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:


24. The Next Step

Three days after was August 29th, Liam’s birthday. We had agreed to pretend like his birthday was no big deal. Niall had taken him to the mall so that Louis could go start arranging the party area while Eleanor went and bought Danielle from her hotel room.

The plan was that while Niall and Liam were inside at the mall, Zayn and Harry would go to the car that was parked in the parking lot of the mall and pretty much vandalize the entire car, including the windows and the front window with black spray paint. Then, Liam wouldn’t be able to see where Niall was driving them, and think that it was just an unfortunate day. Of course, there would be a clear spot in the window in front of the driver seat so that Niall wouldn’t crash. Meanwhile, Louis would go to the party place and start setting things up the some other crew that had volunteered.

I would stay at home.

Naturally, the boys didn’t want to make me work, so they forced me to stay at the bungalow.
Still, I decided I needed to go buy Liam a birthday present, because I had honestly not had any time earlier. I bought him something small, but very meaningful.

After arriving back at the bungalow, I had decided that my dress would be semi-casual. It was an elegant sundress type dress that fell just above my knees. The top was bright blue and the skirt part of the dress had many colors of abstract designs. Simple yet nice.

I decided for my hair that I would braid the front strands of my hair back, then curled the rest of my hair and threw it up into a ponytail. After putting my usual makeup on, I looked at myself in the mirror, satisfied. My phone buzzed with a text, I assumed from Louis about picking me up. But no. It was from anyone but Louis. In fact, it was from “mom”.

“Mom”: honey, I need you. Help me.

I felt my heart skip a beat as I read those four words. Just four words to make all of my skin erupt with goose bumps. I had to ignore this. A prank. Remember Aria? Just a prank. Just as I had set my phone down, my phone vibrated again. This time, it was Louis.

Louis: Hey, on my way to pick you up. I’ll be there in ten.

Me: Okay.


“On the count of three, lads!” Louis whisper shouted into the microphone. We were now standing under a large canopy of at least 200 people, getting ready to give the birthday boy a nice surprise. We had just spotted Niall, Liam, and the hysterical excuse of a car park in the parking lot. Liam got out with a blind fold over his eyes, escorted by Niall. Niall was giving everyone a cheeky grin, telling something to Liam every so often as they approached us. Zayn and Harry, who had arrived early after doing their job, came up behind me and squeezed my shoulders.

From the wooden stage, Louis mouthed to the crowd, “Five, four, three, two, one…”

“Happy birthday, Liam!” the crowd of people cheered, bursting into whistles and hollering and else. We all watched as Liam ripped his blindfold off, slapping his hand over his mouth in shock. He was telling something to Niall, and Niall was smiling back. The guests slowly went back to their own little groups and conversations while Zayn, Harry, Louis and I made our way to Niall and Liam.

“Happy birthday big brother!” I giggled, giving him a long hug. He laughed into my hair, pulling away with a kiss on my head.

“I feel under dressed.” He blushed, staring down at his jeans and Nike t-shirt.

“Don’t worry, Liam. Tonight is about having fun, not worrying about how you look.” I answered, before he turned to Zayn, Harry and Louis. I faced Niall now, who was looking back at me.

“You look amazing.” He smiled, rocking on his feet nervously.

“You quite good yourself.” I winked, straightening out his shirt. He laughed, kissing my cheek.

“Liam is so gullible.” Niall said after a few seconds of silence.

“What do you mean?”

“So when he saw that the car was completely vandalized, he suggested we call the cops and tell them to check for finger prints. I told him that in the ‘National Cops Off Day’.” He chuckled, walking as he talked.

“That’s not even a real holiday.” I smirked, realizing how stupid, responsible Liam really was.

“I know. And I sear he’s blind or something because right then, there was a police car chasing another car down the road right in front of us.”

I burst out laughing, “Woww.”

“Want to get something to eat?” Niall asked, staring at the large tables of appetizers. “I’m starving.”


We made our way over to the food. Niall grabbed a plate and piled a ton of snacks on top of each other. Once we sat down at an unoccupied table, he stuffed his face. Sometimes I wondered if he would ever learn how to eat properly. What would his kids think of him someday? I smirked at the thought.

“Have you met Danielle yet?” Niall asked once he had finished chewing.

“No, not yet. Eleanor said she’d introduce us tonight though.”

“Yeah. Danielle is really nice. You would love her.” Niall agreed, smiling adorably.

“So, what did you get Liam?” I questioning, picking the annoying nail polish off my fingers little by little.

“I got him these really cool sunglasses that he’s been pestering me about for the past few months, and a few Nike shorts and shirts.” Niall answered, stabbing is fork into a small sausage.

“So he’s a fan of Nike?” I guessed.

“Yup. Half his closet has Nike branded clothing.” Niall said seriously, eating while he talked .He was the only person that could make eating while talking look hot.

“Aria!” a girlish squeal called. I turned to see Eleanor dragging an unfamiliar brunette towards me.

“Aria, this is Danielle.” Eleanor grinned, pushing Danielle in front of her. I glanced at Niall, who winked, and then smiled at Danielle.

“Hi, I’m Aria, but you probably already know that by now.” I giggled, holding out my hand.

“Danielle Peazer!” the curly haired brunette cheered, pulling me into a tight hug instead of shaking my hand. I swear, I almost choked to death from how tight her hug was.

“We are going to be great friends.” Eleanor told the three of us, dead serious. I turned for a split second, just in time to see Niall waving to me and heading towards some other guys. I turned back to the girls.

“So, what’s planned for tonight?”

“We’re gonna get drunk, babe.” Danielle winked, moving her eyebrows up and down. Eleanor giggled, pulling the both of us over to the bottles of beer and other alcohol.

We each grabbed drink, and I really wasn’t sure why I was doing this, because hangovers were hell, but I downed a few bottles, one by one. Eleanor was going crazy by that point, and Danielle was holding her breath to not burst into drunk yelling. This time, it was Danielle pulling drunk Eleanor and drunk me to the boys, who were obviously drunk as well. Liam and Danielle started dancing along to the loud music, and did Louis and Eleanor. I just kind of stood there, a bit wobbly on my feet.

“Do you want to dance?” a thick Irish voice slurred from behind me. I shivered at his breath on my neck, just as the music changed to a slow dance song. I turned around ,staring into those perfect, sparkling blue eyes.

“Sure, Niall.” I giggled drunkenly, letting him take my hand. He smiled back, carefully placing his strong arms around my waist.

“You look sexy tonight.” He whispered as we swayed to the music. I blushed.

“So do you.”

I know he probably only was saying that because he was drunk, but I didn’t fight back.

“What smells so good?” I giggled stupidly.

“Me, of course.” Niall winked, leaning back a little from how tipsy he was. I held him up.

“The sky is sooo pretty.” I slurred, looking out at the night sky. You could see the Eifel Tower just a few miles away.

“You are prettier.” Niall laughed. I felt his hands slide down towards my lower back, just above my butt.

“Aria, I think I’m in love with you.” Niall slurred, brushing a strand of hair away from my face.

“I think I love you too, Niall.” I slurred back.

The next thing I knew, his lips were crushed against mine. At first, I melted right into his lips. They were soft, and intoxicating. The way his lips massaged mine made my head spin like crazy. His hands left my waist and began traveling up and down me back my hands were combing through his soft blonde hair, and I could feel him shiver. I felt his hands sliding down to my butt, hoisting me up so that my legs were wrapped around his small torso. At first, I didn’t even realize what was happening. I didn’t realize who I was kissing.

But then I did. I jumped back, wriggling out of his grip. He stared back at me, drunk, and confused. I started to shake my head, trying to get words out. Blood was rushing to my head, and I felt nauseous. I just kissed Niall Horan. While we were both drunk.

“Tha-that was, a mistake.” I stammered, trying to nervously start twirling my hair. But then I remembered I had put my hair in a bun. So I turned around.

And I ran as fast as my heels could take me.

Niall’s P.O.V.

I watched as Aria ran, away, away from the canopy, towards the huge grass field. Away from me. She told me our kiss was a mistake. The first kiss we had ever shared was a mistake to her. I didn’t understand. I didn’t understand her. What was her problem? How could she set me up like that? Come to a party looking so beautiful and undeniably hot, giggle in the extremely attractive way that she did, tell me she loved me-

She told me she loved me.

But she didn’t mean it.

I turned to see the other guys, happily dancing away with their girls, or in Harry’s case, I random chick. I then turned back to the grass fields, where Aria now looked so tiny from how far away she was. I could barely make out her figure, now collapsing in the grass. Feeling a large lump growing in my throat, I staggered through the crowd and found an empty seat. I watched as couples around me, made out, and to them, it wasn’t a mistake. But of course to Aria, it was.

I felt my break pain so bad, and I felt like passing out, but not because of the alcohol. Leaning back in the chair, I slowed my breaths, wondering what I should do. What was I thinking? I should never have kissed her. Not when she was drunk. Not when there was such a slim chance that she would like me the way that I liked her. Or maybe she was still hurt by that night at the club when I kissed that other girl. I know that hurt her. But why did it hurt her so much if she didn’t feel anything for me?

She had to like me.

So why did she run away?

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