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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20. You Wouldn't

The Next Day

Niall’s P.O.V.

Shaking my wet hair, I tumbled into the bedroom where all they boys were seated, talking in a huddle. They seemed to be talking privately a lot lately, which annoyed me. I groaned to myself and headed to the couch instead, flipping the TV on.

I wasn’t really paying attention to it, in fact, drifting to sleep, when a pair of hands covered my eyes abruptly.

“Guess who?” asked a beautiful feminine voice.

“My worst nightmare?” I joked. Aria came around the corner, sinking into the couch beside me.
“Something like that.” She giggled, pulling her legs up onto the couch.

“Where is Harry?” I asked, trying to get her think I was totally okay with them dating, even though it was the total opposite.

“Actually,” she began, biting her lip. “I broke it off. We’re just friend now.”

I couldn’t help but feel overjoyed by the news. I was selfishly glad. Here, I had another chance. But I couldn’t just get on to like that. She had just left Harry. She probably wasn’t ready to give another go at me. Still, I was probably the happiest guy in the world right at the moment.

“Earth to Niall.” Aria said ,snapping finger in my face. I felt back into reality, where Aria was sitting beside me, trying to gain my attention.

“Yeah?”

“I said, are you excited about Liam’s surprise birthday?”

“Oh, of course, love.” I laughed, throwing an arm around her shoulder.

“I cant’ wait to see the Eiffel Tower like ,in person.” She said ,fangirling as if the Eiffel Tower was a hot guy celebrity.

“Yeah. It’s going to hug you and sign it’s autograph on your calendar, and everything.” I smirked, my words dripping with sarcasm. Aria giggled cutely, resting her head on my shoulder like she always did.

“It’s been a while since we’ve talked.” Aria sighed, “You ignored me a lot when Harry and I were ‘together’.”

I froze, a bit shocked that she realized that I wasn’t talking to her. It was just hard, thinking that she liked someone else who wasn’t me.

“Sorry.” I apologized, giving her my famous big eye frown. “I just had a lot on my mind.”

Aria nodded. “I understand.”

“Well, how have you been? I see you’ve been feeling a lot better.”

“I have, actually.” Aria replied, playing with her fingers. “I’ve been feeling much better.”

“That’s nice to hear. Just a couple of days ago, you could barely reach out and slap me when I teased you.” I joked, laughed lightly. Aria giggled, staring at my face. Suddenly, her hand came in contact with my cheek.

Aria let out a wild cackle, hopping off the couch. “That was for insulting me earlier when I was to weak to knock your head off.”she snickered, sprinting down the hallway.

I sprang off the couch, chasing after her.



Aria’s P.O.V.

Niall was hot on my heels as I sprinted down the private sidewalks of the reserved area we were staying in. I seemed to be running towards a huge park, and even in the day, the Eiffel Tower was tall, and beautiful. I wasn’t far from the house. I could still see it for afar. Then I realized something. I couldn’t hear Niall’s footsteps behind me anymore. Slowing to a stop, I turned, to see no one following me. Rolling my eyes, I began to stroll back down the sidewalk, patting my pocket for my phone. Man, I had left it had home.

“Boo!”

A large pair of arms grabbed my body, springing out from the bushes.

“Gotcha.” A familiar Irish accent whispered. His voice sent shivers down my spine.

“Okay, now let me go.” I whined, giggling as I tried to get out of Niall’s arms. He laughed evilly, his fingers brushing over my waist.

“No,” I breathed out, turning to look him straight in the eye. “You wouldn’t.”

“Oh, but I would.” He whispered, before tickling me with all his strength.

“Niall!” I gasped, letting out a hoot of laughter, “Please,”.


“That’s why you never slap Niall Horan.” He laughed, tickling my waists. I struggled onto of his grip, wiggling like a worm while trying to control my laughter.

“Niall, I swear…” I gasped, actually liking the feeling of him warm arms holding me.

“What? What chu’ gonna do?” He boomed, followed by a fit of laughter. Somehow, I jerked myself out of his arms and fell bottom first on to the ground, resting my head on the grass. The sun was out mildly, just enough to give Niall’s eyes an extra sparkle.

“I am going to kill you. “ I muttered, grabbing his hand, making him crash down beside me. He fell his a thud, letting out a moan.

“That hurt.” He whined, rolling in the grass like a rolly-poly.

“You deserve it.”

“What was that?” Niall asked, raising his eyebrows. He turned onto his side, staring into my eyes.

“N-nothing.” I stammered not wanting to risk being tickled again. Niall chuckled, slipping an arm under my shoulder.

“Look at that one.” He whispered, pointing to a cloud. “It looks like a heart.”

I followed his finger to a cloud, which did actually, look like a heart.

Niall smiled at me, before looking away.

“How have things with your dad been?” he asked, sitting up in the grass. I followed his actions by sitting beside him.

“It’s kind of…I don’t know. He hasn’t tried anything else so far.”

“Thank god.”

“I kind of just wish he was a normal, good father, who actually loved me, you know?” I sighed, failing the meet Niall’s eyes. Still, I knew he was nodding patiently, waiting for me to look at him.
“But just think, if he weren’t bad, if Liam had never found you that night, you wouldn’t be here now. I never would’ve met such an amazing person as you.”

I tried to keep that stupid smile from escaping but gave in, covering my face to hide my smile. I felt his hands moving mine from my face, and his eyes flashed a bright blue.

He held my wrists in his hands, still staring at me.

“Your smile is beautiful. Don’t cover it up.”

I blushed, looking down at the green grass.

Niall started humming gently, setting my hands down in the grass. He scooted closer to me and slipped an arm around my waist, pulling me into his side.

“You smell like strawberries.” He piped up with a strong laugh, setting his chin on my head. I then realized, how we were seated like this, in the middle of a private neighborhood. I wondered if people who were “just friends” held each other like this. Probably not.

“We should head back.” I exhaled, wiggling out from Niall’s grip. He looked disappointed, but then smiled and got up, falling in step beside me.

“Paris is quite beautiful, isn’t it?” he asked, his hand lightly brushing mine as we walked. I felt my skin heating up as I nodded.

“I wish the weather was this nice in California,” I paused, “not that I’m ever going back to that hell hole.”

Niall winced, draping his arm around my shoulder. “You know, we’ve been to California before. And, there are the really amazing parts that are probably better than what you’ve experienced all your life.”

“Are you calling my community cheap?” I giggled, hitting his arm. He quickly shook his head.

“You just haven’t seen the nice side of such a dreadful place.”

We were silent for a bit, until we saw our bungalow. Niall grabbed my wrist gently, and pulled me back into the house. Liam was sitting out the sofa holding his phone. He froze when he saw us walking in.

“Oh,” he said, almost relieved, “there you guys are.”

“Yeah. It’s us.” Niall chuckled, plopping down on the sofa beside Liam.

“I was just about to text ya, Nialler. We were wondering where you guys ran off to.”

“Well,” I giggled, sitting on the coffee table, “see, wimpy old Nialler couldn’t take a slap from me and decided to chase me down the street and start tickling me in the middle of the road. We almost got run over by a car.”

“Liar!” Niall gasped, winking at me.

I giggled, standing up. “It’s true.”

Liam chuckled quietly, watching as Niall and I bantered on and on. Eventually, Niall left the living room to take a nap. As soon as Niall left, Liam scooted next to me of the sofa and draped his arm around my shoulder.

“We haven’t talked in a while.” He said quietly, rubbing my shoulder gently. I smile at his gesture. He is right. We hadn’t talked in a while.

“What’s there to talk of?” I asked, though I already knew what he would suggest.

“Well, how are things with, you know who?” he whispered, adding a wink afterward. I wanted desperately to roll my eyes, but I knew I could only talk about these things with Liam.

“They’re…good I guess.”

“What a cliché answer. Be specific!”

I let out a groan. “It’s complicated. I don’t even know anymore.”

Liam’s eyebrows scrunched together. “What do you mean, you don’t know anymore?”

“I don’t know. He’s such a sweet and amazing person and sometimes I feel like if wouldn’t want to lose that because of a little crush.”

Little?” Liam smirked.

This time, I rolled my eyes. “Fine. A BIG crush.”

Liam was silent, obviously thinking. I watched him glance at me a few times when finally he buried his head in his hands.

“When are you going to get anywhere?”

I frowned. “What do you mean?”

“It is obvious, so obvious that you guys like each other. Why can’t you take it further if he wont?”

“Because…”

“Go on.”

“I just can’t, alright?” I practically yelled, pulling my hair tightly. Liam flinched, throwing his hands in the air as surrender. I took deep breaths, trying to calm down.

“Danielle wants to meet you.” He said after what seemed like a two hour silence. I almost smile, but then I realize I’m supposed to be mad at Liam.

“That’s nice.” I responded in a tone that was neither excited nor upset. Liam bit his lip. Staring at me. He reached over and put two finger and either end on my lips, curving them upward into a smile. Then, I just had to laugh.

“Fine, fine. I’m really glad she wants to meet me.” I giggled.

“I think she’s jealous,” Liam said more to himself than to me. “She knows we’re close.”

“Well, you should establish with her that I’ve got my eye on another man right now.” I laughed softly, not sure if I should feel frightened by the fact that a beautiful, perfect dancer was jealous of a wimpy, dumb blonde like me.

“Either way, I know Danielle is going to love you when you two meet.”

“I hope so.”

“I know so.”



The next day, Louis, Zayn and Harry had left the bungalow for a private studio to plan more for Liam’s birthday party. Liam had gone with Paul to get details for the upcoming concert.

Niall had stayed behind, declaring that he wasn’t in the mood for planning anything and just wanted to sleep in. I was lounging outside on the deck, reading. Yes, reading. Like, legit, real, story booking reading. The other day, Zayn had convinced me to read the first book of the large Harry Potter Series. It took him an hour to convince me. He told me that I needed to have at least seven chapters done before he came back from planning or there would be consequences.

I did not like the idea of “consequences”.

Just as I had finished the sixth chapter, my phone vibrated with a text. My phone screen read, “Mom.”

Mom?

Mom.

Setting the book down, I squinted my eyes and then shut them closed and re-opened them to see if I was just seeing things. “Mom” was still there.

I had had my phone for as long as I could remember, even before my mother left. So, naturally, her number would still be in my contacts. I realized I had never taken the time to even think of deleting her number, and now she was texting me.

I hesitated for a second, then slid my finger across the bar to unlock my phone. I stared at the message.

Mom: I miss you, my baby.

I could feel my chest beating unsteadily, my breath hitched in my throat. Was this some sort of sick joke? I felt pressure welling up in my head as I tried to steady myself.

Why would she, after six years of abandoning me, want to talk to me again? Did she really expect me to reply? What if this wasn’t even her?

Debating what I should do, I eventually decided to ignore the text. It was probably just some prank. Maybe her phone number had been passed on to someone else, someone who mistakenly sent a loving message to me instead of their spouse or something of the sort.
I refused to believe this was my mother.

Still, throughout the day, the text bugged me, and I couldn’t seem to get it out fo my mind. Later that day, I was in the bedroom, staring up at the wall, trying to figure out what was happening.

My mother was not a person who would randomly give her phone to anyone. It had to be her. But I couldn’t believe it. I wouldn’t believe it. No. Not yet. I was so soaked up by one little message that could be life changing, that I refused to eat my meals or sleep. I just sat and thought. Sometimes I thought of nothing, as if my mind went completely blank of what could possibly be the case. The boys tried to get me to eat but I was too busy, staring off into space.

Space. That word always scared me. Space could mean advantage. Space could be an approach. Space could mean that there was someone out there, watching me. In their own space. The word had such an open ended meaning, and it was scary.

Was there, somewhere in space, a lady, with beautiful blonde hair and blue eyes, staring out into what she called space, waiting for her little girl whom she abandoned years ago, to come home?

Would that girl come home?

Would I?

Would you?

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