Irish voice say, “Aria?”

Keeping my body faced towards the toilet, I reached behind and unlocked the door. I rested my elbows over the toilet and reached over to flush it before Niall could see. Still, I couldn’t help the fact that I was crying hysterically.

I felt the presence of someone behind me, and soon, Niall’s hands were on my hips, but my back was still turned to him.

“What happened princess?” Thank god he didn’t ask “are you okay?” instead. I would’ve asked him what he thought, with me being hunched over the toilet and breathing rapidly. I mean, did I really look okay?

Still, I didn’t respond. He knelt down and took my face into his hands, looking at my eyes.

“Were you throwing up?”

“No.” I said, shaking my head. He frowned.

“You’re lying.”

“Yeah. I am.”

I realized then, that he was a guy, in the girl’s bathroom.

“Why are you here? What if someone else walks in? They’ll freak out.”

He only smiled a little, brushing my warm tears away. He stared at me, and I think he understood that I didn’t want to talk about what had happened. Instead, he hugged me, like if me let go, the world would end. I began crying into chest, my arms wrapped around my neck tightly.

His hand rubbed my back gently, his chin rested on my head.

I don’t want to lose you.” I whispered through my sobbing.

“You won’t.” he said. I could hear the doubt seeping through his voice.

“I have to go.” I cried. “I have to go give them, whoever this is, what they want. If I don’t go, they’re going to hurt you.”

Niall pulled away, anger in his eyes. “I won’t let you.”

“I don’t care.” I said, shaking my head. “I can’t risk your life.”

“Yeah, well you can’t risk yours either.” Niall shouted. I winced, my head spinning.

“Don’t shout at me.” I whispered, covering my ears. I couldn’t help but think of this as me, sitting in my closet as my father shouted words to me that scarred my heart.

I let my head hang, and cried. Soon after, I left the stall and grabbed my phone from the rim of the sink. Niall stopped me, grabbing my wrist. He turned me around, my back pressing against the sink.

“Look, I don’t what just happened to you, but you’re insane if you think going to the psycho is the right thing to do.”

I bit my lip, trying to hold back my tears. “Well, then maybe I am insane,” I gulped. “but I’m doing this for you.”

I shoved my phone into my pocket and headed for the door.

“We’ll talk about this at home.” He sighed, clearly frustrated with my stubbornness. I left the bathroom, and Niall followed behind me. I walked back towards the table, where the other boys were. I sat down quietly, but still gained the attention of everyone.

“I guess some shit went down in there.” Harry muttered under his breath.

He didn’t know how right he was.



Niall and I apparently weren’t talking. He hadn’t asked me about the night at Nando’s, but now he was the one acting bitchy. About a week passed, and we lived over “Hi’s,” and “bye’s”. I swear, we fought about the stupidest things. Niall and I had just gone to a recording session with the other guys, and he had a slight grimace on his face the entire time.

When we got home, I went straight up to Niall’s bedroom and starting crying into the pillows. Niall walked in shortly after and closed the door.

“Why are we not talking to each other?” He asked out loud, standing at the edge of the bed.

“You started it.”

“Did not,” he grumbled, making a pouty face. I rolled my eyes.

“Did too.”

“Did not.”

“Did too.”

“Did not.”

“Well apologize for calling me insane.” I smirked, my vision slightly blotchy from my tears.

“I’m sorry I called you insane.” He mumbled, dropping into bed beside me.

“But you speak the truth.” I gulped, “I am pretty insane.”

Niall laughed, slipping his arms around my waist. He pressed his lips to my ear. “One of the many things I love about you.”

I smiled up and him as he wiped away the fresh tears, his eyes on mine the entire time.

So, you said we were going to talk about things.” I began, looking at him expectantly. He did his famous lop-sided grin, his arms supporting his weight as he hovered over me.

“We’ll worry about that later.”

He leaned down and kissed my lips forcefully, to which I responded back quickly. Yes, I liked this much better than talking about our eventual deaths. I could taste the chocolate of the Twix he had eaten between recording in his mouth.

His tongue swept across mine, his hands moving down my back slowly. He pressed soft kisses down my neck, making me shiver. My fingers ran through his soft hair, tugging at some strands as I shivered. He hummed softly into my neck, making me giggle, his breath tickling me skin. I felt him smile as he kissed my collar bone, his fingers sliding under the hem of my shirt.

He froze, his fingers still on the hem of my shirt, and looked up at me, silently waiting for permission. I hoped he couldn’t feel how my heartbeat was quickening, and how I was blushing like crazy.

His expression softened, as if he realized how nervous I was.

“I-I’ve never,” I searched for the correct words. “I’ve never done this before.”

I thought he would at least stifle a laugh, or immediately look down on me, but instead he leaned down and placed the softest, genuine kiss on my lips.

“I’d never force you to do anything you don’t want to.”

“No,” I said. “I do want to.” I looked down, extremely embarrassed. “I’m just nervous.”

Niall slipped his finger under my chin, making me look at him. “You don’t need to be nervous.”
He said.”I’ll be gentle.”

I took a deep breath and nodded up at him. He smiled as kissed me again, erasing the rest of my thoughts, drowning me with his touch.

Clothes were shed, kisses and touches were exchanged, and the rest, was pure bliss.

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