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:


37. He Found Out

“Aria! I think you might want to see this!” the loud Irish voice yelled, entering the house. I slumped in my seat at the table, setting down my cup of hot chocolate.

“What is it?” I shouted back. Niall strolled to the breakfast table, holding a magazine in his hand.

“We’re on the front cover.” He sighed, slapping the magazine down on the table in front of me.

“Oh shit.” I cursed under my breath. The front of the magazine was collaged with pictures of us kissing at the mall, holding hands on the street and kissing at the beach. Joy, oh joy.

“I’m really sorry.” Niall whispered, sitting down in a chair beside me.

“Why are you sorry?” I asked, scrunching my face up.

“I bet you liked having your privacy. I’m so sorry that I’ve caused you all of this. I wish there was something I could do anything it but I don’t know. Stupid paparazzi are everywhere. They hide under freaking bushes, for goodness sake. Trust me if I could prevent them from seeing us, I would. But that would mean crazy disguises and gaining weird looks. I mean, I feel proud to walk with you in public, but I know it sucks to not have any privacy. I guess I’m used to it, but you-“

“Niall.” I chuckled. “Take a deep breath. You totally just word vomited on me.”

He blushed, running his fingers through his hair.

“I’m just so sorry.”

"We should start wearing disguises." I joked.

Niall shook his head in disapproval. "No."

"Why not?"

"Because, that means I'm a celebrity. Wearing disguises means I've got a huge ego."

"So you don't think you're a celebrity." I repeated.

"No. I'm Niall Horan. Just Niall." he answered with a small smile. I wondered if he had practiced these extra cute responses, but something told me they came from his heart.

My eyes fell to the magazine as I stared at the exposed pictures of Niall and I in disgust. This is what I get for liking a celebrity.

“Ey, did you guys here about the news?” Gregg asked, walking into the kitchen. His eyes fell to the magazine on the table and looked at the identical one in his hand. “Whoops. Guess you did.”

“Ha ha. Very funny, Gregg.” Niall scoffed, rolling his eyes to me so Gregg wouldn’t see.

“I wasn’t trying to be funny, smartass.” Gregg snapped, messing with Niall’s hair. Niall tried to bite Gregg’s hand.

“Oo. Fiesty there.” I giggled, dropping my left eye into a wink.

“Hey. Whose side are you on?” Niall gasped, shooting Gregg a playful glare.

“My side.” I smirked, playing with the corners of the magazine.

“So, are you two going public? Hell, are you guys even a couple?” Gregg asked, sitting at the table beside me. I was now surrounded by two adorable idiots. Yeah, Gregg was pretty adorable, even if he was old.

“We’re taking things slow,” Niall breathed, glancing at me. I nodded, turning to Gregg.

“We’ve got time. What’s the rush?” I shrugged.

Gregg gave us a warning look. “The rush is the shitload of paparazzi and crap full of rumors from the media.”

“He’s right.” Niall huffed in defeat. I giggled, just as my phone vibrated with a text.

Harry: long time no talk :)

Me: hey Harry! What’s up?

Harry: Not much. Gemma and I got back from a killer time at the bowling alley.

Me: Are you bragging? Haha

Harry: I might be. How have you been? How’s Ireland?

Me: Very pretty. We went to the beach the other day. That was fun

Harry: I saw a magazine with a ton of pictures of you guys…

Me: Wow. News travels fast.

“Hey, who are you texting?” Niall asked.

“It’s just Harry. Chill out.” I laughed, looking down at my phone again. But it wasn’t ‘just Harry’ to Niall. If I told Niall that mine and Harry’s previous relationship was fake, he would be pissed.

“What’s he saying?”

And out comes the over protective Niall.

“Oh, the usual.” I shrugged.

“Why? You jealous?” Gregg snickered, earning a middle finger from Niall.

Harry: You think we could Skype? I’m bored and Amber just left.

When he mentioned Amber, I remembered mine and Danielle’s conversation. Still, I pretended like I didn’t know anything about her.

Me: Who is Amber?

Harry: I didn’t tell you!!?? Oh wow. She’s kind of my girlfriend. I don’t know. We’re seeing each other. She’s quite nice. Very pretty.

Me: Aww! Alright. We’ll Skype. Get on now. I’ll use Niall’s account.

Harry: Okay. See ya

“She’s smiling.” I heard Niall grumble to Gregg, as I pretended like I was still texting.

“Yeah, you’re jealous.” I smirked, looking up at Niall. He rolled his eyes, sucking in his pout.

“Geez, man up, Niall.” Gregg laughed, pushing out of his chair, heading towards the T.V. room.

“It’s cute, though.” I added quickly, kissing his cheek.

“Whatever.” He muttered, getting up to leave.

“Hey, can I use your laptop? I need to Skype Harry.”

I watched as Niall’s ears turned pink. “Um, sure. It’s in the bottom drawer of my desk.”

And with that, he walked away.

I was surprised with how jealous Niall could get, and so easily as well. He especially had that instinct of getting mad when I talked about Harry, because of our earlier “relationship.” I wondered how protective Niall could really become.

Shaking off the thought, I ascended to Niall’s bedroom, pulling his laptop out of the drawer. I missed my old laptop. It had a bunch of pictures of sceneries and other stuff I had photographed. I had downloaded hour’s worth of my favorite music, mainly from Coldplay.

I sighed and clicked the Skype app, opening up the Skype page. Almost instantly, I was receiving a call request from Harry.

“Hello,” Harry grinned, his face popping onto the screen. I smiled back.

“Hey, Harry.”

“Okay so guess what?” he asked, playing with his fingers. I motioned for him to go on.

“I got a new pair of boxers.”

“Um, alright.”

“And they’re orange.” He added without a hint of humor.

“Harry, does it really matter?” I groaned playfully. His eyes widened.

“I’ve never had a pair of orange boxers before, Aria. Don’t you understand?”

“No. I don’t understand your manly obsessions.” I snorted, leaning back on the bed with the laptop in my lap.

“And guess what else?”


“I’m having a baby.”

My head shot up instantly. “What? With who?” I yelled, staring at the computer screen. His face looked serious, but then he cracked into a wide grin.

“Just kidding. You should have seen your face.” He laughed, flipping his brown bunch of curls.

I rolled my eyes, trying not to blush from embarrassment.

We began to talk about the most random things, just stuff to keep a conversation going. It wasn’t that hard with him, and honestly, it was the first real conversation I’d ever had with him.

“I told you about Amber…” Harry began after a short silence. I looked up to see him smiling down, biting his lip.

He had it bad for this chick.

“Yeah. Tell me about her. What’s she like? Give a physical description.” I smiled, feeling happy for Harry. He and I hadn’t really talked much when I was staying with all the boys, so it made me happy that he actually wanted to keep in touch.

“Well, she’s very pretty,” Harry started, looking up to think. “She has dirty blonde hair. It’s not very blonde like yours. More brown. She’s got very pretty eyes, and by god, she’s fit.” Haryy blushed, fixing his hair.
“It seems like she’s beautiful.” I grinned, watching as Harry nodded.

“Amber’s really nice, too. She knows what she wants, but she doesn’t make a beeline for it. She’s…humble, if you will.”

“How long ago did you guys meet?”

Harry smiled. “It was that day in Paris, when we all split up. Louis and I went to a club, and that’s’ where I met her. She’s from London; her accent says so, and she told me that too. She left Paris a few days before we did, and she just came to visit me in Holmes Chapel. Her laugh is so contagious, Aria, I’m not even exaggerating. She’s like Niall; she laughs at anything and everything. I’m really starting to like her.”

“Wow. So you met you soul mate at a nightclub. How pleasant.”

Harry laughed. “I want you to meet her. You guys would get along really well.”

“Maybe we can Skype one day when she’s at your place?” I suggested, actually wanting to meet this girl. She seemed pretty sweet to me. Harry wasn’t one to choose slutty girls.

“That’s a good idea.” Then he paused. “Is Niall there?”

“Not right now. I mean, he’s probably playing video games or something.”

“Are you kidding? Didn’t you go home with him to spend time with each other?” Harry chuckled, resting on his elbow.

“We do spend time with each other. We went on a date, and the other day we went to the beach. But I think he’s kind of pissed off right now because I’m talking to you.” I giggled at the last part.

“Why is he pissed off?” Harry asked with a confused expression.

“I don’t know. I guess he’s just really protective because of how we had that 'relationship'.”

Harry snorted. “I mean, the whole thing was fake. The other boys and I only planned on it to get you and Niall together.”

I sighed. “I can’t help but think that all that ever did was make Niall more protective.”

“I’m sorry.” Harry said quietly, to the point where I almost couldn’t hear him over Skype.

“It’s okay. I’m sure he won’t ever need to find out.”

Harry stiffened. “Niall doesn’t know?”

I shook my head slowly. “I never told him. Guess it never came up.”

“Oh.” Was all Harry said before he looked elsewhere.

“I have to go. I have to go to some party with Gemma.” Harry sighed, rubbing his eyes.

“You have fun then.” I smiled, waving to him. He waved back, flashing a wink.

“See you.” The call screen went black.

Niall’s P.O.V.

Juggling a bottle of salsa, a bag of chips, and a can of Sprite in my hand, I headed down the hallway towards the T.V. room. There was a great football game going and I had escaped for the intermission. I stopped short when I heard Aria talking. I considered moving along, but I couldn’t help but listen in on a bit.

“Is Niall there?” Harry’s voice asked. I perked up at the sound of my name.

“Not right now. I mean, he’s probably playing video games or something.” Aria said.

“Are you kidding? Didn’t you go home with him to spend time with each other?” Harry laughed.

“We do spend time with each other. We went on a date, and the other day we went to the beach. But I think he’s kind of pissed off right now because I’m talking to you.” Aria giggled.

was pissed.

“Why is he pissed off?” Harry asked.

“I don’t know. I guess he’s just really protective because of how we had that relationship.”

She was right.

Harry snorted. “I mean, the whole thing between us was fake. The other boys and I only planned on it to get you and Niall together. The plan was to make him jealous so he would try to make a move on you.”

Wait. Fake? I frowned, leaning my ear against the door.

Aria let out a sigh. “I can’t help but think that all that ever did was make Niall more protective.”

Right again.

“I’m sorry.” Harry said softly.

“It’s okay. I’m sure he won’t ever need to find out.” Aria replied.

Too late. I already did. And not intentionally, either.

Harry paused. “Niall doesn’t know?”

“I never told him. Guess it never came up.” Aria answered. I felt the grip on the bag of chips tighten, crushing a few. Never came up? She could have told me at breakfast for God’s sake, and it would’ve fit in with the conversation. She could’ve told me whenever! I clenched my teeth.

“Oh.” Was all Harry said.

I took a deep breath and headed to the T.V. room, knowing their conversation was coming to an end. I slumped into the couch, and Gregg shot me a look.

“You okay, Ni?”

“Just peachy.” I muttered, keeping my face expressionless.

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing. Just found out a few things that are… good to know.” I laughed dryly, running my fingers through my hair.

How come Aria never told me anything?

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