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:


38. The Fight

I woke up on the sofa of the T.V. room, Gregg fast asleep beside me. Stretching out, I sat up and let my vision adjust before pulling myself up. I clearly remembered Aria’ conversation with Harry and I still couldn’t believe she would keep something like that from me. Frustrated, I began my walk down the hall.

My room door was slightly ajar, morning light shining out through the crack of the door.

Carefully, I pushed the door open to see Aria, snuggled up on my bed. Her mouth was agape, her eyes shut tight. She looked adorable. Too bad I was extremely pissed at her.

I practically slammed the door shut, shuffling down the stairs. My mum was sitting at the breakfast table, pancakes piled on a large plate beside her.

“Good morning.” She cooed, in her normal, happy tone.

“What were you doing?” I asked curiously, referring to her sitting alone at the table, doing nothing.

“Oh, just thinking.” She smiled.

“What about?”

Mum sighed. “I’m just glad your home, Niall. I’ve missed you so much.” Her voice cracked.

“I missed you too, mum.” I smiled, kissing head forehead. She pulled away with an odd look on her face.

“Did you brush your teeth, young man?”

“I’m on it.” I blushed. Letting out a chuckle, I headed back upstairs, heading for the bathroom.

After finishing my morning duties, I wrapped a towel around my waist and headed to my room. Aria was still fast asleep. Silently thanking god, I went in and grabbed a change of clothes, then rushed back into the bathroom to change. The next time I walked out, Aria was stumbling into the morning.

“Good morning.” She grinned, rubbing her eyes tiredly. I let out a quiet scoff.


I brushed past her, heading back downstairs. My mum had disappeared, to where I didn’t know. I sat down at the table by myself, taking a plate from the stack and serving myself some fresh pancakes.

Half an hour later, no one had come down for breakfast, which I found odd. Normally we all ate together. Denise and Noah normally slept in late anyways, but Aria and Gregg were usually down at a decent time.

Dropping my dish in the sink, I went upstairs to check on the two of them. Gregg, was snoring loudly in the T.V. room. He must have stayed up much later than me, watching the game. I heard the bathroom door open and spun around, Aria walking out with her hair wrapped in a towel. I watched as she headed into my room, walking back out with her wet hair pulled up in a bun. She stopped when she saw me.

“Wow. Creeper much?” she joked, approaching me. I laughed dryly at her, causing her to frown.

“What’s wrong, Nialler?”

I sighed angrily, once again, walking past her.

She snorted behind me, causing me to turn around as she spoke again.

“Is it just me, or are you a really bipolar person? One day you’re all sweet and nice, and the next, you give me the cold shoulder like I’ve done something completely horrible.” She hissed, following me as I stalked down the stairs. I ignored her, not even feeling like I could.

She had done something that, wasn’t completely horrible, but effective enough. I walked through the kitchen, making a beeline for the doors t the back porch.

“Aren’t you going to eat?” she asked from the kitchen.

I wanted to tell her that I already ate without her, but I figured she would figure it out sooner or later. My fists clenched, I pulled open the door, slamming it shut behind me. I slid into a lawn chair, burying my face in my hands.

“You alright?”

I jumped at the voice, turning to see my mum sitting in the lawn chair beside me. I hadn’t even noticed her there.


She smiled, clearly amused. “You’re definitely not fine, Niall. Tell me what’s wrong.”

“Nothing.” I insisted. “Just some stupid…stuff.”

“And what is this stupid stuff you speak of, dear?”

“It’s nothing, mum.” I emphasized “nothing”. I glanced at her, to see her staring back with a concerned expression.

“Niall. Listen. It’s obvious you’re very frustrate about something. Something that bothers the normally happy, cheerful Niall of mine is definitely not ‘nothing’.” My mum sighed, rubbing my back.

Instead of answering, I stood up, beginning to pace back and forth in the grass, hands locked behind my back and all. I just didn’t know what I was feeling. I was hurt, for one. I felt non-trustworthy, and I felt plain mad. In fact, it was safe to say that I was infuriated. Aria herself said that she wanted to talk about things with me, us, together. And yet, she was the one keeping everything from me.

Aria Lubianco confused me.

“Niall. Honey, you’re scaring me.” Mum chuckled from her chair, watching me walk back and forth. I stopped, dropping to the grass.

“Everything is just so messed up.” I groaned, covering my eyes with my palms.

“Tell me. You know you can tell me anything.” Mum promised, giving me an assuring smile.

I took a deep breath. “Say, you like this man,” I started. “and you find out he’s been keeping things from you that you should be mad about. What would you do?”

I got the feeling Mum knew this was about Aria, and thought for a moment. “What kinds of things?”

“I don’t think it’s in my place to tell you, let alone anyone else. I’m just so mad, mum. I feel like Aria can’t trust me.”

“How do you know that?”

Because she never tells me anything, mum!” I yelled suddenly, surprising both myself and my mum.

“Niall, you’re over reacting. You just need to-“

“No. Just stop, mum. I’m not over reacting. You always think on the bright side of things. For once, you have to look at the negative sides. How do I know that one day, she won’t keep more serious things from me? How am I supposed to trust her if she can’t trust me? But of course, you wouldn’t know. You couldn’t even keep a marriage with dad!”

I watched as her face dropped, her face going red.


“No.” I snapped, leaving her outside and alone as I barged back into the house. Aria looked up from her plate of pancakes, shooting me an annoyed and confused look.

Hell, I was annoyed and confused, too.

Silently, I got to my bedroom and made it apparent to slam the door, locking it afterward. I collapsed on my bed, the lingering strawberry and vanilla scent of Aria capturing me instantly.

I glanced at the digital clock rested on the nightstand. 9:54 a.m.

Great. We weren’t even halfway into the day yet and I was depressed out of my mind. I began to wonder if I would’ve been better off with Aria going home with someone else, instead. If Aria hadn’t come with me, I wouldn’t have seen those texts. I wouldn’t have heard her conversation with Harry. But if she hadn’t come, we wouldn’t have had our first official date. We wouldn’t have spent the day at the beach with my family.

She had so many up’s and down’s in her package deal, and that aggravated me.

I screamed into my pillow, frustrated and ready to bury myself in hole. I breathed in Aria’s soft scent, letting tears soak my pillow, slowly but surely.


Aria’s P.O.V.

Gregg, Denise, Maura and I stood outside Niall’s door, listening quietly as he sobbed loudly.

“What do you think happened?” Denise asked, pressing her ear to the door.

“He came into the T.V. room last night, acting all upset.” Gregg brought up, also pressing his ear to the door.

“What could possibly have had made Niall mad last night?” I asked, more to myself than to anyone else.

“Niall gets mad about the smallest things, sometimes. He thinks too hard about stuff without really trying to figure out exactly what is going on. I think that has got to be one of his biggest weaknesses. Sometimes, he just doesn’t take the time to listen and watch how ridiculous he can be.” Maura sighed, shaking her head with pity.

We tried to get Niall out of his room, but he just kept sobbing. He skipped lunch, which was pretty serious considering it was Niall. Niall never missed a meal or snack. Gregg and Denise were playing pool in the garage, while I sat alone in the living room, trying to keep my mind on anything but Niall. That obviously wasn’t working out very well.

The day went by really slowly without Niall. Maura and Gregg went up to his room multiple times to try to get time to come down and eat, but he never answered. Not verbally, at least. The only way he responded was from crying.

It must have been at least nine o’clock at night when I became fed up. Before fully thinking, I was marching up to Niall’s room, banging on the door.

“Niall! Open the door! It’s Aria!”

There was silence. At least he wasn’t sobbing like a cry baby.

“Niall fucking Horan! Open the door right now!”

Still silence.

“Niall, I swear-“

Suddenly, there were footsteps coming from the other side of the door. Seconds later, the door opened.

“Oh, finally.” I exhaled, taking in his appearance. His hair was messy, his normally bright blue eyes, extremely dull. His eyes were bloodshot, and his rose was red. Tear stains covered his cheeks.

“What do you want?” he growled, gripping the doorknob tightly.

“I want to talk. You have to tell me what’s wrong.”

“You should know very well what’s wrong.” He spat, surprisingly letting me into the room. He shut the door loudly behind me.

I stood in front of Niall, him guarding the door. I couldn’t get out without getting past him.

“Niall, I have no clue what you’re talking about.”

He took a shaky breath, his fierce and angry expression growing stronger.

“I’m just sick and tired of this!” he yelled, throwing his hands up in the air.

“Of what?” I yelled back, taking a step closer to him.

“You! I can’t stand how you’re keeping stuff from me! How am I supposed to fucking trust you?” he shouted, pressing himself against the door.

“What do you mean?” I grumbled, eyeing him.

“Well, for one, you never told me about the real story behind that relationship with Harry.” He snarled, shooting me a glare.

My breath hitched. How the hell did he know?

“I heard you two talking on Skype. Keep your voices down next time if you don’t want me to hear.” He snapped.

“Why the hell were you listening to our conversation in the first place?” I yelled, standing up straighter.

“Why not? I mean you guys were talking loud enough for the whole world to hear.”

“You’re just jealous, Niall. Admit it.”

Why the fuck would I be jealous? Can’t you tell that this is just getting way too old? It’s almost like I’m used to being turned down. I have no need to be jealous. It was going to end like this anyway.” He yelled.

“You wish you were Harry. I bet you wish you had that bond that Liam and I have, too. I hope you know that neither of them ever lash out at me for not telling them something.”

“That’s because they’re not ever the last to know anything!” he screamed. “Liam is like, your go to guy. You and Harry barely know each other and you getting along so well. You joke around with Louis like you two were meant to be! You and Zayn have this whole secretive friendship that no one really knows about. And, yet, I can’t even seem to make you my fucking girlfriend!”

“Well, you can totally forget about me ever being your girlfriend! Your mom was right! All you ever do is act. You never stop and look at the inside story, do you?” I snarled, clenching my fists as tightly as possible.

“What is the inside story? It’s pretty obvious what happened. You knew that Harry and you never had a real relationship when I had to sit there watching you two kiss and go on dates and have fun. You don’t know how much that hurt me! You don’t fucking know.” Niall hissed, his lips quivering.

“Well, I’m not perfect Niall. It slipped my mind that it was fake. Harry and I only mentioned it once in a conversation, and that was when he told me the plan behind the relationship. The topic never came up after I ended whatever the hell I had with Harry. We’re just friends!”

“I don’t care if you two are just friends. I don’t even care if you like him. What I care about is the fact that you knew and you didn’t tell me. All along I thought that I really had no chance with you because of that curly headed load of bullshit, and I find out-“

“If anyone has got a head full of bullshit, it’s you, Niall Horan.” I growled, glaring at him.

Niall hesitated when I said that, and my heart grew heavier by the second.

“You don’t care about anyone, Aria. All you do is fuck with my feelings, and I bet you’re messing with Harry, too. You’re so annoying and confusing it makes me want to shoot a fucking puppy. You don’t understand how crazy I get when you tell other people stuff that I never find out from you. I guess you choose Liam and Harry, over me?” he shouted, his voice cracking.

“Oh, so now this is about choosing? When the hell was this ever about choosing? This isn’t a competition, Niall. But I guess that’s what it is to you.” I cried. “Newsflash: you don’t always win.”

“That’s a damn load of crap! I don’t care about competition. I just wish you were more considerate of people who care more about you than others.”

I let out a loud, dry laugh. I was amused by this. “You’re saying you care more than Liam and Harry?” I smirked. “As of now, I bet they care more about me than you would any day. And you want to know why I didn’t tell you about those texts?”

“I honestly don’t give a fu-“

“It’s because I knew, that if I told you about those texts, you would try to do something about it. You wouldn’t listen if I told you to hold back and give me time. You wouldn’t try and help me out. You would want to deal with the situation yourself. You wouldn’t give a damn for any word I told you. You would text back and tell them to stay away. If I got hurt, you would blame it on your goddamn self. You would go your own way without giving me a chance to speak up. That, Niall, is why I didn’t tell you.” I spat his name with disgust, tears stinging the corners of my eyes.

“That’s a bunch of sh-“

“And you can believe anything you want, but you know it’s true Niall!” I cut him off with an outburst, biting my lip to keep from crying.

“You have no feelings for anyone but yourself. You’ve just used us, all of us, to your advantage. You made me fall for your act so hard and then you come up with some reason to claim yourself innocent. You’re just a selfless girl who can’t come up with any other excuse for being so fucking bitchy other than saying you were raped. No one even cares anymore, Aria. ‘Oh, I got raped by my dad. Big whoop.’ You could leave forever and no one would care! I don’t care anymore! I fell for that act, Aria. I really did. But now, you should just give up. Every magician’s tricks are figured out eventually, even the bitchiest ones.”

Those were the most painful words I had ever heard in my life.

My knees felt weak, and my teeth were chattering from the pain I was feeling.

“Just get the fuck out of my room!”

“Gladly.” I whispered, hot tears sliding down my cheeks. I was sick and tired of this, too. I pushed past him, knocking into his shoulder, roughly opening the door, and slamming it shut behind me. As soon as I hit the carpet of the hallway, I slid to the ground, leaning up against the wall, and cried. I cried so hard, harder than I ever had before. Because that was the first time anyone had been so truthful to me. No one cared, and Niall was right. I wasn’t the only one playing an act. Liam could forget me. So could Harry. Niall hated me now.

“Aria.” Maura’s soft voice whispered, coming up behind me.

“We heard the arguing.” Gregg added, crouching down in front of me. He tried to lift my chin up, but I kept my head low, full of shame. I didn’t deserve to be alive.

All I did was bring these perfect people, trouble.

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