~~Bella sighed with happiness as she woke up the next morning, today was Friday and thankfully there was no school, the holidays had finally arrived. Her mum had surprised her last night by telling her they were all going back to England for Christmas, even Scott was coming down with his mum for New Years. She was happy to be going back home, she really did miss it. Bella laid there a little longer and started reminiscing about the dream she had about Liam yesterday. Ever since then she hasn't been able to stop thinking about him. His smell, his body, his amazing hair, the way he touched her. It had all felt so real, she almost wished that it had been.
Usually when there's no school, she would be less then eager to get out of bed, but she heard the doorbell go and the sound of Scott's voice, so she decided to drag herself out of bed. She still hadn't told Scott about Liam taking her to the Winter Dance yet and seeing as her mum was taking her dress shopping today, she knew now was better late then never. Bella hopped out of bed and changed into a pair of jeans and a plain white t-shirt. Looking out of her window, she saw the view blanketed with snow and decided to wear her long dark blue jumper that was more like a jumper dress, she loved dressing up in winter. She brushed her curls, pinning some up and some down. Putting on her usual light makeup, she made her way downstairs and found Scott sitting at the kitchen counter, eating a bowl of cereal while talking with her mum.
"Morning," she said, announcing her presence.
"Hey little cuz," Scott replied.
"Well, don't you look nice today," her mum told her.
"Just today? Aw thanks mum," she joked.
"You know I always think you look nice."
Bella smiled at her mum and reached into the cupboard for a bowl and pouring herself some cereal. She sat next to Scott and quietly ate her cereal while her mum made them both some tea.
"We'll make a move in about an hour ok," her mum informed her, handing them both their tea.
"Ok," she replied, giving her mum a nod and taking a sip of her tea.
"Where you guys off to?" Scott asked.
"Just shopping," she told him quickly.
"You're always welcome to join us Scotty," her mum chirped in.
Bella grinned as a frown appeared on Scott's face. He hated shopping and it was probably the only thing that Bella struggled with in getting him to ever go with her, unless there was food involved of course.
"Thanks Aunt Lil, but I've got training soon," he politely declined.
"That's a shame, we could have used a boy's opinion today," her mum said, she took a deep breath hoping she wouldn't elaborate any further.
"For what?" he asked.
"Nothing," Bella cut in quickly, she didn't want him finding out this way!
"For Bella's dress of course," her mum blurted out.
"Dress? For what?" he asked again, looking confused. Great, why does this always happen to her?
"The uh, Winter Dance," she muttered quietly, avoiding his gaze.
"Well I have to get ready, so when I'm done we'll leave, ok sweetie."
"Sure." Bella waited for her mum to leave before glancing over at Scott who still looked a little confused.
"I thought you didn't want to go to the dance?" he asked.
"I didn't at first," she told him as she took another sip of her tea.
"So what made you change your mind?"
"Ok look, when I tell you this, I don't want you to make it into a big deal ok. It's just a dance and he's just a friend."
"Bella?" he asked impatiently, looking at her warily.
"I'm going with Liam - just as friends," she added again.
"Tell me you're joking."
"No." Great, she knew he would react this way
"You're seriously going with Liam?" he asked, sounding a little irritated.
"Yeah so? Look he's my friend, that's all and wouldn't you rather me go with Liam then any other guy at our school?" Knowing he couldn't argue with that.
"I guess," he sighed. He turned to look at her, "He better keep his hands to himself!"
"Scott, it's Liam," she told him, like he would ever touch her inappropriately.
"Yeah, I know," he muttered accusingly. Bella turned to frown at him, why would he say that?
"Look he's my buddy but that doesn't mean I'm gonna let him get away with just anything, " he warned her.
She couldn't believe what she was hearing, does he not know Liam at all!? There have been a number of times where he could have taken advantage of her but he never has. All he has ever done was take care of her, which was a mystery to her half the time. Sure they shared the occasional hug but apart from that Liam has never touched her. In fact out of all the guys she has ever known in her life, Liam has been the only guy who respects her as a person. Most of the guys she knew in her life would have tried something with her by now, but not Liam, he only wanted to be her friend.
"Trust me, he doesn't see me any other way then a friend," she mumbled, avoiding Scott's stare as he continued to watch her.
"And you?" he asked. "How do you feel?"
Bella could feel her cheeks getting hotter and hoped to god Scott didn't notice, "I...feel the same way."
Scott continued to watch her, almost like he was searching for a lie. With a big sigh, he finally nodded his head, "Ok, good."
Bella broke his gaze and finished eating her breakfast. Why was Scott so against her and Liam anyway? Was it because of Cammy maybe? Or maybe it's because he knows Liam hooks up with randoms, according to him anyway, maybe he's worried that she will be just another one of them? Does Scott really think she would be that easy?
It was dance night and Bella's stomach felt like a bag of nerves. Shopping with her mum yesterday was definitely interesting, her mum had been so excited for her, yet at the same time slightly worried. She had bombarded her with questions concerning Liam, like how well does she really know him and has she ever met his parents? Bella knew she was just being a concerned parent and with everything that's happened, she had every right to be, but part of her couldn't help feeling slightly annoyed as the questions continued throughout their shopping day. It's not like it was a date, she tried telling her mum that but she still carried on pestering her. She tried answering her questions as best as she could, sometimes changing the subject which never worked. It frustrated Bella that she knew so little about Liam, sure he had told her about his parents, but she couldn't help thinking that there was a lot more he was hiding and she was determined to find out.
Bella took a long shower before getting ready, deciding to leave her hair loose and allowing her curls to dry naturally. She loved how Liam would play with the end of them whenever he held her close, she thought the gesture was kind of sweet. She applied her makeup before getting dressed, not wanting to get any down her. She gave herself a natural look, brushing a light amount of white shimmery eye shadow on her eyelids, finishing with a glossy red lip gloss that tasted like strawberries. She looked at herself in the mirror and smiled, happy with how she looked. Bella then walked over to her wardrobe and pulled out the dress she had bought with her mum, she had fallen in love with it the minute she had spotted it, she just hoped it was enough for him.
She slid the dress over her head, being careful to not smudge her makeup and let it flow down her body. She tied the straps that were hanging from either side behind her back, making a cute little bow. Slipping on her pair of red stilettos, Bella stood in front of her full length mirror that was attached to the inside of her wardrobe door and took over her appearance. The dress was a red silk with thin straps and came just above her knees. The bottom part of the dress was poofed out a little making it fan out whenever she twirled.
She shifted her eyes up and slowly took hold of her sister's cardigan that she had secretly kept. She unfolded it and brought it to her nose, the smell was gradually fading, but it was still there. She heard the doorbell ring and instantly felt the butterflies jittering inside of her. She took a deep breath before letting it out slowly and looked down at the cardigan once more.
"Wish me luck sis," she whispered, folding it up and putting it back on the shelf.
Bella could hear her mum talking from downstairs and knew she was no doubt grilling Liam with questions. She quickly grabbed her purse and chucked in all the things she needed and headed for the stairs. Her nerves caught up to her with every step she took, she held her breath slightly as Liam came into view. She was happy to see her mum with a smile on her face as she was chatting away to him which gave her an opportunity to take in his appearance.
He looked so handsome as he stood there in his suit, noticing that his tie hung quite loosely, she thought the look suited him perfectly. His hair was slightly tucked back with a few strands that peeked out at the sides making him look even sexier.
"Bella, you look so beautiful," her mum gushed, noticing her presence. Liam's head turned towards her, he looked a little surprised as she watched him take in her appearance, she blushed furiously knowing his eyes were roaming her body. She continued to walk the rest of the way downstairs, keeping her eyes to the floor, scared that she might fall and end up looking like a complete idiot. Something she seemed to be pretty good at.
"Oh sweetie, you look like a little princess," her mum said, grinning widely.
"Mum," she grumbled, feeling slightly embarrassed.
"I'm sorry, but you do," she smiled. "Now, before you go I need to give you something, so don't leave ok." She watched as her mum disappeared into the living room and prayed it wasn't a camera.
Bella finally gazed up at Liam, both sharing a smile. He started walking closer to her as he removed his hand from behind his back to reveal a single pink sunflower. "You really do look beautiful Bella," he smiled, handing her the flower. Bella could feel her heart beating fast as she took it from him, keeping her focus on his chocolate brown eyes.
"How did you know I liked Sunflowers?"
"I didn't," he smiled surprisingly.
God. he was perfect. Maybe Sam and Santi were right, maybe she should go for it. Bella smiled up at him sweetly, feeling herself blush again. She looked down at the sunflower she was holding and brought it to her nose to smell.
"Thank you. I like your suit," she pointed out, pulling at his tie playfully.
"Oh this thing, just something I had lying around," he smiled, making her giggle.
"Sure," she nodded, smiling back.
"Here we go!" Her mum came back holding a beautiful silver necklace in a zig zag sort of shape with tiny little red hearts around it.
"Mum, it's ok, I don't need a necklace."
"Amy wore this at her first dance, now I want you to wear it," she told her, leaving Bella speechless.
Her mum stood behind her and slipped the necklace around her neck. She grazed it lightly with her hand, thinking how well it went with her outfit. "Thanks mum," she said, turning around to hug her.
"You kids have fun ok and it was nice to see you again Liam," her mum said.
"You too Mrs Roberts," he replied politely.
"Bye mum," she said as she opened the front door and quickly wrapped her black wrap over around her shoulders.
The cold air stuck to Bella instantly as they walked towards Liam's car, it was not the best time to be wearing a dress.
"After you princess," Liam smiled as he opened his passenger car door. She smiled at the nickname and slid inside his car, thinking of nothing but getting warm. He walked around the other side and slid in beside her, putting his keys in the ignition. She almost sighed in content from the warmth that was coming out of the heaters in front of her. She turned to face Liam and found an odd look cross his face, was he having second thoughts already?
"What is it?"
"Was Amy your sister?"
Bella gazed down at the necklace and slowly nodded her head. "Yeah."
Silence swept over them and Bella knew he was probably thinking of something to say.
"So, to the dance?" she smiled. Liam smiled back and turned to face his steering wheel, "To the dance!"
The car ride had seemed so long as they drove to the dance and for the first time felt so awkward. Despite all that, Bella couldn't get over how good Liam looked tonight and would steal a glance every now and then. She was so relieved when they finally arrived.
Once they walked inside her eyes lit up, the room was so big and was transformed into a Winter Wonderland theme. There were snowflakes hanging from the ceiling, ice sculptures in the corners of the room, ice blue lights everywhere, everything was decorated in either light blue or white, the place looked amazing. There was even a live band playing and several kids were already dancing, covering the dance floor. A few of them that were standing around in groups who turned to stare at her as she walked in further, some of them were smiling at her; well the guys mostly, the girls were giving her evil glares as soon as they saw who she was with.
Bella felt Liam place his hand on her lower back as he lead her further inside. It took her a few moments to realize that he was leading her towards her friends. Sam was standing next to her date and Santi was in the arms of a very tall guy that she had never seen before. Santi spotted her and waved with a big smile on her face, Bella smiled back as Liam continued to lead her through the mob of people.
"Hey guys," she announced, once she had reached them.
"Bella!" Sam shrieked when she turned around and saw her. "Wow, you look amazing."
"Thanks, so do you guys," she replied.
"Bella, this is Zach, my boyfriend," Santi said, hugging his arm. She thought they both looked so cute together.
"Hi, nice to meet you," Zach said, reaching his arm out.
"You too," she smiled, shaking his hand.
"Your boyfriend?" he asked, looking at Liam.
Bella blushed and shook her head, "No, this is Liam, we're just friends," she replied shyly.
"Hey man, how you doing?" Liam said, shaking hands with Zach. "You want a drink?" he asked her.
"Sure thanks," she smiled sweetly.
"Anyone else?" he offered, which of course everybody said yes to, Zach laughed and said he would help him. As soon as the boys were out of sight Sam and Santi both turned towards her with big smiles on their faces.
"Wow." Sam sighed happily.
"Yeah, I'm almost jealous myself," Santi agreed.
"If I were you, I would keep a close eye on him tonight," Sam said.
Bella frowned in confusion before asking, "Why do you say that?"
"Because, almost every girl here wants to be in your place," Santi answered for her.
"Looks like their already trying," Sam informed her, staring behind Bella.
She turned her head around to find a tall blond flirting with Liam, she had seen her a few times when passing the halls in school. She was pretty, she couldn't deny that, but something about her screamed fake and she didn't like it, she also didn't like the fact that Liam was smiling at her.
"Hi Scott," she heard Sam say, making her turn back around.
"Hey," he replied with a smile before he spotted her. "Wow, you look amazing Bells."
"Thanks cuz, looking good yourself," she replied, checking out his tux. She knew he hated wearing one.
"Where's Liam?" he asked, looking around the room.
"Getting drinks," she told him.
"I'll be back in a minute," he said, making his way towards the direction of Liam.
Zach returned a few seconds after, giving out the drinks he was holding, he said that Liam was on his way with hers. A few minutes passed until he finally returned, he handed her a drink and apologised for taking so long. She noticed that his mood had changed slightly and hoped it had nothing to do with Scott.
The night was going great so far, she had been pulled up from the table they were sitting at several times by Sam and Santi, leading her towards the dance floor. She didn't mind though, she was having fun. Sam had even dragged Liam up at one point and deliberately knocked Bella into him. Bella blushed as he caught her, smiling down at her sweetly. He twirled her out and then back in again, pulling her closer towards him, both of them moving to the beat of the music.
His eyes were burning into hers as they continued to move their bodies against each other, she had never danced like this before with anyone, it made her nervous but also excited at the same time. He moved just as sexy as she remembered since the last time they had danced. She noticed Sam and Santi out of the corner of her eye who were dancing a few feet away from them with big smiles plastered on their faces. She tried her hardest to hold in the smile of her own, but she couldn't help it, she was having so much fun. Liam caught her smile and pulled her closer, smiling that signature smile and causing her heart to race a little.
His lips were so close to hers, all she had to do was stand on her tiptoes. Before she could do anything his eyes quickly focused on something behind her for a split second and before she knew it, he had pulled away saying that he had to use the bathroom. Bella couldn't help feeling a tad bit disappointed as she watched him leave, she thought his sudden behaviour was weird but carried on dancing with the girls, waiting for him to come back, only he never did. Instead he sat down at the table they were sitting at earlier and just watched her.
Bella felt Sam nudge her side as she handed her a glass of punch and started leading both her and Santi towards the girls bathroom, pulling out a small bottle of Vodka along the way. They all giggled as they poured the Vodka into their glasses and downed them. She knew that alcohol affected her easily, so she reminded herself to take it easy.
They finished the bottle and made their way back out to the dance floor. The Vodka had definitely had an effect on her as she continued dancing, making her feel more alive then ever. Bella suddenly stopped dancing, her eyes focused on something that sent a feeling of hurt straight through her. She settled her eyes on the bimbo that was flirting with Liam earlier, only now she had her arms wrapped around his neck and was whispering something into his ear. She continued to watch, her eyes never leaving the two of them as the blonde moved her head to face him. Her heart sank when she noticed the look on his face, like he was almost enjoying her attention. Bella turned away, unable to look anymore and pushed through the crowd that surrounded her, going completely unnoticed by her friends.
Bella saw one of the doors that lead outside slightly open, she knew it was freezing but didn't care. She slipped through the open door, the cold hitting her body instantly. She looked around at the patio she was standing on, it was pretty big and had a railing going all the way around like a balcony, with leaves and white lights entwined between the bars, it was beautiful. She walked towards the railing, wrapping her arms around herself and looking up at the snowy dark sky.
Why was she feeling like this she wondered? Why did it hurt so much to see him with that girl? She knew that she liked him, she just didn't realize how much. A part of her had secretly been hoping that Liam would confess that he liked her more than just a friend tonight, but of course that wouldn't happen, she felt stupid even thinking about it. They had been so close when dancing together, she was convinced that he was going to kiss her, but instead he pulled away. Why?
Bella let out a sigh, wishing she had never come out here, but she cringed at the thought of going back inside. She felt a chill go down her spine, but it wasn't the cold that caused it, it was from the feeling of somebody watching her. She went to turn her head around when she was suddenly engulfed with the feeling of warmth being wrapped around her shoulders. She spun her head round to find that it was Liam wrapping his jacket around her, leaving him with just his shirt and tie, how is it that he looks even more amazing she thought to herself?
"You must be freezing," he muttered, rubbing her arms through the thick material. She just shrugged her shoulders and smiled up at him weakly, putting her arms through the sleeves properly and wrapping it around her more tightly.
"I was looking for you. Are you ok?" he asked, concern across his face.
"Yeah, I'm fine," she nodded.
Liam cocked his head to the side and looked at her unconvincingly. "Bella, what's wrong?"
She turned her head away from him and took in a deep breath, "I just don't understand why you wanted to come with me tonight?" she said, pausing for a few seconds before continuing. "Why didn't you choose someone you really wanted to go with? I mean, did you do it because you felt sorry for me?"
"Of course not," he frowned.
"Then why did you come with me when you could be having a good time with someone else?" she questioned.
Liam looked confused, but after a minute he snapped his head up in realization, "You mean, someone like Jennifer?"
She looked away again not wanting to make it obvious that she had been watching their little intimate moment.
"I'm not into her, if that's what you're thinking?" he said innocently. "Bella, I came with you. If I wanted to come with another girl I would have, but there's not a single girl in our school that even slightly interests me," he stated.
Did that include her as well?
"I came with you because I wanted to," he finished.
"Really?" she asked, looking up at him.
"Really," he repeated, giving her a half smile.
As if right on cue it started to snow, she looked up at the sky and smiled. They listened as the music came to a stop, the band announced that they were playing one last song to end the night with, she couldn't believe how fast the time had gone by. Bella gazed up at Liam as the song started playing.
"We should probably get inside," she said and started walking away. She felt Liam gently grab hold of her hand, making her turn back around. He pulled her closer towards him and slowly wrapped his arms around her waist.
"May I have this dance, princess?" he asked, smiling down at her sweetly.
Bella smiled back and wrapped her arms around his neck. All good things happened to her when it snowed, was this a sign maybe? Words couldn't describe how she felt right now as they danced in the snow, the way he smiled at her made her heart melt, but then everything about him did.
"I wish you could have met Amy. She would have really liked you," she told him, making him smile at her again.
Bella rested her head against his warm muscular chest, closing her eyes and breathing in that familiar scent of his. She could feel him lower his head and pulling her closer in his arms. Just like she had predicted, he started playing with the end of her curls as they continued to dance, the snow falling even heavier now.
"Bella," he whispered, making her look up at him. "Yeah?" she answered.
"You remember when we were in the library and we talked about the whole Cammy situation?" he asked her. It was weird to hear him say her name but she nodded anyway. "The last thing you said was 'I know how you feel'.
"Yeah," she paused for a moment before continuing, "My ex, Nick. We broke up a couple of weeks before I moved here. After my sister died, he put all this pressure on me and tried to push me into doing things I didn't want to do," she explained. Liam stayed silent letting her continue.
"He never even once comforted me. Eventually I couldn't take it anymore, so I broke up with him, he didn't even care. He told me I wasn't worth it and then he left." She could see Liam frowning slightly but nonetheless stayed quiet. "I found out a week later that he had already slept with someone just a day after we broke up. It just really hurt me. It made me feel like..." she struggled to find the word.
"Like you weren't good enough," he finished for her, an understanding look on his face. "Yeah," she nodded sadly.
"He's an idiot," he told her.
"So is Cammy." How anyone could ever not want Liam was beyond her, that girl must have been blind to not see what an amazing guy she had.
They stopped dancing as they looked each other in the eye, was this it? Was he going to kiss her? He had an odd look in his eye, the only look she could never figure out.
"Oops, sorry," Sam's voice perked up making them both split apart. "Everyone is leaving soon," she said, sending Bella an apologetic look before leaving.
"Come on, I'll take you home," Liam said, leading her back inside. She really wished Sam hadn't interrupted them, she really wanted him to kiss her, just like he had done in her dream. She looked up at his handsome face and smiled, the night wasn't over just yet she told herself.
He walked her to her front door once they had arrived, watching her the whole way. He tried to pry his eyes away, but he couldn't help it, she looked so beautiful, he hadn't been able to keep his eyes away from her the entire night and he wasn't the only one either. He noticed her expression change as she glanced up at something, following her gaze he saw a piece of mistletoe hanging just above the door, he hadn't noticed that before. Liam chuckled lightly when he noticed her blushing, she seemed to do that a lot around him.
"I'm really glad I came tonight," she smiled sweetly.
"Me too," he nodded in agreement.
"Also, I'm sorry about before," she said, looking down at the ground like she was embarrassed.
"It's ok Bella," he told her.
"No, I shouldn't have acted that way, I guess I'm just not used to a guy being so nice to me, except for Scott of course, but even Nick wasn't this nice to me and he was my boyfriend," she explained. How a guy could treat her like crap was beyond him and that Nick guy sounded like a total d*ck!
"He sounds like a jackass if you ask me. I mean to lose a girl like you."
"Trust me, there's nothing even remotely special about me," she muttered sadly, almost like she had heard those words from someone before, he was betting that someone was that d*ck!
"I disagree, I don't think you realize just how amazing you really are, you're a great person Bella, you shouldn't let anyone ever tell you any different," he said, looking down at her intently. He really wished he could show her just how special she was, but doing that would probably earn him a slap around the face.
A small breeze went by making her beautiful curls fly around, he gently moved a strand away that had fallen in front of her face and gently tucked it behind her ear. He really needed to stop touching her he told himself, the last thing he wanted to do was scare her away.
"Guys like Nick don't deserve a girl like you."
He watched her as she looked away, her cheeks blushing like crazy, the whole thing was cute to him, he loved it when she blushed for him.
"Well, I should go inside," she said quietly.
"Sure," he nodded, wishing she would stay a little longer.
As if his wish had been granted, she turned to him and smiled, "You know, I've really missed my home and just the thought of going back makes me so happy, but now there's also a part of me that's really gonna miss this place. I never thought I would grow to love it here and I think part of that reason, is because of you," she said, taking him by surprise a little.
"You've really helped me a lot, you're the only one I can talk to about Amy, I'm still not sure why?" she nodded her head quizzically. "You know there are still days where I feel like falling apart, but I know things are getting better, that's something I never thought would happen. So, I guess I just want to thank you," she finished, smiling at him once again.
Before he could react to anything she wrapped her arms around his waist and was hugging him. Liam slowly wrapped his arms around her tiny body, loving how she felt against him. He lowered his head down, his nose just above her head, she always smelt incredible. Liam lifted his head back up and sighed quietly, god this girl is killing me. There are so many things he wanted to tell her but couldn't. It was taking everything in him not to kiss her right now, he had almost given in when dancing with her earlier tonight, she had turned him on so much with the way she was moving against him. He had wanted to kiss her so bad and he almost did, but he had noticed Scott standing at the end of the room watching him and had no choice but to pull away from her.
He knew Scott was suspicious about how he felt towards Bella, he had already pulled him up a couple times about it, warning him to stay away, including tonight. He couldn't help feeling a little pissed off that Scott just assumed that all he wanted to do was get her into bed. Of course, he would be lying if he said he didn't want to, but Bella had this innocence about her and he had a pretty good feeling from the way she talked about her ex that she had never done anything like that.
Liam would never do that to her, he couldn't, she was so much more then that. He felt her shift slightly and slowly face him. He was taken back in shock as she stood on her tiptoes and softly kissed his lips. He couldn't believe what was happening, she was actually kissing him!
He wanted to hold her closer and deepen the kiss, but she had already pulled back. He opened his eyes to look at her, still in shock. Had that really happened or did he just imagine it all? Suddenly it hit him.
Liam looked up at the door, "Oh right, the mistletoe," he said, trying not to sound too disappointed. He looked into her eyes and noticed her face drop, but she quickly covered it up with a fake smile that he had seen her use so many times before.
"Right, of course, it is tradition after all," she added quickly, still noticing the odd look in her eyes.
Did she really kiss him because she wanted to, he wondered? "I should go," she stuttered, sliding off his jacket and handing it to him. He stood and watched her unlock the door as she made her way inside, what are you doing you idiot, kiss her!
"Bella!" She turned around and smiled at him weakly.
"Merry Christmas, Liam," she said and shut the door behind her.
He stood there for a second longer feeling like a complete tool, it was then that he knew...he had completely fallen in love with Bella and she had no idea.