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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28. Chapter 28

It was like a bad dream come true. The one thing she had been dreading more then ever had just happened.

"What the hell do you think you're doing!" Scott shouted as he beamed at Liam.

"Scott..." Bella started, at a loss for words on how to explain. He wasn't supposed to find out like this! She quickly slipped her t-shirt back on, tossing Liam's his for him to do the same. "Please don't me mad Scott, we - "

"We were going to tell you," Liam finished for her, his face full of guilt, she had never even considered how Liam must feel about keeping their relationship from Scott, they were best friends after all. How could she have been so selfish?

"I knew it! I knew something was going on! You son of a bitch!" he shouted again and strode towards Liam. Bella could see where this was going and threw herself in front of him. "No, don't!"

"Get out of the way, Bella!"

"No, just please let me explain!" she begged pleadingly.

"Bella," she heard Liam muttered softly, placing his arm on her lower back. She turned her head to gaze at him, a small sad, encouraging smile on his face like he was silently telling her it would all be ok. Scott then took that opportunity to move her aside as he yanked Liam by his shirt and shoved him hard up against the wall.

"Stop it!" she yelled, knowing full well that both boys could hold their own, but against each other? She wasn't sure which one would come out on top?

"I warned you if you ever touched her!" Scott growled, his eyes growing with anger.  

"Just calm down," Liam tried to reason with him, which only seemed to make Sott even angrier.

"Don't tell me to f*cking calm down!" he yelled and pulled back to punch him square in the face.

"Scott, please!" Bella gasped, trying to pull him away from Liam. "Go upstairs!" he yelled at her, making her jump back slightly. He had never raised his voice at her like that before.

"I said now!"

"Don't tell her what to do," Liam snarled, glaring angrily at Scott. 

"What are you gonna do about it, huh?" Scott snarled back, punching him once again. "Come on, don't go soft on me now, I know you!"

"No, i'm not fighting you man," shaking his head, his voice so soft. 

"It's like that huh?" Scott snorted. "So, you're man enough to f*ck my little cousin but not man enough to fight back!?"

"Scott!"

"I never f*cked her!" Liam spat back, the anger in his eyes growing, but somehow she knew he wasn't going to do anything, he respected and cared about Scott too much, she didn't even realise how guilty he had been feeling, but now she could see it all too clearly.

"Didn't look like it to me!"

"I should have told you," she piped in, wishing he would yell at her instead. 

"You're damn right you should have told me!"

"I'm sorry," she said, hanging her head down in shame.

"What the hell do you think you're playing at Bella!?" he suddenly asked, frowning angrily at her.

"What?"

"First Dean and now Liam!"

"Back off Scott," Liam growled, his lip swollen and bleeding a little. 

"Shut up!" Scott shouted at him, his fists tightening once again.

"Please, enough! Liam and I, it's different," she told him before he could get another swing in.

"How?" he demanded, looking between them both.

"Because, I...."

"Because I love her....and she loves me," Liam said, gazing at her with a small smile. 

Scott looked between them again and laughed, "You expect me to believe that?"

"It's true," she whispered, loud enough for them both to hear. 

Scott looked at her in surprise, examining her face carefully before his anger slowly crept back and was glaring at Liam again. "I warned you what would happen if you did anything!"

"I know and i'm sorry, but I really do love her, I wouldn't ever hurt her. You can lay it all on me if you want, but i'm not fighting you Scott." 

She watched them as they both stared each other down, waiting for Scott to lash out on him, but instead he slowly backed away. "Then get out."

"What?" Liam and Bella both looked at him wondering if they had heard right, he wouldn't kick Liam out, Scott's not like that.

"Get out of my house. You're no longer welcome here."

"Scott," she muttered slowly, but he just ignored her and yelled, "Now! Get your stuff and go."

"Where's he going to go?" she demanded Scott, knowing full well that if Liam went back home his father would...she didn't even want to think about it! 

"He has a home," Scott looked away, turning his back on her.

How can he do this? He was going to send him back to that monster! No, she couldn't let him! "But he can't - "

"Bella," Liam quickly interrupted her, his gaze smouldering into hers. "It's alright," he muttered, looking away from her as well. He slowly picked up his guitar and began walking upstairs, never once looking at her.

There must be something she could do, something she could say to convince Scott to let him stay, but right now all she wanted to do was tear Scott a new one. He may not know all the facts about Liam's father, but he must know something otherwise he wouldn't have let him stay these past couple of weeks. Now where is Liam going to stay? How was she going to cope? Liam was the only one who could chase away her nightmares, she needed him. He needed her. What if he got hurt again?

"Why are you doing this?" she asked him, his back still facing her. 

"Why?" he asked, turning around to finally face her. "I'm doing you a favour! Now that he's gotten what he wants, it's only a matter of time until you're just another girl he played around with and then it will be someone else."

"So that's what you think of me," she muttered, trying to hold back her tears. Scott's face dropped and he looked down in shame, "Bella, I didn't mean that."

"We never slept together and you're wrong about Liam, he wouldn't hurt me."

"You never slept together, huh? Then what did I just walk in on!?" he yelled, leaving her speechless. 

"I..." she stuttered, knowing he was right, even if they hadn't slept together, they were probably almost about to.

"How long?" Scott's voice interrupted her thoughts. 

"What?"

"You and him, how long?" 

How was she supposed to answer that, they hadn't been together that long but, they had a connection from the very beginning, if she was honest with herself, it had started from the beginning. The innocent hugging, the flirting, the occasional kiss and the sleeping in bed together. Looking back on it now, they were both just too stubborn to act on it. But of course, she couldn't tell him that, after all it was never official. After a moment, she took in a deep breath and prayed that he wouldn't flip out. 

"About a week."

"A week and you're already taking each other's clothes off!" he shouted, glaring down at her. She held her head high and glared back, 

"Whereas you barely wait one day!"

"That's different!"

"How is that different?"

"Because, their not you Bella. You deserve to be treated right," he said, the anger in his voice now gone. "Hell, I wouldn't want you with a guy like me either! I've always looked out for you when it comes to guys, because I know how they think and I know what they want! You're my family Bella, I don't wanna see you hurt."

"Liam wouldn't hurt me, he treats me right."

"Wake up Bella!"

"Stop yelling at me! I know you're mad that I didn't tell you and I get it, but I didn't do anything wrong!"

"Yes you did! You didn't tell me. You never tell me anything anymore, it used to be me you came to, but I guess you've got Liam for that now." His voice was full of sadness and disappointment as he said this, turning his head away from her.

"That's not true," she whispered, feeling horrible. Is that what he thought, that she didn't need him? She had never meant to ever make him feel that way, she didn't even know that she had.

"Yes it is," letting his voice trail off and quickly cleared his throat. "He better be gone by the time i'm back." With that he walked out of the front door, leaving Bella to stare in sadness as he shut the door behind him.

She heard a small creak from behind her and turned to see Liam coming down the stairs with a bag in one hand and his guitar in the other. They didn't say a word as they gazed at one another, he smiled just a little and it was then that she broke. He quickly put his things down and walked towards her, his hand slowly caressing her tear stained face. She wrapped her arms around him and buried her face into his chest.

"Please don't go," she chocked, her tears refusing to stop. 

"I don't want to," he inched her closer. 

"This is all my fault, if I had just told him in the first place then this wouldn't have happened."

"Don't blame yourself," he told her softly, wiping away her tears. "Scott was right, he warned me to stay away from you, on several occasions," he added, looking away. "But, by then it was too late, you already had me."

She moved her body against him, bringing his head down to hers and kissed him passionately. They began to lose control of themselves again as he backed her up against the wall, pressing his body against hers, making them both equally moan. They broke apart a few moments later, both breathing heavy.

"I need to go," he said wistfully. 

She felt her emotions coming back to her, "But...." trying to think of a million different things at once of a way to fix this, but came up with nothing.

"Nothing has changed," he said, holding her face. "I'll see you at school, Princess." Kissing her one last time before he too left.

The hardest thing to do is to love someone who loves you back and have everyone else hate you for it. In this case Scott hated it and it broke her heart!

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

As much as Bella and Scott had fought in the past, it had never been anywhere near as bad as it was now. It's serious this time she told herself as she laid sprawled out on her bed, listening to her ipod. She was so mad at Scott, but at the same time she couldn't stop thinking about what he had said to her. He looked so sad and it was all her fault.

She loved Liam so much, yes she had been nervous and scared that it wouldn't work between them, but now she knew more than anything that she was wrong. She missed him already and even though he told her that nothing had changed between them, she couldn't help but think that it already had.

Scott probably hated her right now, the one person she has looked up to her whole life and knew she could always rely on wasn't speaking to her. She had waited for him to return when Liam had left, but he never showed. She never should have kept her relationship with Liam a secret from Scott, she never should have done that. It was all because of her that Liam got kicked out with nowhere to go, it was all her fault for ruining their friendship, something she should have thought about from the beginning! How could she have been so inconsiderate?

"She Will Be Loved" by Maroon 5 started playing on her iPod, she let out a quiet sob as she listened to the lyrics. If only there really was a way to fix this mess she wished to herself. Bella's heart almost leapt out of her chest when she felt someone's hand on her shoulder, she jumped back in surprise only to find that it was her aunt Judy.

"I'm so sorry sweetie, I didn't mean to scare you," she apologised, quickly noticing the tears in Bella's eyes. "Honey what's wrong? Why are you crying?"

"It..it's nothing," she managed to stammer out. Judy sat beside her and put her arm around her, letting her head rest on her shoulder.

"Nothing wouldn't happen to involve a certain handsome young man that used to be staying here would it?"

Bella raised her head at that and looked up at Judy, "Scott told you?"

"Not everything, but I guess that's up to you," she said, stroking her hair. "Come on, tell Judy all about it. What happened?"

"Well um," she stuttered nervously. " Liam and I...we're together."

"Well yes, i've known for some time actually," she confessed, catching Bella completely off guard.

"What? You have? For how long?"

"Since our little chat in the kitchen that day" she began. "I'm not blind you know, I see the way you look at each other or when the other isn't looking, which by the way is rarely often. It was painfully obvious!"

"But Scott- " Bella tried to interrupt but Judy beat her to it.

"May be my son, but is as oblivious as his father god help him."

"But now he knows" she said quietly. "He walked in on me and Liam...kissing and he got mad and tried to fight with Liam, but Liam wouldn't fight back so he told him to leave. Then we got into a fight and....now he hates me."

"He does not hate you!" Judy told her, looking at her like she was speaking a different language. "That boy thinks the world of you."

"I should have just told him," Bella explained, feeling her emotions all clouding up inside. "Now him and Liam aren't friends and Liam doesn't have any place to stay and there's nothing I can do!" she sobbed, wiping her tears away.

"Listen to me," she said, turning towards her. " I agree that Scott shouldn't have kicked him out and if I was here I wouldn't have allowed it, but I do understand why he did it. He cares about you Bella, the man in him kicked in and he was just doing what he thought was best, which was to protect you."

"Liam wouldn't hurt me aunt Judy," her voice breaking again. "We love each other."

Judy smiled at her and held her closer, "I know, give him time to cool down and then talk to him."

"He doesn't want to talk to me," she chocked back a sob, remembering the look he gave her before he left earlier that day.

"He will, you'll see."

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

Bella awoke that morning, her neck painfully aching from sleeping awkwardly. She found herself sitting half upright with her phone still in her lap. Liam had texted her late last night letting her know that he was alright, they had chatted for a while until he suddenly stopped replying. She must have fallen sleep while waiting for him to reply. She figured he must have fallen asleep as well or something.

Strolling out of bed, she wrapped her arms around herself and walked out to the bathroom and immediately jumped into the shower. Once dried off, she changed into her pair of tight black leggings and a red long top that dropped off her shoulder slightly. Finishing off her hair and make-up,she slipped on her black ankle boots and made her way downstairs.

From the looks of things Judy was still in bed and Scott was nowhere in sight. Was he even here she wondered? She couldn't remember hearing him come in last night. She walked through to the living room and towards the front door, when it suddenly flew open to reveal Scott.

"Hey," he said, his arms folded over his chest and the expression on his face so serious. "Hey," she muttered back quietly.

"Ready for school?" he asked after a moment, holding the door open for her. Bella was a little surprised at this, was he not mad anymore?

"Yeah," she hesitated a bit, making sure that he was serious. "Let me just grab my things."

She turned around to grab her bag before walking past him, well this will be interesting she told herself.

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

The car journey was the most agonising ten minutes of her life. Neither one of them knew what to say which just made things even more awkward. Throughout her whole life, she had never once not been able to talk to Scott, they had their occasional fights but this was different. She turned her head to look at him carefully and took in a deep breath.

"Scott, i'm sorry," she said quietly. He didn't respond. He turned his head to look at her quickly before gazing back at the road in front of him. She shook her head in annoyance, "So you're just going to ignore me?"

"What do you want me to say?"

"Forget it," shaking her head again, staring out of the window as they pulled into the school parking lot.

"I want you to stop seeing him."

Bella turned her head in surprise to find Scott looking at her, his expression even more serious then before. "What?"

"You heard me," he said.

"No."

"Bella!"

"No! You can't tell me what to do!" she scowled at him. "You know, you wonder why I didn't tell you, because I knew you would be like this!"

Grabbing her bag, she undid her seat belt and sighed before turning to him, "Don't you want me to be happy!?"

"Of course I do!"

"Really? Funny way of showing it," she muttered sadly, why couldn't he be ok with this?

"I don't care how much you hate it, i'm not leaving him and you can't make me." With that she turned and left.

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

School that day had been relatively boring. Bella had been looking forward to her Science class because it was the one class that she and Liam both shared together. But for some reason, he never showed.... When she mentioned it to Sam and Santi, they also informed her that Liam wasn't in any of the other classes either. She tried calling his mobile several times but every time she tried it was engaged.

It worried her a lot, the last time he skipped school and didn't pick up his phone it wasn't good. Please let nothing have happened to him she prayed! She couldn't concentrate the rest of the day, all she could think about was Liam, hoping he was alright. When the last bell rang she quickly gathered up her stuff and made her way to the exit. She really didn't want another awkward car ride home, if she was quick enough she could get on the bus that was only down the road.

"Bella!" She froze in place as she turned and spotted Chase standing in front of her with that charming smile of his plastered across his face.

"Hey," she smiled back, relieved that it wasn't Scott who had spotted her instead.

"How are you? I wanted to call you last weekend but, I wasn't sure if I should?"

"That's sweet. I'm ok," she lied, still rushing towards the exit doors. "You were right, Jennifer's a bitch!"

"So, it was just a misunderstanding?" he asked, keeping up with her as she carried on walking. She smiled at him weakly and nodded, "Yeah."

"Would you mind telling me why you're in such a hurry?" he asked, raising his eyebrows sheepishly as she walked outside.

"No reason," she answered quickly, avoiding his stare altogether.

"So you're not avoiding Scott?" She stopped and turned to face him. "I take it he knows," he continued, studying her face for an answer.

She stayed silent for a minute, "Did he tell you?"

"No, but he's been in a mood all day. Plus I haven't seen Liam around at all." She looked away from him again as he shrugged his shoulders. "I'm just putting two and two together."

She couldn't even confirm that what he assumed was true, it's like it would become more real then it already was. He lightly tapped her arm to grab her attention and gave her a small smile. "You need a ride home?"

"You don't mind?"

"For you, anytime," he winked, wrapping his arm around her and walked with her to his car. This was perfect, she could just text Scott and tell him she was getting a ride home, not that he would be that bothered anyway she told herself.

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

"Thanks Chase," Bella smiled as she turned to him in her seat. He had really made the effort to listen to her again for which she was so grateful for. She hadn't known Chase for very long but there was something about him that made her open up to him. She wasn't entirely sure if that was such a good thing but, talking about it with Chase was easy, he didn't judge.

"Don't mention it and don't worry about Scott, he'll come around."

She looked at him uncertain, "I'm not so sure. He's really mad."

"He won't be forever,"

"I guess," she shrugged, knowing he was right, or at least she hoped he was. What if it came down to the point where he would make her choose? She wouldn't know what to do!? Of course she would have no choice but to pick Scott, he was family after all but, leaving Liam.....she couldn't do it.

"So you and Liam, you guys are really serious huh?" Chase asked, studying her face. She smiled as Liam's face popped into her head, "Yeah, we are."

"You know it's a shame, I could have showed you a hell of a time," he teased, grinning widely at her. She laughed and rolled her eyes, "Oh i'm sure."

"You don't believe me? I could prove it if you want," he carried on, surprising her as he moved closer towards her, his thigh now touching hers. "Show you what you're missing out on," he added, giving her one of his famous winks that she couldn't deny made her blush a little.

"Ha ha, very funny," she laughed sarcastically, poking him in his side lightly.

"I wasn't kidding around Bella," he said, making her head snap up in shock. Was this a joke she asked herself? J

ust when she was about to laugh it off, he lightly stroke her cheek with the back of his hand, just like Liam had done with her a thousand times. "Chase..."

"It could be our little secret," he whispered looking lustfully into her eyes, his gaze slowly dropping down to her lips and it was then she knew this wasn't a joke. He slowly began leaning in closer when she finally came to.

"I'm with Liam," she said quietly, immediately making him stop.

"Right," he said, but didn't hesitate to move. She could have sworn that she saw something flash across his face, something like disappointment or pain maybe?

"I'm sorry Chase," biting her lip nervously. Chase would flirt with her all the time but, she didn't realise that he had been serious. He chuckled lightly before saying, "Can't blame a guy for trying."

She couldn't help but smile at him when he said that, even though she knew he was deliberately avoiding her stare. Suddenly something out of the corner of her eye caught her attention, when she turned to see what is was she froze. "Uh oh."

"What?" he asked, following her gaze. "Oh sh*t!"

Bella quickly jumped out of the car as a very angry Scott approached her. "Scott," she started, not really sure how to explain. This was all she needed right now!

"What the hell do you think you're playing at Bella!" he yelled, making her wince back slightly.

"Relax, she's fine," Chase told him, trying to calm him down.

"Dude, you seriously need to stay out of this!" Scott warned him before glaring back at her "I was looking everywhere for you!"

"I sent you a message and told you I was getting a ride home."

"No you didn't!"

"Yes I did!"

"She did Scott, I was there with her," Chase butted in. "You don't need to yell at her!"

"You seriously need to shut up!"

"Go ahead, drop another sucker into this mess!"

"What is this, another one of your boyfriends?" he said bitterly.

Bella looked up at him a little taken back and frowned, this wasn't the Scott she knew. The Scott she knew would never insult her like this or make her feel ashamed for anything. He was intentionally going out of his way to upset her and that hurt more then anything. She just wanted the old Scott back.

She could feel the tears in her eyes that were begging to fall but she refused to let them, she wasn't going to give him the satisfaction. The frown on his face suddenly disappeared as his eyes scanned her face like he was looking for something, he almost looked guilty. Before he could say anything she lowered her head and turned her back on the both of them. She wanted to thank Chase again but she was afraid her voice would crack if she did, plus she really didn't know where they stood now after what almost happened in his car.....

She walked away from them and headed towards the front door, wanting nothing more then a hot shower where she could cry all of her tears away. She opened the front door and slowly stepped inside.

"Surprise!"

Bella jumped back in shock as she stared at the person across the room.

"Mum!"

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