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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27. Chapter 27

The sound of Bella's phone ringing was what woke her up that morning. By the time she and Liam had gotten home last night, it was pretty late. She hadn't realised how exhausted she was until they crawled into bed together, sleep overcoming her as soon as her head hit the pillow. Bella grabbed her phone from her nightstand and answered it.

"Hello?" Keeping her voice low so as not to wake Liam, who was still sound asleep. "Hey Bella, it's Sam."

"Oh hey."

"So, how was last night?"

"Amazing," was the first thing that came into her head, finding herself grinning at the memory. "Thanks for helping me out."

"That's what I'm here for."

"So what's going on?" she asked, sliding her body back under her covers. "Well, me and Sam were going to hit the mall today,do a little shopping and grab a bite to eat. What do you say?"

"Sounds perfect. It's been a while since i've been shopping," mostly because she couldn't afford it. 

"Great! I can pick you up in an hour if you like?"

"Sounds great," she yawned quietly. "See you then."

"See ya."

"Who was that?" She heard Liam mutter, his fingers slowly trailing down her back. "Hey, sorry if I woke you," turning around to face him.

"That's ok," he smiled softly. 

"It was Sam," she told him. "We're going to have a girls day, shopping and stuff."

"Sounds fun," he said, lightly stroking her cheek. "Do you want me to drive you?"

"It's ok, she's picking me up," she told him, cuddling up into his arms. "Thank you again for last night Liam."

He smiled at her and continued to caress her cheek, "Anything for you." She smiled back at him and slowly leaned forward, capturing his lips with hers.

"Oh my god!" she suddenly blurted out, lightly pushing Liam away. "What time is it!?"

"I don't know?"

Panicking, she quickly reached back over for her phone. "Liam, it's after ten!" 

"So?" he shrugged, like it was nothing.

"So? You have to go!" she tried pushing him out of bed but having no luck. He simply made himself more comfy and laughed. "It's ok, relax Princess."

"I can't relax! If Scott catches you... why are you laughing?" He smiled at her amusingly, "Because, you are so cute. He's not even here."

"How do you know that?"

"Look outside," he grinned. Getting out of bed, she walked over to the window and saw that Scott's truck was nowhere in sight. "I was up an hour ago, just to make sure," he told her, now behind her and playing with her hair.

She turned around to face him, "Still, what if he had come back or what if Judy had caught us?" Just imagining the looks on their faces. 

"Would it really be that bad?" he pointed out. "I mean, their going to find out eventually."

"I know, you're right," she said softly, gazing down at the floor. "I just don't want them to find out like this, in bed together. Scott would..." she stopped for a second, shaking her head and just dreading the thought.

"I understand," he told her, slipping his arms around her waist. "Don't worry, it will be fine," he smiled, slowly leaning in to kiss her. "We should tell Scott."

"Ok."

"Tonight."

"You sure?"

"Yeah, I can't lie to him anymore," she paused and looked him in the eye. "And I don't want to hide us anymore." He smiled as he gazed down at her, clearly happy with her decision. "Then tonight it is."

He pulled her closer until their lips met, giggling when he lifted her up and lied her back on the bed. After a very intense makeout session, Bella had a quick shower and brushed her teeth. Making sure Liam wasn't around, she quickly sprinted into her room and changed into a light pair of jeans and a plain white t-shirt with a long dark blue cardigan over the top. Slipping on her boots, she quickly blow dried her hair and applied some light makeup. Once she was done, she grabbed her handbag and walked downstairs just in time to hear the doorbell ring. She quickly rushed to open the door.

"Hey girlie," Sam smiled, standing next to Santi. "Hey guys."

"Ready to go?"

"Yeah, let me just - " Suddenly stopping to notice the both of them with their mouths wide open. Confused, she turned around to find what they were staring at and almost let her mouth drop herself. There, walking up to the front door was Liam, eating a bowel of cereal in nothing except his tracksuit bottoms.

"Ladies," he grinned with a small nod. 

"Hi Liam," they both giggled, their eyes everywhere except his face. "Ok, well we should go!" Bella announced, waving her arms for them both to move.

"I'll see you later, Princess," Liam said, wrapping his free arm around her waist and pulling her in. 

"Ok," she smiled, letting him pull her in closer for a tender kiss, not missing the small gasps escaping from her two best friends mouths. "You girls have fun," he smiled, winking at Bella mischievously.

"Oh my god, how you can control yourself around him I don't know," Sam told her as they walked away, waving her hand in front of her face like a fan. "Hey, if you and Liam don't work out, can I have dibs?"

"Sam!!"

************************************************************************************************

"Ok, so where first?" Santi asked them once they arrived at the shopping centre, or the mall as they liked to call it. "Food court!" Sam announced, pointing down the hall.

"We just got here!"

"Exactly, I can't shop on an empty stomach!" 

"I second that," Bella chimed in, rubbing her stomach with a pout. "Fine, food first," Santi rolled her eyes playfully, leading the way.

"Besides, I wanna hear all about last night," Sam pointed to Bella, linking their arms together. 

"Because, you Missy, have a habit of keeping all the juicy details to yourself," she said, playfully bumping her side. "I second that," Santi mocked amusingly also linking arms with her.

"But not this time, you do owe me. I helped you get ready after all." Sam reminded her. "Over the phone!" Santi laughed at her.

"Same thing!"

"Ok ok, but we're ordering first," Bella told them, her stomach rumbling in correspondence.

********************************

"And then he just drove us home."

"That's it?" Bella nodded her head at Sam, "Yeah."

"So let me get this straight," Santi glanced up at her, "You, very innocently throw yourself at Liam and he basically turned you down?"

"He didn't turn me down," she explained, glancing back at them. "He just wanted me to be sure, which at the time I was but, looking back on it now, I think I was just overwhelmed by everything and him," feeling herself blush at the memory. "As amazing as it was, it wasn't the ideal place or the sanest temperature," she smiled amusingly.

"Wow, who knew Liam was so..." Santi trailed off, searching for the right word. "Old fashioned?" Sam answered for her. 

"Romantic," Santi corrected her, "I mean any other guy at our school would have taken the opportunity without even a second thought."

"Yeah, I know," she agreed, a small smile appearing on her face. How did she get so lucky?

"Can I just ask, hypothetically speaking, what if Liam hadn't have stopped, would you really have regretted it?" Sam asked, both of her friends now watching her carefully.

"I...I don't know?" She thought about it for a second, would she have? She was so sure she was ready last night, even if she was glad that he had stopped, would it really have been so terrible? "I think, i'm glad that we didn't but, if we had....then I don't think so. It's Liam," she told them, making them both aww at her.

"Oh great," Sam groaned, rolling her eyes. 

"What?" they both asked her, slightly confused. 

"Look who just walked in," she nodded towards the entrance where they saw Jennifer and her small group of followers trailing behind her like a bunch of stray puppies.

"I wonder who she's buying lingerie for this week?" Sam joked, though thinking about it she probably wasn't wrong.

"Uh, I can't believe that we were actually friends with her at one point."

"You were friends with Jennifer?" Bella repeated a little surprised, Santi just nodded. "Sadly yes."

"What happened?"

"She went away one summer and came back a total whore bag," Sam explained, rolling her eyes. "She made friends with a bunch of other whore bags and before you know it, we had our very own Regina George."

"Anyway enough about her," Santi said, getting up from her chair. "Let's shop already."

"Let's," they both agreed and headed straight for the first shop in sight.

They had been shopping for over an hour and a half now and Bella was already exhausted. Although she knew it was silly, she couldn't help but want to be back home with Liam already. Even if they didn't do anything that exciting, just being in his arms was enough for her, she could do that all day and night.

"Oh my god, I love this," Sam exclaimed, holding up a semi long top with a glittery design on the back. "Yes, they have my size!"

"Uh, try it on first, I'm not going through that again!" Santi warned her. 

"Come on Sam," Bella laughed, noticing her reluctance. "I'll go with you."

"Thank you! We'll be back," she shouted over her shoulder at Santi. "Take your time," Santi muttered back.

"Hey Bella, can you help me, I think the zipper is stuck!" Sam groaned in frustration while Bella was waiting just outside.

Bella chuckled and opened the curtains," Wow, that looks amazing on you!"

"You really think?" she smiled, turning to face the mirror again and striking a pose. 

"Absolutely, you are definitely getting it. Here, turn around" she told her, attempting the zipper that was undoubtedly stuck. "Uhh, it won't budge!"

"In this one Hannah!" they suddenly heard, a voice all too familiar. 

"Is that who I think it is?" Sam whispered, quickly sneaking a peak through the gap of the curtain.

"Uh, did you see the state of that woman, someone seriously needs to give her a makeover," her voice slurring with bitchiness. 

"Yep, that's Jennifer," she nodded to Sam who rolled her eyes in annoyance.

"This dress better fit me!" they heard her complain while Bella carried on tugging at Sam's zipper.

"If it doesn't I can get you the next size up."

"I don't need a size up Hannah!"

"Ok, sorry."

"They must have gotten the labels mixed up or something." Bella and Sam quickly exchanged looks in the mirror and tried to hold back their laughter, "Oh yeah, that must be it," Sam mocked, trying to keep her voice low but just made them both laugh even more.

"There we go. See, I told you it would fit." Sam held her face in horror, pretending to look shocked. "Not that we'll have our clothes on for long anyway," she boasted, making both Bella and Sam roll their eyes.

"Who are you talking about?" her minion asked.

Bella almost squealed in victory when she finally unzipped Sam's zipper. Sam gave her a thumbs up in the mirror and carefully pulled the top over her head.

"Well, I wasn't going to tell anyone but, you can keep a secret can't you?" she asked, making is sound more of a demanded threat rather then a friendly request. 

"Of course." Sam nodded her head also like she was in on the conversation. Bella laughed at her cockiness and listened as well, she wasn't usually one for gossip but she was fairly curious as to who Jennifer had victimized this time. At least this meant that she would stay away from Liam, at least for a while anyway.

"Well, let's just say that the party last night was a lot more fun then I let on."

"Meaning?" Jennifer let out a long sigh, "He was amazing, a great kisser and those hands...he couldn't keep them off me!" she giggled.

"Who!?"

"Well, Liam of course!"

Bella felt her heart suddenly come to a halt. She looked up to find Sam just as shocked, all the amusement from them both had immediately vanished.

"No way!"

"It was only a matter of time," she told her. "But I thought that he and Bella - "

"Oh who cares about her! Besides, it wasn't Bella he was rolling under the covers with now was it!"

Bella could literally feel her heart breaking into a million pieces. How could he do this? It had to be a lie! There was no way that he would hurt her like this! Not after everything that happened between them, not after last night!

"Bella," she heard Sam whisper. "I have to go! I'm sorry," she cried and quickly rushed out of the changing rooms and out of the shop, tears beginning to fill her eyes. This had to be a joke!

This isn't happening! Liam wouldn't do this to her she kept repeating to herself, tears now falling down her face.

"Bella?" She turned around to the sound of her name and was surprised to find Chase standing there. 

His happy face suddenly disappeared and was replaced with a frown the moment he noticed her tears. "What happened?'" he asked as he approached her.

"I...he..." she couldn't even say it. She couldn't find the words! All she could focus on was the agony that was filling her heart.

"Bella?" Chase repeated, slowly squeezing her arm and bringing her closer towards him. "It's alright, come here," he said, wrapping his arms around her and letting her sob on his shoulder.

****************************************

"Are you going to be ok?" Chase asked softly, cocking his head to the side just like Liam had done with her so many times. 

"I don't know'?" she shrugged, looking out of his car window and up at Scott's house, dreading having to go inside. She couldn't thank Chase enough for driving her home and texting her friends to tell them she was ok, he was also a surprisingly good listener and let her sob her heart out to him.

"Do you want me to stick around just in case?" Bella looked back at him and gave him a weak smile, "No, but thanks, I need to do this on my own," wishing this was all just a bad dream.

"Hey, you're going to be ok," he told her, lightly squeezing her hand.

"I hope so."

"You sure you don't want me to come in with you?" he asked again making her smile.

"You've done enough already."

"I don't mind," he insisted. She looked at him properly this time, finding his caring side rather sweet. "I know and thanks, really."

"Anytime," he smiled more fully this time, making her blush under his gaze and duck her head.

"Well, I should - " 

"Bella, a little advice," he said gently, pausing for a minute. "When Jennifer wants something, she usually gets it. If however she doesn't, well...let's just say it's never pleasant."

"What are you saying?" she asked, slightly confused.

"I'm saying Jennifer is a lying, manipulative, bitch who doesn't care about anybody but herself!"

"Are you saying she made it up?" she asked, sounding hopeful.

"I'm saying there is a slight possibility but..."

"What?"

"I don't want to hurt you," he told her, avoiding her gaze. "Chase, please," she begged. 

He finally looked at her and sighed. "I was at the party and I did see Liam take her into a room," he said carefully. "But that was all I saw, I don't know how long they were in there for?"

It suddenly all came back to her. Liam turning up late, the excuses of something that came up, just some drunken idiot, nothing she needed to worry about! So he really did lie!

"Bella?"

"I have to go," she told him, tears flooding her eyes once more. "Thanks again," she muttered, quickly climbing out of his car before he had a chance to reply. 

She slowly made her way to the front door, her heart beating rapidly with each step. How could this be happening she kept asking herself? Everything was so perfect, she had been so happy. Now, her heart was breaking and this was only the beginning.

******************************************************************

It was quiet as she entered the house. She silently closed the front door and walked further inside. Maybe he wasn't here? But his car was in the driveway she registered, unless he went out with Scott maybe?

As she stood by the door, she looked across into the living room and spotted Liam's guitar resting on the sofa, walking further inside, she leaned against the doorway. Memories of Liam singing to her that time came flooding back to her. Was he lying to her then as well?

Catching her off guard, she suddenly felt a pair of arms being wrapped around her from behind, her heart stopped when she breathed in and immediately knew who it was.

"Hey, beautiful," he purred into her ear, placing a small gentle kiss along her jaw. "How was it with the girls?" he asked, his voice so gentle it brought tears to her eyes. Would this be the last time that he would hold her in his arms like this?

"Bella?"

She painfully closed her eyes and slowly turned around, "Why did you give me this?" she asked him, revealing the necklace he had given to her in the palm of her hand. She had taken it off when Chase drove her home, the same time she had spilled out her feelings.

He looked down at her hand and frowned, "Bella, what's going on? Have you been crying?" 

She immediately pulled away when he tried to reach out for her, knowing the minute he held her it would be impossible for her to let go. A look of hurt flashed across his face as she did this and she almost wanted to slap herself for feeling sorry for him, he is the one that has hurt you, don't back down! 

"Just tell me," she asked softly, her voice about ready to crack.

"Bella, I told you why, you know why! What's happened?" She gazed up into his amazing eyes and wanted nothing more then to melt into them, but she had to stay strong, she couldn't let him get away with this!

"I should be asking you that."

"What are you talking about?" he asked, trying to catch her eye.

"Isn't there anything you want to tell me?" she asked him, deciding to give him one last chance to tell her.

"Like what?"

She looked up to meet his eyes that were filled with what looked like confusion and sadness, god please let it be a lie! "Will you please tell me what's going on here?"

"The party Liam, I know!" Raising her voice slightly.

"You know what?" Is he serious right now, she asked herself! How could he stand there and act like nothing has - unless Chase was right, maybe she lied? But why would she? Why would anyone?

"Just tell me the truth!" she begged him, walking closer and letting her hands rest upon his chest, "If you say nothing happened, then i'll believe you."

"Bella,"he sighed, taking hold of her hands. "I'm trying really hard to figure out what this is about." "Jennifer!" she blurted out.

"Jennif -" he repeated, but then suddenly froze. 

"It's not true, right?" she whispered, trying to choke back her tears. She watched as he searched her face carefully, until his eyes could no longer look at her and slowly let his gaze drop to the floor. "Oh my god," Bella stared in disbelief, unable to fight away her tears that were now falling down her face.

"Bella, just let me explain," he reached his hand towards her but she pushed him away from him. "You lied to me," she told him and threw the necklace to the floor, hating herself for not acting stronger, but she couldn't help it, she had never felt so betrayed!

"It wasn't a lie," he tried to explain but she cut him off. "Was that all this was? Were you only pretending to love me?"

"What!? Of course not!" he frowned, looking genuinely hurt.

"God! I'm such an idiot," she muttered to herself. "Bella please, it was just a kiss," he exclaimed, approaching her again. 

"A kiss! I think sleeping with her is a lot more then just a kiss!" she cried and turned her back to walk up the stairs.

"Wait, what!?"

"Bella, wait!" he yelled after her and grabbed hold of her arm. "Don't!" she yelled back, trying to break free of his hold. 

"Bella, I didn't sleep with her!" he said, grabbing hold of both of her arms so she was facing him. "Stop it!" she cried again, using all of her strength to get away.

"I'm telling you the truth!" he shook her lightly, but she wouldn't let him win, she couldn't! "No, you're not!" pushing him away from her again.

She turned away and began walking up the stairs when she suddenly felt his arms being wrapped around her waist as he carried her back down.

"Let me go!"

"Just listen to me!"

"No!"

He quickly spun her around so her back was now up against the wall, completely trapped. "Bella, please! You have to believe me! I didn't do anything to her," he muttered painfully, his eyes begging for her to listen.

"Then why were you in a room with her?" she whispered, another tear rolling down her cheek. He spotted it and slowly brought his hand up to wipe it away, she closed her eyes trying to ignore the pain she was feeling by just that one single touch.

"Who told you all of this?" he frowned, looking straight into her eyes.

"Nobody had to tell me anything! I heard it all from her, she was blabbing her news to her little slave dog in the changing rooms!" she cried, wishing he would let go of her already!

"She lied! Whatever she said, it's not true!" he told her, trying to meet her gaze but she just couldn't!

"You still kissed her."

"It's not how it sounds," he said, slowly lifting her face up with his hand. "I promise you Bella, I would never lie to you," he cocked his head slightly to look at her and wiped more of her tears away. "Let me explain?"

She tried to pull herself together and slowly nodded her head. He took hold of her hand and allowed him to lead her inside the living room, he moved his guitar and placed it on the other sofa before he sat next to her. He looked at her carefully and ran his hands through his hair which annoyed her because of how much she secretly enjoyed it.

"Me and Scott left as you know, I only stayed there for about an hour maybe and was already about to leave. But, just as I was, I found Jennifer sprawled on the floor in the hall, completely wasted! Despite everything she's done, it didn't feel right just leaving her there, so I helped walk her upstairs," running his hands through his hair again with a sigh.

"The only reason I was even in a room with her was to make sure that she had some place to sleep that wasn't on the floor. Then, just as I was about to leave...," he hesitated for a moment and she knew exactly what was coming next. "She pulled me back down and started kissing me. But I swear that was all that happened! I stopped it the minute it did and then left," he finished, looking at her so intently she somehow knew he was telling the truth.

"Why didn't you tell me?" she asked him, trying to keep it together. 

"Because it meant nothing!" he stated, gently caressing her hand. "I didn't want to upset you! God, if I had known that she was telling people that we slept together, then I would have told you sooner!"

He brushed a strand of hair away from her face and whispered, "I'm sorry Bella." She closed her eyes and nodded her head, not really sure how she should be feeling right now? "You really believe that I would cheat on you?" she heard him mutter, almost like he was talking to himself. She opened her eyes and looked at him as he let go of her hand and lowered his gaze.

"I'm sorry, if it was anyone else I wouldn't have believed it but, hearing the way she was talking and...I didn't want to believe it, I just...," she felt herself at a loss for words as she took in the pain and sadness in his eyes. "I'm sorry Liam," she cried, hiding her face in shame.

"Hey," she felt him wrap his arms around her. "Shh, it's ok. Don't cry." 

"Why would she make something up like that? I don't understand?" she sobbed, never wanting to feel the absence of being in his arms ever again.

"That's who Jennifer is, i've always known that about her. I could never hurt you like that," he muttered, pulling back slightly to look at her. "I love you Bella, you have to believe me when I say that!"

"I do, i'm sorry. I love you too!" she told him, hating herself for not believing so. She crawled into his lap and hugged him tight, letting him soothe her as he played with the end of her curls. 

"Don't cry, princess," he said, pulling back to look at her again.

"Maybe we should put this back where it belongs," he said, opening his palm to reveal the necklace. She felt terrible for having throwing it away. 

"I gave this to you because I love you Bella," he said, placing the necklace back around her. "I don't give the key to my heart to just anyone you know," he smiled, wanting to tease him for being so corny, but couldn't help gushing anyway.

It was as if a spark had been lit between them, because the next thing she knew, Liam leaned in and crushed his lips against hers. All the anger and sadness she had previously felt had completely vanished as soon he did. The intensity of the kiss overwhelmed her, it was full of love and passion, making her feel even more guilty for ever doubting him. His hand wandered down her thigh, pulling her closer towards him as she wrapped her legs around him. Her body instinctively answered and without even thinking, she pulled her top off and over her head. She almost laughed to herself at the sight of Liam's face as he stared in surprise, taking in the sight of her body

He leaned in once again to kiss her, his warm hands sending shivers down her body as he touched her eagerly. His lips started caressing down her neck all the way down to her chest. He slowly slid one of her bra straps down before planting kisses along her shoulder, gently nibbling in certain places. She let out a soft moan as he kissed up towards her neck again, it was almost too much to take!

Feeling rather brave, she slowly crept her hands under the hem of his t-shirt and began sliding it up and over his head. His body was amazing as usual. This time, instead of just admiring, she allowed herself to run her hands slowly up his body, over his chest and down along his arms, feeling every muscle she could find. All the time she was doing this, she could see the excitement growing in his eyes, making her want this even more.

"Are you ok?" he asked her, his breathing rugged and fast and his eyes burning with lust. She couldn't even find the right word to give him, instead she just smiled and kissed him which he gladly accepted. She felt him lift her up from his lap and gently began lowering her down onto the sofa, when suddenly the sound of a door slammed shut! Bella turned her head to where the noise came from, her eyes widening in surprised horror.

"What the f*ck!" Scott yelled, standing by the door in complete shock......

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