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


2. Chapter 2

It was the second day of school and Bella was currently putting her pile of books away in her locker, why kids needed so many these days were beyond her! Couldn't they just stick to one book per lesson instead of three or four! Looking around at everyone else's locker, she noticed that they had all decorated theirs with pictures and odd little accessories. Glancing back at her own, she gave it a once over and wondered if she should do the same? She quickly decided against it and continued to put her books away. Like a decorated locker was really going to make her feel any better! She put her last remaining book in her locker and then gently slammed it shut with a relieved sigh.

As she turned to lean against her locker, she found a group of guys staring at her with big grins on their faces and suggestive looks in their eyes. She watched as the tall one said something to them before slowly making his way towards her. Great, she sighed, what line was she going to hear now? Liam was right about the corny chat up lines, she was officially scarred for life. The guy was inches away from her when Scott luckily appeared at her side making the guy stop dead in his tracks with a disappointed look spread across his face. Scott quickly greeted her with a hug and told her he would walk her to class as he put his arm around her and faced the group of guys giving them a look she knew all too well. In other words it meant to stay the hell away from his cousin or else.

Scott was a lot taller then Bella, at least 6ft. Bella was only 5ft 2 which always made her feel tiny whenever he stood beside her. His hair was jet black, short and spiky. He was very athletic, always doing some sort of sport. He had a piercing on his left eyebrow that he had gotten last year and a little bit of stubble around his chin. She turned her head to the side as they continued to walk down the hall only to find Scott still staring down the group of guys. She rolled her eyes and laughed to herself. Some things never change.

The rest of the day went by pretty smoothly. After each class had finished she would find Scott waiting for her which she insisted him not to, but she knew that he felt guilty for not being there on her first day. As promised, he had introduced her to all his friends and all his team mates who were more then welcoming, it definitely confirmed his social butterfly status.

Scott's confidence had grown enormously since he had moved here and joined the football team, one thing she started to notice were the amount of girls that would look their way whenever Scott walked by. Some girls would smile shyly at him, some would stand there with a sexy smile on their faces followed by a flirty "hi". She found it amusing how he only acknowledged certain girls though and ignored others. She never knew Scott to be such a ladies man! This was something she had never seen from him before.

Back when they were kids, Scott was always the shy one, he could never find the nerve to talk to any girl and now it's like he was a completely different person. She wasn't sure if she should say something or not so she decided to drop it for the moment but would defiantly ask him about it later on. She was just grateful to have him by her side, it made the day go by that much easier.

Scott had introduced her to a few more people as lunch rolled on before Sam and Santi were waving her over  to go and sit with them. She walked over with Scott and asked them if it was alright for him to join, even though he could have sat anywhere he liked, he insisted on sitting with her. It made her laugh when her two new friends gladly allowed him to join, watching them both  share a secret glance at each other the same way they did with Mr Collins.

While they were eating, Scott's friend Liam soon came over and joined them which instantly made her stomach do somersaults. Ever since she had left him at the park yesterday, he was all she had thought about. He seemed to make her blush furiously whenever he was around. Stealing a quick glance his way, she stopped to let her eyes linger a little bit as he sat across from Scott in deep conversation.

He was definitely the most gorgeous guy she had ever seen and she couldn't help but notice how intense his brown eyes were, like dark chocolate. They made you want to gaze into them all day. He had dark brown messy hair that was medium long with light layers, his hands running through it every now and then making him even more attractive. He also had some light stubble starting from his sideburns going all the way down to his chin with a little bit more under his bottom and top lip. She had never really liked facial hair on a guy before, but for some reason on Liam she found that it made him look dark and mysterious yet kind of sexy at the same time.

He had a very laid back sort of style to him. When she had first met him he was wearing a long sleeved black top under a black leather jacket and a pair of dark blue jeans. Today he was wearing a black t-shirt which fit his arms perfectly and a dark pair of jeans. Another thing she had noticed about him was how well built he was. She thought that her last boyfriend had a good body, but Liam's was just amazing! He obviously took good care of himself.

Scott was currently telling all of them a pastime story about himself and Liam making everyone at the table laugh. She wanted to pay attention to what he was saying but couldn't help glancing over at Liam who was now smiling at Scott. He really did have an amazing smile, the amount of things he could get her to do by just smiling like that made her blush at the thought. 

So caught up in his appearance, Liam's deep brown eyes suddenly locked onto her own. Embarrassment shot through her as she realized just how long she had been staring at him like an idiot. Trying to think of what to do next she awkwardly smiled at him and quickly turned her attention towards Scott, as if she had been listening the whole time. Liam smiled to himself, obviously finding the whole thing deeply amusing. She knew he had caught her staring, how embarrassing!


Bella spent the rest of her afternoon unpacking the remaining boxes she had been so reluctant to touch. Just one more left she sighed! Grabbing the scissors off her desk, she cut open the box and looked inside. Bella felt her whole body freeze when she realized what was inside. Her body suddenly felt cold and the grief that she had built up for the longest time was starting to break. This was Amy's box, these were her things, her clothes, her memories.

Packing up her sister's room that day had been something she would never forget. There had been no talking, just a sense of loss hanging in the air. They had kept almost everything and boxed it away, it was the hardest thing she had ever had to do. Bella couldn't find it in herself to get rid of anything. Just the thought of other people wearing her clothes and touching her things seemed wrong somehow, so they kept it all.

Trying to hold her tears back, she carefully opened the box a little more and pulled out a piece of pink clothing. It was Amy's favourite cardigan that she always wore. Bella had bought it for her two Christmas's ago and since then her sister told her that every time she wore it, it would bring her good luck. Bella hugged the cardigan tightly and brought it closer to her face, it smelt just like her. She couldn't even begin to describe it really.

A few days after he funeral, Bella spent several hours visiting different shops and smelling every perfume and every detergent she could find, but nothing came close to Amy's scent. All Bella wanted to do was hold onto something that made her feel like she was still around, but she had no luck, just like her sister, it had disappeared along with her. She soon realized that she would never be able to find it; because it was a scent that would belong to Amy and Amy only.

She kept the cardigan close to her chest, letting her nose nestle on top. As she breathed in, a weird feeling travelled around her body, it was almost as if she could feel Amy's presence, almost as if she was standing there right with her. Unable to hold back any longer, Bella could feel her whole body start to grow weaker, her legs felt numb and before she knew it her knees buckled and her legs hit the floor. Clutching the cardigan close to her chest, she began to sob uncontrollably. Holding back her grief for Amy had been her biggest challenge throughout all of this, she hadn't cried at all, not even at the funeral.

At first it was because she didn't want her sister to be disappointed in her, she wouldn't have wanted her to be sad, she would have wanted her to be strong, for mum and dad, but that soon changed once she realized what life without her was like. The fact that her sister was no longer alive didn't seem real to her, it couldn't! To know that she was never going to see her ever again, hear her laugh, to see her smile or get to hold her again, even if it was just for one last time. None of it seemed real to her.

Who was going to be there for her when she comes home from having a crappy bad date? Who was going to listen to her when she needed help or guidance? Who was going to stay up all night and watch sappy movies while sharing secrets about boys and arguing over who was the better looking pirate? Who was going to do all those things with her? It wasn't fair! How could the world be so cruel to take her away from them!

The bond between her and Amy had always been strong, they weren't just sisters, she was also her best friend, her rock. She missed her so much! It didn't feel right being here without her, nothing did anymore. Amy was supposed to be here, she wasn't supposed to leave, not yet! But that b**tard ruined everything, if it wasn't for him she would still be alive!

"Bella, dinner will be ready soon!" she heard her mum shout up the stairs. She didn't bother replying. Not because she was being rude, but because she knew her voice was too shaky, she didn't want them seeing her like this. Taking a deep breath, she wiped her face clean of tears and stood back up, her legs still feeling slightly weak. Instead of putting the cardigan back in the box she opened her closet door and folded it on the top shelf.

Bella knew the scent would fade eventually so she wanted to make the most of it now, a part of her just couldn't box it away. Walking into her bathroom, she quickly checked herself in the mirror and grimaced at the sight. She looked like hell she thought! She couldn't go downstairs yet, not with her puffy eyes and red face, that would be a total giveaway that she was crying! Taking a few deep breaths she walked back into her room and closed the box back up with her sister's things back and decided to tell her parents about it later.


Bella spent most of the next day sitting on her window seal and listening to her iPod while watching the snow slowly set outside. Her parents had removed her sister's box earlier that day. Unfortunately she had also had one of her recurring nightmares last night that she had been getting ever since the death of her sister. Her dreams are always the same, each time she watches her sister die and each time there is nothing she can do but helplessly watch. It usually ends with her parents trying to shake her awake as she screams her sister's name in her sleep.

Her dad was leaving for a business trip to Japan that morning that he had to take for work. He worked as a construction project manager which always involved a lot of travel. He was reluctant to leave but she managed to muster up a smile to reassure him that she was ok, knowing full well he could see right through it. Her mum had even passed her room a few more times  then usual that day, she knew they were worried about her. She couldn't blame them though really, she was all they had left these days.

Her mum came into her room one last time telling her she had to go to work and that Scott called to say he was coming over to keep her company, not believing that fact for a second. She knew that her mum had probably called to tell them what had happened last night and was worried about leaving her alone, as mums do. As it was Scott she didn't really mind, but it was still a little embarrassing. With one final hug from her mum, she continued to sit alone, watching the snow fall from the sky wondering if there really was another world out there full of people we had lost?

No longer then twenty minutes since her mum had left, her phone that was sitting on her bed started to ring. She reluctantly walked over to pick it up. Scott had texted her telling her that he would be over in half an hour. She replied back with a simple "ok" before dropping the phone back onto her bed. She looked at her clock that was resting on her beside table. 5:12 already she sighed! Making her way downstairs to the kitchen, she began looking through the cupboards and tried to decide what to cook. Scott was the biggest glutton she had ever known, he could seriously eat for a whole army that boy. Seeing as he was asked to practically babysit her, it's the least she could do.

Half an hour had passed and as promised Scott had shown up, calling out to her from the living room. "In here," she replied, still cooking away in the kitchen.

"Hey," he announced as he entered the kitchen. "You should really latch that door when your parents aren't here you know," he lectured as he came up behind her for a peek at what she was cooking.

"Ok dad," she replied sarcastically, "Such a mother hen," she mumbled to herself.

"Mmm, I'm starving!" he moaned, stealing a strand of pasta that was cooking in the saucepan. She turned around about to scold him when a faint noise from the hallway caught her attention.

"Oh I brought Liam, is that ok?" Scott asked. Bella felt her stomach do a nervous flip at the thought of him in her house, she wasn't even wearing any makeup she grimaced! Not only that, but all she was wearing were a pair of black leggings and a baggy jumper that almost reached her knees and her hair was up in a messy bun which at this stage was really messy. Uh, what was he going to think!

 "Sure," she answered as calmly, hoping Scott wouldn't catch on to the fact that she thought his best friend was a total hottie and that he wasn't even in the room yet and she was already blushing.

"I just need to use the bathroom," he told her. Just as he left the room Liam appeared from the hallway.

"Hey," she greeted with a nervous smile. "Hey," he smiled as he leaned against the doorway with his hands in his pockets. "I hope it's ok that I came?"

"Of course it is," she nodded, causing him to smile a little more before slowly making his way towards her.

"Smells good," he said, eyeing the saucepans on the stove.

"Spaghetti Bolognaise," she told him. "Wait, you're not allergic to tomatoes or anything right?" she asked warily.

"No," he chuckled, continuing to watch her cook which was making her very nervous.

As she stirred the sauce, she brought the spoon to her lips and blew on it lightly before tasting a little. "Mmm, so good," not realizing the bit of sauce on the side of her lip.

"Uh you have a bit of sauce...." Liam pointed to the side of his lip trying to show her where it was. She quickly wiped her lip but failed to where he was pointing to.

"Here," he stepped towards her and gently took the kitchen towel from her grasp so he could wipe the sauce from her lip. "There you  go," he grinned.

Bella chuckled nervously at her clumsiness and not to mention the distance between them as he towered over her. Being this close to Liam suddenly made her stomach do another somersault. Whenever she was close enough to him she couldn't help but notice how amazing he smelt. There was something about the cologne he wore or the shampoo he used that made her want to move in a little closer. She was such a weirdo she thought to herself!

Getting a hold of herself, she broke their eye contact and turned back towards the stove placing some more sauce on the spoon. "Here, see what you think," bringing the spoon up towards him. Due to her being so small Liam had to bend down slightly, placing his lips around the tip of the spoon, his gaze never leaving hers.

"Mmm, that's the best bolognaise I've ever tasted."

"You're sweet," she smiled as she stirred the sauce some more. She was glad when Scott had finally returned, being alone with Liam was great but she ended up acting like a complete fool around him each and every time!

After dinner the boys offered to do the dishes while she got the popcorn ready that Scott kindly requested for. How could he still be hungry she thought to herself!  She popped the bag of popcorn into the microwave and sat on the kitchen counter watching the two boys playing around as they splashed water at each other. She rolled her eyes and laughed at the two of them.

When they had finally finished the dishes and cleaned up all the mess they all gathered into the living room. Bella sat on the sofa with a book while the two boys sat on the floor in front of her, playing some sort of car racing game on the PS3. She watched in amusement as they kept bickering and elbowing each other so the other one would lose. Typical boys.

"Ah man!"
"Haha, won again!" Scott boasts. "Man, you suck at this!"
"Shut up! I'm just getting warmed up."
"Sure you are.....what! Dude you set my car alight!"
"Told you, just getting warmed up," elbowing Scott in the ribs which only provoked Scott to playfully punch Liam on the arm in return.

"Hey! See what your cousin does to me Bella," Liam muttered, now facing her. She shook her head and laughed at their childish antics.

"Aww, did I hurt you?" Scott teased him.
"Yeah, you did," he pouted, trying to look sad. "Maybe Bella can kiss it better for me," he winked in her direction with a cheeky grin on his face that made her instantly blush.

"Dude, that's my cousin, off limits!" Scott warned him, grabbing him into a headlock. Bella continued to laugh as they started tackling each other, both looking like complete idiots. The sound of keys jingling and the front door being opened made them quickly split apart as her mum walked through the door.

"Hey mum!" she called out.
"Hey sweetie, Scott it's good to see you."

"You too Aunt Lily. Oh, this is my friend Liam," pointing to where he was sitting.
"Hello Liam, it's nice to meet you."

"Nice to meet you Mrs Roberts," he said, politely as he stood up to shake her hand.

"Please, call me Lily. I swear, the boys over here are so well mannered," she chuckled warmly. "Thank you for keeping my little girl company."

"Mum," she groaned, making the two boys snicker at her embarrassment. "I'm sorry sweetie, but I'm your mother, I'm entitled to embarrass you." Her mother grinned before walking away.

"I better be off home Bells," Scott said as he stood up with a stretch "Yeah, me too," Liam muttered, grabbing his jacket from the empty seat beside her.

"Come here little cuz." Practically pulling Bella up off the sofa and into one of his big suffocating bear hugs that she had gotten used to over the years. "Call me if you need anything okay," he told her as he placed her safely back on the ground. The look on his face told her exactly what he meant and she felt slightly worried that he had maybe said something to Liam.

"I will, thanks," giving him another quick hug.

"Thanks for dinner, it was great," Liam smiled as he stood there with his hands in his pockets while waiting for Scott.

"You're welcome," she smiled back noticing a slight twinkle in his eye. She walked with them to the door as they said their final goodbyes.

"You know, my arm still really hurts..." Liam smirked, making her heart stop.

"Dude! Do you want a black eye!" Scott threatened him, whacking him in the arm again which only made him laugh.

Bella laughed herself as she watched Scott walking towards his car and mumbling under his breath. 

Liam simply faced her and shrugged  his shoulders innocently followed by a small wink before joining Scott.

Was it just her imagination or did Liam actually flirt with her tonight? Or was she reading too much into it? Unless it was all in her head, he was probably just being nice she told herself as she watched them drive away.

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