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

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23. Chapter 23

~~Scott managed to carry Bella out of his truck, up the stairs and into her bedroom, trying his best not to wake her. He placed her on top of her bed before covering her over. Sitting himself next to her, he examined her face and noticed the streaks of black lines running down her cheeks from where she had been crying. He wanted to believe that the reason was from her drinking too much, but he knew that wasn't it.

Ever since Amy's death he saw a change in Bella, she became quiet. Even on the day of Amy's funeral, she didn't say a word. The Bella he knew was happy and full of energy, he used to sometimes marvel over the fact that she always seemed to have a smile on her face. But lately...he couldn't remember the last time he had seen a genuine smile on her face. Countless times he had caught her staring off into space, he had never seen anybody look so sad.

She did have her moments, he could give her that. He would sometimes catch a glimmer in her eye or a smile starting to rise on her face. He didn't want to admit it but he knew a tiny part of that had something to do with Liam. He couldn't put his finger on what it was but there were times when he had caught them both together and had noticed something in Bella, it was almost like she enjoyed his company the way she did with himself. He didn't like the fact that they were so close, how close he didn't really know? Bella had told him that they were just friends and even got the same answer from Liam. He just hoped it was true.

He watched as Bella began to shift, a small whimper leaving her mouth. Will she ever be able to move on from this he asked himself? He had done everything he could think of to try and make her happy again, he had tried so hard to get rid of all the hurt in her heart but, nothing seems to have worked. Leaving her alone, he quietly walked downstairs into the kitchen and grabbed himself a beer from the fridge. He didn't know how long he sat there for as he went over everything in his head. He turned his head when he heard footsteps behind him and saw that it was Liam.

"You alright man?" he heard Liam ask. Scott sighed before answering, "It's Bella."

"Is she alright?" hearing the immediate concern in his voice.

"Yeah, she's upstairs asleep. But, I don't know if she will ever be alright?"

"What are you talking about?" Liam asked, walking next to him.

"Nothing, just forget it," he answered, finishing off his beer.

Liam walked to the fridge and grabbed two more beers before taking a seat next to Scott, handing him one which he took gratefully. "You're worried about her," Liam asked, making it sound more like a statement.

"Does she...talk to you about it?" Scott asked him, hesitating a little. "I won't say anything to her I just need to know," sensing him also hesitating.

Liam took a sip of his beer before answering, "Yeah, she has. She hasn't told me much but, I know she's still finding it hard to move on."

"She told you that?"

"No, but I can see it."

"Yeah, me too," Scott agreed, taking a long sip of his beer. "You know, ever since we were kids i've always looked out for her," he told Liam. "I kept her from getting hurt, made her laugh when she was sad, I was always the guy she could count on and she knew that. But now...she dosen't tell me anything, she just sits by herself and cries. I thought I could help her but, I don't know how anymore?"

"Scott, what are you talking about? You are helping her," Liam retorted. "You mean everything to her! I know that because she's told me," making Scott look up at that. "Don't be too hard on yourself, you're doing more for her then you know. Don't give up on her man, she still needs you. Just give her time, let her come to you," he finished, patting Scott on his shoulder.

They sat there drinking their beers for a little while longer when a sudden shriek of screaming made both boys jump out of their seats and immediately run upstairs.

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It was a dark night. No matter which direction she turned, Bella was surrounded by the same foggy darkness. She looked down at the road she was standing on and started to walk down it. The only thing lighting her path were the millions of bright stars up above. She felt a shiver go down her spine as she continued to walk down the road. Her whole body was tingling from the bitter cold in the air. She could feel herself starting to shake as it got even colder with each step. Puffs of clouds would escape her mouth whenever she exhaled. Regardless of the foggy darkness and the temperature, she carried on walking, determined to let the road guide her.

Suddenly the path came to an end and she stopped walking. The fog and the darkness that was once surrounding her was now starting to fade away. Looking up at the sky she spotted the moon, it's brightness lighting up the whole road for her. She tried squinting as she stared ahead, the darkness stopping her from seeing anything. The sudden sound of an engine made her gasp in surprise. She squinted a little more until she saw something.

A car. Coming straight for her! The two headlights lighting up the entire road. Bella was unable to move as the car was moving closer and closer. Suddenly the car began to swerve and she could finally see the thing she had been guided to. She gasped in horror as the car continuously started to spin until it crashed straight into the side barrier.

"Amy! No!"

Bella began to run towards the car but the road appeared to be growing longer with every step she took.

"No, Amy! Amy!" she continued to scream, trying to reach out for her sister. Tears were running down her face as she carried on trying, the car becoming more and more distant.

"Amy!" Finally she stopped running and fell to her knees screaming for her sister over and over.

"Bella! Bella wake up!"

"No!"

"Bella!"

Suddenly the road had disappeared and was replaced with Scott's face.

"Scott?" she whimpered quietly.

"Yeah, it's me," he replied.

"Amy she..." her voice cracking.

"It's ok, it was just a dream," stroking her hair reassuringly.

"I tried to help her," she choked.

"Come here," pulling her up into his lap as he let her cry into his chest.

"I couldn't help her," she cried.

"Shh Bella, it's alright, it was just a dream. You're gonna be ok," he continued to soothe her, lifting her up slightly so he could lean back against the bed.

"No don't go! Please!" she sobbed, grabbing hold of his shirt.

"I'm not, it's alright. I'm not going anywhere."

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It broke Liam's heart to see Bella in that state. Does she always have nightmares like that he wondered? She had never mentioned them before and neither had Scott. He watched as Scott held Bella closely trying to soothe her tears. He wished that it was him instead who was holding her and stroking her hair. Though the chances of him ever getting close to Bella again were pretty slim. He hated himself for the way he had handled things with her at the party. He didn't mean to make it seem like he was pushing her away!

He couldn't believe it when she had kissed him back tonight and then when she told him she loved him, he thought he was hearing things at first. He knew she was drunk but he couldn't help himself, it was like hearing those words did something to him and he couldn't seem to hold himself back. But it soon hit him and he felt instantly guilty. He had taken complete advantage of her, something he swore he would never do! She had already gone through that with Dean and then there he was doing the same!

Liam knew he hurt her when he told her it shouldn't have happened and he was right, it shouldn't have, but that doesn't mean it didn't mean anything! He wanted to tell her that but she had already disappeared and when he did see her again she was being carried out the front door by Scott.

"Hey, do you need me to..." he began, wishing there was something he could do to make this all better.

"I'm gonna stay here with her tonight," Scott told him.

"Yeah, of course. Just call me if there's anything....you know, I can do."

"Thanks man," Scott nodded and with that he left them both alone.

Liam had to fix this and he was going to make sure of that. Bella's feelings for him where clear as day now and it was up to him to make things right. Scott will hate him and that affected him more then anything, but what was he supposed to do? He was in love with her and she needed to know that.

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Bella woke up that morning feeling nauseous, not to mention the splitting migraine to go with it. She had never felt so hungover in all her life! She closed her eyes once more as the events from last night came rushing back to her. From kissing Liam again to puking in public, in Chase's kitchen sink of all places! That was definitely top of her list of most embarrassing moments. Oh god, she groaned. Please let my love confession to Liam be a dream!

"You awake?" she heard someone say. Opening her eyes and turning her head she found Scott laying beside her.

"Hey," she muttered, her throat in desperate need of some water.

"Hey," he muttered back. "How you feeling?"

"Like hell!" Bella answered holding her head in pain. "Did you stay all night?" she asked, laying on her side to face him.

"Yeah," he replied with a shy smile.

"You didn't have to do that."

"I wanted to. Besides, there was no way I was gonna leave you alone after...you know," he trailed off, knowing he was referring to her nightmare last night.

"I'm sorry," she said, feeling guilty and slightly embarrassed that he had to witness her in that state.

"Don't apologise," he told her with a sad look on his face.

"But I ruined your night."

"You didn't ruin my night," he smiled lightly. "Here, take these," he said, handing her a glass of water and a couple of pills.

"Thanks," she replied, swallowing the pills and downing the water.

"You sure you're alright?" Scott asked, watching her the whole time with concerned eyes.

"Yeah," she nodded. "You don't have to worry."

"Alright," he nodded back looking unconvinced. "I'm gonna take a shower, why don't you try to sleep a little more. The pills should help with the hangover," he told her walking towards the door.

"Hey Scott, thank you. I don't know what I would do without you."

"You don't have to worry about that, i'm always gonna be here," he smiled, pulling her into a hug before leaving the room.

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After a couple more hours sleep Bella decided to take a shower and brush her teeth, hating the after taste of Tequila still in her mouth. Tying her slightly damp hair up in a messy bun, she then changed into her grey sweats and a long white sleeved top wanting to be comfortable.

Opening her door, she began walking towards the bathroom when she stopped and listened to what sounded like someone playing the guitar. It couldn't be Scott she told herself because he didn't know how to play, in fact he couldn't play any instrument. Curiosity won over her as she quietly made her way downstairs, following the sound of the guitar. It seemed to be coming from the living room.

It was then she spotted him, Liam. Bella watched as he played, her presence completely unnoticed by him. The way he played made her want to close her eyes and listen forever. It was so soothing. The music suddenly came to an abrupt stop and now had Liam's attention and eyes on her. She felt herself stiffen up as she looked back into his eyes.

"I didn't mean to wake you," he said, breaking the silence between them.

"No, you didn't," she answered quickly. "I was up."

"Are you....alright?" he hesitated to ask.

Bella nodded and not knowing why began slowly walking towards him.

She cleared her throat before saying, "I didn't know you could play guitar."

"Yeah, i've only been playing for a few years," rubbing the back of his neck, something she noticed he did whenever he was nervous or shy.

"Oh, well I like it," she told him, taking a seat on the coffee table in front of him.

"Thanks," he smiled watching her carefully.

"Where's Scott?"

"Oh he went out somewhere, he said he'll be back soon."

"Look Bella, about last night," he started.

"Liam -"

"No, I didn't mean....I just want you to know -"

"You don't have to say anything," she said, cutting him off. "It was my fault, I was drunk. It's all kind of a blur actually," she lied, really not wanting to hear how much of a mistake it was again. "I'm sorry," she looked away.

"Me too," she heard him sigh after a while.

"So, have you always had nightmares like that?" she heard him say after a moments silence. "Bella?"

Bella gazed up at him and sadly nodded. She was too upset last night to even realise that Liam had been there.

"What did you dream about?"

She took in a deep breath. "Remember I told you that Amy died in a car accident?" He nodded. "Well, in my dream, i'm there and i'm watching it happen. But no matter what I do, I can't save her."

"It's just a dream Bella."

"It dosen't feel like it." Knowing he was right.

"I'm sorry," he said quietly almost like a whisper. She looked up and her eyes met his. "It's ok," she half smiled, trying to keep her emotions under control.

"Are you hungry, or thirsty maybe? I could make you some hot cocoa," he offered sweetly.

"Uhh, no thanks. Hangovers and chocolate, not really a good mix for me," she smiled, just the thought of it made her want to be sick.

"Right," he laughed.

"Do you, think you could play me a song though?" she asked nervously, his eyes locked onto hers almost like he was looking for a hint that she was joking. "I mean, you don't have to," she added wishing she had never mentioned it in the first place.

She watched as he smiled at her warmly, "What do you want me to play?" he asked.

"Umm, surprise me," she smiled back wondering if he was seriously going to sing to her?

"Alright," he smiled again, placing his guitar back on his lap before positioning himself so he was a little closer to her.

Bella watched as he ran his hand through his hair making last nights events run through her head again. She blushed as she remembered their kiss, the way his lips felt on her neck....Stop it Bella, she scolded herself, knowing it will only make her feel even worse. She knew the memory of it would never be forgotten, at least not by her anyway. Meanwhile she had to try to put it past her, as hard as that would be she had to or she will lose him forever.

After a little thinking, Liam began playing a tune that was oddly familiar to her. She was trying to think where she had heard it before? It was only when he started singing that it hit her.

When you try your best,

but you don't succeed.

When you get what you want,

but not what you need.

When you feel so tired,

but you can't sleep.

Stuck in reverse.

The sound of his voice sent shivers all over her body. He had never been so handsome and perfect to her then at that moment right there. Of all the songs in the world, he chose this one. It overwhelmed her. She couldn't help but let the music capture her, all the memories of her sister, her family and of Liam rolling around in her head.

And the tears come

streaming down your face.

When you lose something

you can't replace.

When you love someone but

it goes to waste.

Could it be worse?

"Come on Amy let me see."

"What do you think?" her sister said, coming out of the bathroom and doing a spin.

"Wow, you look great!"

"You sure? Not too much?"

"Definitely not, here i'll help you with your necklace."

"Thanks," she smiled sitting down on the bed.

"Do you think you'll be out late?"

"Not too late. Tell you what, when I get back me and you will hang out and watch a movie, what do you say?"

"Sounds awesome!"

"Ok, I gotta go. Thanks for helping me get ready little sis."

"You're welcome and have fun, you deserve it."

"I will, love ya."

"Love ya too, Amy."

Lights will guide you home.

And ignite your bones.

And I will try to fix you.

High up above or

down below.

When you're too in love

to let it go.

But if you never try

you'll never know.

Just what you're worth.

 

"Sweetheart, we're all leaving in five minutes," her mum told her from behind the door.

"Ok mum," she managed to say as she wiped her tears away.

When she thought the coast was clear she unlocked her bathroom door and walked out.

"Hey little cuz."

Bella looked up in surprise. "Scott!" She ran up to him and flung herself into his arms which he wrapped immediately around her. "I didn't think you were coming," she sobbed, hugging him tighter.

"Did you really think I was gonna let you go through this alone?"

"I'm so glad you're here."

"And I always will be, don't ever forget that."

"Excuse me Bella," she heard someone say. Rising her head from Scott's chest she saw her Aunt Judy standing in her doorway. "Aunt Judy!" rushing into her welcoming arms. "I missed you."

"I missed you too sweetheart," slowly releasing her. "Your sister's here."

"Ok," she nodded, taking a deep breath before walking downstairs and out the front door. With Scott at her side she looked up and saw a huge crowd of people. Spotting her parents she walked up to them and looked in their direction and there she was. The car that her sister was riding in came to a stop.

She felt her mum softly rub her back. "Come on sweetie, let's go sit with your sister."

"Scott -"

"It's ok Bella, I'll see you at the funeral parlor." he told her giving her a quick hug. "

Come on, Bella," her dad prodded, opening the car door for her. She slowly stepped inside and hesitantly looked behind her at her sister's coffin.

"I love you Amy," she whispered.

 

Lights will guide you home.

And ignite your bones.

And I will try to fix you.

Tears stream down your face

When you lose something

you can't replace.

Tears stream down your face.

And I.....

 

"From the moment I met you, there's been this...sadness inside of you. I see it all the time, even when you try to cover it up by smiling or making some kind of joke, I can still see it." She shifted her gaze to the floor unable to watch him any longer. She had no idea he had paid so much attention to her.

"I know it's tearing you apart. I know that you feel like life will never be the same again, that nothing or no one will ever make it right. Even though it feels like you've moved on, a part of you is still holding on, making it seem like a bad dream," he goes on his eyes still watching her. "At some point you have to let go Bella. You have to move on," he finished.

Bella let her head come in contact with the wall behind her as she shut her eyes, tears flowing down her face. "I can't." She slid down the wall feeling the weight of everything come crashing down on her.

Liam knelt down in front of her, his face full of sympathy as he spoke to her. "I know it's hard, unbearable even, but you have to let go Bella, before it destroys you." He grazed her cheek lightly before he sat down beside her, both of their backs to the wall. She knew that everything he was telling her was the truth, she knew he was right and that oddly surprised her. Her own family had tried to talk about this with her before even Scott, but she shut them all out refusing to talk about it. Yet here was some guy that she has only known for a short amount of time and yet she wasn't pushing his away.

"If you think you're gonna go through it alone then you can forget it. You have so many people that care about you and just want to help you, including Scott. You've gotta stop pushing them away Bella," he told her. She turned to look at him. "You make it sound so simple, but... I fell so broken inside Liam, how am I supposed to fix that? It's not that easy," she sighed.

"I know, but I can try," he said, smiling down at her lightly. "Why?" she asked curiously. She waited as he watched her intently, too intently, she wanted to look away but, she saw a small smile appear on his face.

"Someone's got to," he stated sweetly.


Tears stream down your face.

I promise you I will

learn from my mistakes

Tears stream down your face.

And I.....

Tears really were streaming down her face as he continued singing. It was almost as if every word belonged to her, like he really meant every note he sang.

Lights will guide you home.

And ignite your bones.

And I will try to fix you.

 

"Was I really that bad?" Liam asked once he had finished the song.

Bella lightly laughed and shook her head. He slowly moved his hand towards her cheek and wiped her tears away. He smiled at her sadly, letting his hand rest on her cheek. She didn't stop him when his face became closer to hers and his lips came in contact with her own. Bella wrapped her arms around his neck wanting to be closer. As if he had read her mind, he moved his guitar from between them and placed it next to him never once ending their kiss.

His now free hands instantly wrapped around her waist, lifting her up slightly to bring her closer so she was now sitting on his lap. He ran his tongue along her bottom lip and Bella gave no hesitation to let him in. He slowly started to lay her down, being careful not to put all his weight onto her. He continued kissing her as he wrapped her leg up around his waist, sliding his hand up her thigh and along her stomach. He slowly started moving his hand under the material, gently caressing her skin making her whole body tingle. She wrapped her hands through his hair while he trailed soft kisses down her neck.

Bella didn't want to cry anymore, but she couldn't help it. She hated her nightmares, she hated having to see her sister die time and time again, she hated how she couldn't say no to Liam and that kissing him meant more to her then it ever did to him. Most of all, she hated that empty feeling in her heart, that it somehow felt like it was never going to heal.

"Bella?" she heard, looking up and seeing Liam with a concerned look on his face.

She hadn't even realised that he had stopped kissing her. She covered her face with her hands and began to sob. She felt Liam lift himself off of her thinking he was going to leave, but to her surprise he set himself next to her and cradled her in his arms. She didn't know where their relationship stood at the moment but, she was too exhausted to want to deal with it right now. So instead she clung onto him and let him comfort her.

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