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:


60. Hide And Seek

Aria’s P.O.V.

“You can’t just go around blaming people for being psychotic idiots who are sending you threats.” Niall sighed irritably. I was dumbfounded.

“So you really think I’m crazy then.”

“No,” Niall cut himself off. “It’s just, Amber such a nice girl. She’s never done anything to you that could make you think that she is behind all this.”

“Yeah, well, you aren’t the one who was there when she smirked when I told her about my dad, or the fact that she’s so worried about my dad and I at all. I have a big hunch that she has something to do with this, whether you believe me or not.”

“Come on, Aria,” Niall said, reaching for my hand. I pulled it away, giving him my meanest glare. He looked away.

“I thought you were going to help me.” I whimpered. “I thought we were in this together.”

“We are.” Niall declared desperately, clinging to my arm. “But you can’t just jump to conclusions like this. Maybe she really does care about what’s going on with you and your dad. Maybe she really does want to help you.”

“Doubt it.” I reached over and stuffed a spoon of Nutella into my mouth.

“Look, have you been getting any messages lately?”

“Not since the one at the club.”

As soon as I mentioned the club, I remembered how there had been someone at a familiar car, on the phone. The dress of the figure came to me. Now I understood. That was Amber. It was her dress that had looked so familiar. And that had been her car. Why would she be outside at her car making a call at midnight?

Was she planning on meeting someone? Or was she planning for someone to meetme?

“What’s wrong?” Niall asked, shaking me gently. He had noticed my face paling.

“Nothing.” I said, shaking my head. “You’d probably think I was crazy, anyways.”

“Aria,” Niall sighed angrily, “you can’t just say that. I don’t think your crazy.”

“Well, you obviously don’t believe me.”

Niall stayed silent, approving my statement.

“I bet you twenty bucks that Amber is somehow behind this.”

Niall gave me a twisted grin. “Deal.” We shook hands professionally, and Niall stuck his tongue out.

I had a very good feeling I would be getting that twenty bucks.

“Hi guys.” A high pitched voice chirped suddenly, making Niall and I jump. We turned to see Amber leaned against the door, staring at us curiously. I shot Niall a look.

“Hi, Amber.” Niall grinned, as if we totally hadn’t been talking about her for the last twenty minutes. “Can we help you with something?”

Amber giggled. “I was just wondering if you guys wanted to play hide and seek in the dark with Harry and I.”

Niall looked at me with wide eyes, then turned back to Amber with a super fake grin. “Hide and seek in the dark, eh? What do you say, Ari?”

“Erm, actually I’d rather stay here.”

“We’d love to.” Niall said, nearly cutting me off.

“Great!” Amber clapped. “Come on.” She gestured for us to come downstairs, then skipped off.

“She’s always so abnormally happy.” I mumbled. Niall laughed and pulled me up,.

“Come on. Don’t be a party pooper.”

He dragged me downstairs, where Amber and Harry were sitting of the couch. The stood up when they saw us. After we went around turning off all the lights and closing the blinds of the windows, we met back downstairs in the living room.

“Okay.” Last person to the guest room is it.” Harry shouted before running towards the guest room. A sudden cramp decided to get the better of me and I ran, and Niall slowed down so I would get to the room before him. While Amber declared that Niall would be it, I mouthed to him a small “thank you.”

He answered with a smile.

“Okay, I’m counting to twenty.” Niall shouted as we dispersed. “One, two…”

I ran out of the guest room and bolted upstairs to Niall room. I searched frantically, looking for a place to hide. I then spotted his closet and snuck in, pressing my back against the wall after shutting the door.

“Ready or not, here comes Nialler!” I heard Niall shout.

The closet door opened. At first I thought it was Niall, but then a feminine voice broke that inference.

“Hello? Anyone in here?” Amber whispered reaching out in the dark. She touched my face and instantly drew her hand away with a quiet shriek.

“Calm down. It’s just Aria.” I whispered. Amber let out a sigh of relief and pressed against the wall beside me.

There was a very uncomfortable silence.

“What were you and Niall talking about earlier?”

If it wasn’t pitch black in here, so would totally see my face reddening.


“But, I could’ve sworn I heard my name.” she insisted.

“You must’ve misheard us. We weren’t talking about you, for sure.”

“Oh. Okay.”

I tapped my foot, then slid down against the wall, while Amber remained standing.

Footsteps approached the closet door.

I could just barely see Amber’s eyes widening in the dark, as were mine.

Niall must’ve crashed into a drawer or something, because he let out a loud “Shit!”, before going silent again.

Amber giggled.

“Shut up, Amber.” I hissed.

Niall’s footsteps began louder.

“Great,” I muttered under my breath. When Niall opened the door, the first person he saw was Amber.

“Found you.” He laughed, pulling Amber out of the closet. And then he closed the door. He hadn’t seen me, and Amber hadn’t blown my cover either.

Well, it was a good thing she didn’t blow my cover, considering she was the one who had giggled so fucking loud in the first place.

After a good half an hour, I could hear distant shouting.

“We give up, Aria! Just come out!” Niall yelled.

“Yeah you win!” Another voice called. That sounded like Harry.

Grinning triumphantly, I opened the closet door and snuck out of Niall’s bedroom, skipping down the stairs where Niall, Harry and Amber were standing. Niall’s eyes lit up when he saw me.

“There you are!” he smiled. “You’re damn good at this game.”

“I know, right?” I smirked, glancing at Amber. She winked at me, then turned away.

We played a couple more times, and the final time, Harry was it. As he counted down in the guest room, I tried to look for a different place to hide. Then I spotted Niall’s walk-in bathroom. I entered it, and spotted the bath tub, the curtain closed. Perfect.

I drew open the shower curtain to step inside and almost screamed when I saw someone looking back at me.

“Oh,” I exhaled, “It’s just you.”

“Shh,” Niall whispered, grabbing my hand and pulling me in. He drew the curtain closed. He had pulled me on top of his lap, his blue eyes bright in the slight light coming from the crack at the bottom of the closed door.

“I determined to win this time,” Niall whispered. “So we got to stay quiet.”

“Okay.” I said simply, leaning my head against his shoulder.

At one point, we had been sitting in silence for way too long, and Niall sighed quietly.

“I don’t think he’s going to find us.” He whispered, His grip around my waist tightening. He grinned and looked up at me. We stared at each other in the mere silence, and suddenly, his lips were on mine. We stayed still for a moment, wondering if this would blow our cover, but then the same thought ran through our minds.Oh, what the hell.Niall began moving his lips delicately against mine, his lips full and soft. My hands raised to tangle through the hairs at the nape of his neck, then made their way up to run through his hair.

Then the bathroom door opened. Niall pulled away, his breath coming out quick. Mine was too. He pressed a finger to my lip and smiled, the closed his eyes. Footsteps became louder.

“Aria, Niall?” Harry’s voice cooed. Niall kept his hand on top of mind. His heart beat became faster every second.

“Ah, screw it.” Harry groaned. We heard the bathroom door close, and silence filled the room once again.

“Think everything’s clear?” Niall whispered.

“Yeah.” I nodded.

Then shower curtain was drawn open almost instantly. Harry flipped the light on and grinned when he saw us, sitting startled in the shower.

“Oops. Was I interrupting something?” He chuckled, holding a hand out to help me up. “You guys thought I left, didn’t you?”

“Yeah. Nice job, there.” I giggled, flattening my clothes out. Harry helped both of us out, then grinned between the two of us happily.

“I already found Amber. She was hiding under the bed.” He explained. “Like she couldn’t have found a more obvious spot.”

Amber sat on Niall’s bed, sitting up when she saw Harry, Niall and I come out from the bathroom.

“Finally.” She said, standing up. I faced Niall who gave me a goofy grin.

“Hey, we got to get to the recording booth in half an hour.” Harry informed Niall, looking down at his watch. We should get ready.”

Niall turned to me. “Do you want to come?”


“Yeah.” He shrugged. “Why not?”

“Sure.” I grinned. Amber said she had some friends to meet soon, so she kindly declined Harry’s offer to come.

What friends?

I realized I was being nosy. Of course, Amber had a life besides Harry. Of course she had other friends. I didn’t. Maybe I was just jealous of Amber. Jealous that she and her dad had fixed their relationship. Jealous of her looks, and her various personalities. Jealous of her.

Once Harry and Amber left Niall’s room, Niall turned to me.

“Is everything alright?”

“Yeah.” I assured. “Everything is fine.”

“Okay. Why don’t you go get changed? We’ll leave in twenty.”

I nodded and searched for some clothes, deciding on a graphic tee, a hoodie, skinny jeans and sneakers. I turned and saw the bathroom door closed and the light on, so I assumed Niall was changing in there. I stripped off my clothes and was just about to pull on my jeans when the bathroom door opened. Niall stepped out, still in his home clothing. I slapped the shirt to my chest, looking down. He looked at me for a split second, and turned away.

“Um, sorry.” He pretended to bend down and grab some clothes from his drawer. But then he turned around again. “I don’t get it. Why are you so insecure?”

I looked up, my face burning. “Sorry.”

He walked towards me and placed his hands on my hips, keeping his eyes on mine.

“No,I’m sorry. It seems like I still haven’t gotten you to believe how beautiful you are.”

“I’m not-“

“Yeah,” he insisted. “You really are.”

“Well, am I supposed to feel comfortable with being half naked in front of you?”

He laughed. “I don’t know. I don’t want you to feel un comfortable around me.”

I bit my lip, very aware that I was in my bra and now, thankfully, my jeans. I kept my head down, staring at my toes, which Amber had painted blue and green after much begging.

“Hey,” he laughed, also looking down. “Nice color.”

I blushed and looked back up, our eyes locking. His grip on my waist relaxed a bit, a strand of hair falling in front of his face.


Niall brought his hands up to my face and gave me a passionate kiss.

“I love you.”

I still wasn’t used to hearing those words come from Niall, especially when he was saying them to me, but then again, it just felt so right.

“I love you, too.” I kissed him again.

Niall smiled, then let go. “Now, go put a shirt on before I go crazy.”

I giggled and slipped a shirt on, just as I heard a phone vibrate, assuming it was mine, and lifted it off the table, only to see that I had no new messages. Then I turned to Niall, who was holding his phone, his expression showing shock.

“Looks like the psycho got my number.”

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