In These Arms

Bella is your typical teenage girl, sure she has her ups and downs but that's besides the point. She is happily living in the UK with her loving parents and her big sister Amy who is more like her best friend. With good grades, plenty of friends and a boyfriend, Bella's life couldn't be more complete. She soon discovers that life is never that easy. Upon learning the death of her sister Amy who was tragically killed in a car accident, Bella's life starts spiralling out of control.

Between moving countries and adjusting to a new school, Bella struggles to move forward with the loss of her sister. Her cousin Scott who has always been more of a brother is thrilled to have her living in America which is where her parents decided to relocate. He soon discovers that she is not the same bubbly and happy girl she used to be. Can he get her to open up and attempt to put her broken heart back together? Or can Scott's best friend Liam who takes a shine to Bella help her through her grievance? I


17. Chapter 17

~Friday had rolled on and there was still no sign of Liam. Bella had previously been worried that he was avoiding her, but now she felt like something wasn't right and hoped that nothing bad had happened to him. She had even asked Scott this morning if he was alright, but he told her that he hadn't heard from him and that he wasn't even answering his phone, which of course worried her even more. It was so unlike Liam, even if she had only know him for a short time, something didn't feel right.

"Earth to Bella," Sam smiled warmly, waving her hand in front of her face as they sat in their English class they had together, along with Santi.

"What?" Bella asked, snapping out of her thoughts.

"Are you ok?" Santi asked her, turning around in her chair to face her.

"Yeah, just fine," she lied, but obviously couldn't fool her two new friends.

"Any news from Liam?" Sam asked, knowing all too well what was on her mind. She shook her head before answering, "No, I'm actually really worried."

"It's so weird for him to not show up, I mean he occasionally skips a class now and then, but a whole two days...," Santi said nervously, making that uneasy feeling even worse.

"Did you ask Scott?" Sam asked.
"Yeah, he hasn't heard from him," she answered, looking between them both.

"I'm sure he's ok, he's probably just sick or something," Sam told her trying to ease her mind a little, which sadly wasn't working. "Yeah, I guess," she replied with a sigh.

"Save the chatter until after class ladies," Mr Collins said sternly, followed by a small grin before turning back round to write on the board.

Bella found it impossible to concentrate on anything while her head was pondering over all the things that could be wrong with Liam, hoping that he really was just sick and not hurt or anything. Maybe she was just worrying over nothing, for all she knew he could be curled up in bed with a cold or why did that aching feeling in the pit of her stomach refuse to believe that? Why did she suddenly feel guilty for being mad at him? Maybe she should have been more understanding, after all he was only protecting her.


Emerging from the shower that evening, Bella walked into her room and dried off before changing into a pair of shorts she usually wore for bed and a simple white tank top. Walking back into her bathroom, she quickly brushed her teeth and combed her wet hair out, letting it dry naturally. With a big yawn she re-entered her room, not bothering to turn on any lights and just flopped herself onto her bed. She reached for her phone that was laying on her bedside table and scrolled through her contacts, settling on Liam's number.

Bella had the strongest urge to call him just to make sure he was ok, just to hear his deep almost husky voice would make her feel so much better. Things had been so weird and awkward between them lately, well on her account anyway, she wasn't sure how he felt. She let out a sigh and chucked the phone on the bed next to her. Feeling her eyes becoming a little heavy, she slowly closed them and allowed sleep to overcome her.

A few minutes passed when the sound of a light tapping noise awakened her. Sitting straight up, she looked around the dark room and listened for the sound she thought she had heard, but found nothing but silence. Did she imagine it? Bella lowered herself back down when she heard the same tapping noise again making her shoot back up, this time she knew she wasn't imagining it. Getting up from her bed she listened for the noise again, it almost sounded like someone was knocking, she then realized that whatever it is was coming from her window.

"Bella," she heard, making her freeze on the spot. She knew that voice, but it couldn't be...could it?

Slowly walking towards the window, she hesitantly pulled back her blinds preparing to run and scream in case she was wrong and it ended up being a serial killer...who knew her name. Bella pulled her blinds all the way back to reveal her midnight visitor. She was unable to see him clearly because of the dark, but she knew it was him. She quickly opened her window, a huge gust of cold wind rushed towards her body making her shiver.


"I'm sorry if I scared you," he said, his voice deep and husky just like she had imagined it earlier on.

"What are you doing here?" she asked him, but he didn't answer. "Come on," she said, gently grabbing hold of his arm to help pull him inside. "It's freezing out there." As silly as it was she couldn't help but silently thank the tree by her window, she knew there was a reason she chose this room.

Once inside Bella shut the window and let her blinds fall back down before turning to face Liam. It was still too dark, she could barely see his face at all. She reached out to turn the light on, only to have Liam pull her hand back gently.

"Leave it," he said, barely above a whisper but loud enough for her to hear.

"Liam, is everything ok?" she asked as he let go of her hand. She could feel him watching her, the fact that she couldn't see his face properly made her nervous, but rethinking it...maybe it would help her not melt every time those intense eyes met her own.

"I'm sorry if I woke you," he said, changing the subject.

Two can play at that game she decided as she prodded on, "Liam where were you? Why didn't you answer your phone? Are you ok? Are you sick?" she babbled on, hoping he would give in and tell her already.

He stayed silent for a while before answering, "I'm fine."

Anger was beginning to rise through her, he's fine! Two days of not hearing anything and that's all he's got to say. "Then where were you? Did something happen?" She watched as he approached her more closely, his smell coming in clear and surrounding her. She really had to stop this obsession, she thought to herself...but she couldn't help it, he always smelt so incredible!

Bella could feel his breath against her face, nerves rushing throughout her body, he was so close to her she almost had trouble standing straight. "You were worried about me?" he asked, hearing the smile in his voice. So much for the dark becoming her friend.

"Bella?" She heard her mum call from behind her door sending a shot of panic through her and replacing all those nerves with a huge dollop of fear. She quickly pushed Liam inside the bathroom before darting towards her bed and getting under her duvet.

"Bella?" she called again, this time opening the door to peep her head inside. "Everything ok?"
"Yeah, I was just going to bed," she told her, trying to keep her voice steady.

"I thought I heard voices?" she asked, looking around the room nosily.
"Oh, I was just on the phone," she told her quickly.
"It's a little late Bella," her mum stated.

"It was just Sam, she had a bad date and needed to vent a little," she said convincingly, hating that she had to lie and hating that she now might have just cursed Sam.

"Ok. Well I'm off to bed now, I have an early meeting in the morning and I'm not sure what time I'll be home, but I'll make sure we still spend some time together before Sunday alright?"

She smiled at her mum and nodded her head, "Ok that's fine."
"Goodnight then."

"Night mum."

As soon as she shut the door Bella reached towards her bedside table and switched the lamp on before quietly walking towards her door, waiting to make sure her mum was gone.

"The coast clear?" Liam asked from behind her making her chuckle slightly.

"Yeah, you can come out," she replied, keeping her voice low. She turned the key in the door and locked it...just in case she told herself. "God that was close -" she stopped suddenly as she turned to face Liam. Shock washed over her as she took in his appearance.

His left cheek was bruised and slightly bloody, including his swollen lip. In fact he looked like hell, his hair was messier than usual, even the way he stood was odd, he looked tired.

"Liam," she breathed out, slightly at a loss for words.

"Don't worry about it," he said, drifting his eyes away from her and dragging his hand through his messy hair. He was so gorgeous, even if he did look like he hadn't slept in days, she still had the strongest urge to kiss him.

Moving towards him she lightly touched his cheek expecting him to flinch back or grimace, but he just watched her, his expression unreadable, almost like she was the one who was hurt. Bella knew though, as much as he tried to act like it wasn't a big deal she could still see the pain in his eyes, he didn't have to say anything.

"Liam, what happened? Who did this to you?" she asked, knowing Liam could easily defend himself if need be, unless it was a group she wondered? Just picturing that made her stomach turn.

"It dosen't matter," he muttered, taking her hand away from his face but keeping a hold of it while he continued to watch her carefully. Bella snatched her hand away from his grasp, she didn't care how long it took to get it out of him, he was going to tell her.

"Yes it does!"

He looked down almost defeated, letting out a small tired sigh, "Bella, I need, can I..." he trailed off, a look of uncertainty appearing across his face.

"Liam what?" she asked, slightly worried.

"Do you mind if I crash here tonight?" he asked, rubbing the back of his neck nervously.

"Here?" she repeated, her heart doing a little flip at the thought of him sleeping in her room. "What about your home?"

"I can't," he frowned, looking down at the floor. "Why not?" she asked, slightly confused.

Liam slowly looked up at her, his gaze lingering on her face giving her an almost knowing look. Then it suddenly hit her, she knew why he didn't want to tell her, she knew exactly who did this now. His own father. Anger rushed through her veins at the image of what his father had done to him, but her anger was quickly replaced with sadness. She could tell that he was trying to be strong, but she could see past it all. She knew deep down, he was hurt and not just physically.

Breaking the space between them she hugged him close to her, he let out what sounded like a hiss of pain as she did, but before she could move away he wrapped his arms tightly around her bringing her closer.

"You smell like Strawberries," he muttered quietly, making her look up into his eyes. "You always do," he added, a small smile appearing on his face.

Bella smiled back and could feel her body temperature rising. Being alone with him was making her nervous, she watched his face carefully searching for any sign that maybe, just maybe he might feel the same way that she does about him. If only she could figure out the expression that was now on his face, the only expression she could never figure out!

"I should go,"  he said, cutting her thoughts off.

"I don't want to get you into any trouble Bella, I shouldn't have asked," he said, untangling his arms from around her as he headed for the window.

"Liam," she called out, tugging his arm to face her. "Really it's ok. I wan't you to stay," she told him, knowing it was probably a bad idea, but right now she didn't really care.

"Are you sure?" he asked, unconvinced.

Bella nodded as he watched her and she knew he was unsure. Taking hold of his hand she lead him towards the bed. "Sit here, I'll be right back," she said, smiling at him sweetly before disappearing into the bathroom. She grabbed a washcloth from one of the shelves and ran it under some lukewarm water. Before heading back into her room, she remembered having some disinfectant around somewhere. She quickly searched for it, finding it stacked at the back of the shelf.

Liam was sitting on her bed like she had asked him to, his feet on the ground, elbows plopped on his knees while his head rested in his hands making it look like he had a headache. He had taken his leather jacket off, showing his big, strong, muscular arms. She swallowed nervously and made her way towards him. He raised his head up when he noticed her and ran his hands through his hair. She noticed a small almost cheeky smile appearing on his face.

"You don't have to do that Bella," he chuckled, watching her as she placed the disinfectant on her beside table. "I don't mind," she shrugged.

"Do I get to wipe you clean as well?" he asked teasingly, making her blush furiously. She looked away from his gaze causing him to chuckle even more.

"Just tell me if I hurt you ok," she said, coming to stand in front of him.

"Don't worry about hurting me Bella, I can take it," he told her, making it sound like he was used to feeling this way.

Bella nervously brought the wet cloth to his cheek and started dabbing lightly trying not to put too much pressure on it. She could feel his eyes on her the entire time wishing he would stop so she could concentrate. She suddenly felt very aware of the shorts she was wearing, why couldn't she have chosen sweats instead! Oh whatever, he probably hasn't even noticed or just dosen't care.

"You're being too gentle," he smirked, interrupting her thoughts. She smiled shyly before reaching out for the disinfectant, applying some onto the cloth and turning to him once more.

"This might sting a little," she told him, lightly dabbing the material to his now clean but wounded cheek. He hissed a little as it came in contact with the cut. Once again she could feel his gaze on her while she continued cleaning him up, this time she stopped to look in his eyes, that same unreadable expression on his face.

"I was worried," she whispered, answering his question from earlier. "I thought..."

Liam held her hand that she had let travel down to his swollen, slightly cut lip. "Thought what?" he asked.

"I thought you were avoiding me...but when you still hadn't shown up and Scott told me you weren't answering your phone, I knew something was wrong," she confessed.

"I didn't mean to worry you, actually I thought you wouldn't want to see me anyway," he confessed, avoiding her gaze. "Am I wrong?"

Now it was her turn to avoid his gaze. "It's ok Bella, you had a right to be mad."

"I wasn't really mad at you...well maybe a little," she said, making him smile. "I honestly wasn't sure how to feel. I was mad that you fought with him, but at the same time I was grateful that you stood up for me. I just want you to know that just because I'm Scott's little cousin, dosen't mean you have to look after me all the time. It's not up to you."

Bella watched as he blinked at that, "Is that what you think?" His stare making her slightly uncomfortable, she looked down at her hand that was still resting in his.

"I don't know Liam, why else would you?" Making it sound like a fact rather than a question. He studied her face, she could see him hesitating about something. She moved her hand out from his and took the disinfectant from her bedside table.

"You should probably get some sleep, you look really tired."
"Yeah, that's probably not a bad idea," he replied, standing up from the bed. She took the stuff back into the bathroom and quickly giving herself a once over before going back inside.

"What are you doing?" she asked Liam, who was currently lying on the floor, using his leather jacket as a pillow.

"Sleeping," like he was stating the obvious.

"On the floor?"

"Trust me, I've had worse," he told her, almost sounding a little hurt.

"Liam, it's ok, you can sleep with me," she said, making Liam's head turn in surprise. Oh god, what has she got herself into now.

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