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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3. Chapter 3

Scott and Bella headed to the bakery before school that morning seeing as all there was to eat at her house was porridge, not her favourite thing in the world. Thinking they would be in and out within less then five minutes, Scott was taking an extraordinary long time deciding what he wanted! Laughing at her impatience they finally lined up to pay.

With a big yawn, Bella listened as Scott rambled on about his training and some football player that bored her to death. It was way to early in the morning, especially without her coffee fix! Pretending to pay attention, she noticed the guy behind the counter give her a secret smile while keeping a close eye on Scott who he probably thought was her boyfriend. People always seemed to think that whenever they were together. He was kind of cute she had to admit, but the way his eyes were gilding up and down her body turned her off completely. Knowing Scott well she gave the guy a quick smile and then avoided his glance all together as she waited for Scott to pay.

"Hey! Are you done checking my cousin out!" Scott bellowed, startling Bella and making the guy raise his arms up in defence. Scott then grabbed hold of Bella's arm. "Come on, let's go," glaring at the guy as he gently pulled her away.

Once they were outside she yanked her arm out of his grip and gave him her best death glare which most of the time just looked like she was sulking.

"What?"

"Well I can't go in there again!"

"The guy was looking you up and down like a piece of meat!"

"Scott, he's a guy!"

"Nobody looks at my cousin that way!" he sternly said, making her roll her eyes in annoyance. How can he act so mad when he does exactly the same to other girls! Being overprotective was always a trait Scott had when he was around her, it really got on her nerves sometimes. When they were kids it was a normal amount of protectiveness, but since her ex boyfriend and Amy, he became even less trusting.

"You know what makes snow great at moments like this?" Slowly picking up some snow from the ground and forming it into a ball.

 "What?" he asked, paying no attention to her whatsoever.

"Snow ball fights!" Catching him off guard as she aimed a snowball at the back of his head.

"Oh, you so better run," he grinned menacingly before chasing after her with two handful's of snow, what had she gotten herself into!

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

After her first lesson, Bella decided to quickly grab some coffee before her next class. Her hair was still a little damp from all the snow that Scott had thrown at her and she was feeling quite chilly. While Scott was chasing her, Bella clumsily lost her balance and fell to the ground which gave him a free chance to dump a huge snowball on top of her head. So there she was, lined up at the coffee cart hoping the queue would hurry up so she could be warm already!

"Hi there," Bella heard someone whisper in her ear.

Turning her head to the side, she found a guy that she had seen a couple of times in the hall looking down at her with a big smirk on his face. He was tall and had jet black hair that had been gelled back completely. She bet if she ran her hands through it she would probably be glued to his head. He also had that look about him, that "I'm so hot and I know it" look. Just the type of guy she couldn't stand!

"Hi," she replied, turning her back on him hoping he would stop talking to her.

"Can I buy you some coffee?" he asked.

"No thanks, I got it," hoping he could take a hint.

"Ok, why don't we just skip the coffee and head to the basement instead then? I know a spot." That huge grin still plastered across his smug face.

Rolling her eyes in disgust she simply told him, "I don't think so!" Noticing his group of friends just a few feet away from them, assuming this was all just some stupid dare.

"Playing hard to get huh? That's alright, I can always picture it instead," tilting his head to the side as his eyes travelled down her body.

This time she turned to face him completely. "Please, even your fantasy of me isn't interested in you!" she simply stated feeling officially annoyed now. His group of friends started howling with laughter at his rejection which just annoyed her even more. Fed up with the situation and a little embarrassed, Bella decided to skip her coffee and walked away instead.

"Ouch! I felt that burn myself!" Bella heard someone say.

She looked at the guy to her right to see if he was talking to her which confirmed that he was as he now stood in front of her. His deep green eyes was the first thing she noticed, he was pretty tall and his short brown hair stuck up in a few places buy mainly at the front. He was wearing a pair of dark blue jeans and a white top that showed every muscle and a black coat that made his shoulders look rather broad. Wow she thought, they sure do have some cute guys at this school! Well, minus the slimy haired jerk!

The guy in front of her smiled and held his coffee up in front of her. "Here, you seem to need this more than me. Don't worry I just bought it, I don't have cooties or anything," he joked with her. She hesitated at first but then gently took it from him with a small smile.

"Thanks. I'm sorry about that." Feeling slightly embarrassed.

"Hey he had it coming, can't blame a guy for trying though right?"

"I guess not," she chuckled.

"My name's Dean by the way," holding his hand out for her to shake which she slowly but happily shook.

"Bella....well I should get to class. Thanks again for the coffee," she smiled.

"Anytime." He gave her a friendly nod and watched her walk away as she headed to her next class. What a nice guy, she thought as she sipped on her much needed coffee.

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

Bella hopped in the shower as soon as she got home that afternoon, standing under it a little while longer then usual, enjoying the hot water run down her body feeling all the aches and pains start to wash away. Bella had barely slept last night wanting to avoid another nightmare and was now starting to feel a little worn out. She soon felt the water cooling down so decided to get out before it turned ice cold, a habit she was very well known for. After drying off and changing into some comfy clothes, she stopped inside her doorway and slowly examined her room. Apart from her bed, desk and cupboards, her room was completely deserted and a part of her wanted to leave it like that. But she felt depressed enough as it was and her room was the place she spent most of her time, so she decided to hang some of her old stuff up from her old room in England.

Once finished, she wrapped some starry lights around her bed and hung a few dark purple blinds that she had bought for her windows. Now happy with her little makeover project Bella walked over to her desk and began tidying up a bit. She had so much junk on here she didn't even know why she kept half of it!

Remembering the big drawer under her desk, she decided to just put everything in there for the time being, but for some reason the drawer wouldn't budge. Grabbing hold of the handle with both hands, she began pulling as hard as she could, when the drawer suddenly flew open sending everything inside to come flying out.

Sighing in annoyance, she bent down to pick everything back up, but quickly stopped to find a few pictures of herself and Amy. Bella sat herself down to look through each one of them carefully, remembering each memory like it was just yesterday.  A picture of Amy on her 20th birthday made Bella chuckle slightly as she remembered the moment it had been taken.

Her parents had invited the whole family to Spain, a place Amy loved and wanted to move to one day. They had all spent the afternoon at the beach before getting ready to go out later that night and while Amy had been sunbathing, she fell asleep with her iPod on her stomach and woken up to find her whole body tanned except for where her iPod and headphones had been. Bella was in stiches as she took the picture as it still looked like she was listening to her music. Amy was never one to care what people thought of her and simply laughed it off. There were only three years between Amy and herself, for Bella's eighteenth birthday, Amy was going to take her to Spain with a bunch of girls to celebrate. It was going to be their first trip away together.

A sob escaped Bella's mouth as she felt her heart break a little more. Before moving here they had visited Spain where they had scattered her ashes. It was a place Amy had loved with all her heart, a place her family knew she would be happy. It felt right to let go of her there, it's what she would have wanted. The pictures she had left of her sister held a special place within her own heart, but she couldn't find the courage to put them up just yet. It was too hard. Seeing pictures of Amy just made her miss her even more, it's not that she wanted to forget her, the memory of her sister is something she could never and will never forget, but the memories were to hard for her to hang up just yet.

Her thoughts were suddenly interrupted by the sound of her doorbell ringing. Pulling back her tears, Bella quickly gathered up the photos and shoved them in her desk drawer before jogging down the stairs. Bella briefly paused in front of the mirror in the hall and groaned at her appearance, her eyes were still a little teary. Wiping her face and taking a deep breath she slowly opened the door and peaked around the door to find Scott and Liam. Groaning silently, she opened it a little wider feeling the chill from the cold wind blow against her skin.

"Hey, what are you guys doing here?"

"You ok?" Scott asked, a worried frown starting to form across his face. She smiled and nodded her head as she glanced between them both not missing the look of worry on Liam's face either.

"We were heading out to catch a movie then maybe get something to eat after, thought seeing as you're on your won tonight you'd like to come?" Scott asked, leaning against her doorway.

As nice as the offer was, Bella couldn't help but feel like he had chosen the worst time to come over. Amy's pictures were still fresh in her mind and all she wanted to do in that moment was return to her room so she could crawl into her bed and cry, her body feeling weak from lack of sleep.

"Thanks, but you guys should go without me, I have lots of....stuff to do, I was unpacking and there's still so much," swallowing back the tears she could feel bubbling inside of her.

"We could help if you like?" Liam kindly offered making her smile a little.

Scott stood closer to the point where he was now towering over her. "Come on little cuz, let's get you out of here," he muttered quietly, his face telling her he knew what was going on.

Bella sighed and bowed her head down in defeat. She wiped away a few tears that had fallen down her face before mustering up a small smile. "Ok, let me just go get changed."

Feeling a little embarrassed that Liam had to witness this and was now probably wondering what the hell was going on with her, Bella bravely opened the door for them to come inside while avoiding his gaze that she could feel he had on her. Scott had to have said something to him or was probably going to now.

"I'll just be five minutes," she muttered as she turned to walk upstairs, leaving the two boys in the hall. No doubt Scott would wander into the kitchen while they waited for her.

Walking towards her closet Bella pulled out a pair of jeans to change into with a plain white t-shirt and then her light pink hoodie. She pulled the scrunchy out of her hair that she had in a little bun and ran her fingers through her curls, letting them hang loose mostly just so she could hide her face. Standing in front of her mirror she wiped her face free of anymore tears and tried to pull herself together.

Come on Bella, you're stronger then this she told herself, taking a few deep breaths before applying some light makeup and then putting on her pair of uggs, wanting to be comfortable. Grabbing her purse and making sure she had everything she needed, she finally headed back downstairs.

"I hope this is ok," she muttered as both boys turned to look at her, not dismissing the instant smile on Liam's face or the chocolate bar Scott was stuffing himself on.

"Perfect," Liam playfully winked, earning a glare from Scott. Rolling his eyes, he made his way to the door. "Come on, let's go."

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

After the movie had finished they made their way to the restaurant next door for something to eat as they were all starving, even though both boys had eaten a whole tub full of popcorn, each! The place looked like some sort of sports bar/restaurant and was inside the same building as the movies so it wasn't a surprise that the place was crowded.

As they went to enter the bar, Liam quickly moved forward and opened the door. Bella smiled and politely thanked him as he held it open for her, his brown eyes following her as she entered. Scott followed behind, glaring at Liam with warning in his eyes which clearly stated that he was watching him. They were led down to a table that was next to the window, Scott scooting in next to her as she took a seat making Liam sit in front of them. Something she knew Scott had done on purpose.

As they skimmed the menu they all decided to order a big pizza to share amongst them with a side of fries on the side. Bella was surprised that Scott didn't order more then just one, especially with the size of his appetite, but when their food finally arrived, her eyes widened in shock at the size of it making them both laugh at her. She now understood why they only ordered one pizza! You don't get portions like this in England she thought.

In the end Bella was glad she had come along, it wouldn't have done her any good if she had given into her emotions like she had wanted to. The tiredness was still there though, she had almost fallen asleep several times while watching the movie and had even fallen onto Liam's shoulder at one point which immediately woke her up. Liam only chuckled and made a joke saying she only had to ask for him to put his arm around her which made her blush but she simply stuck her tongue out at him and stole some of his popcorn which only increased his laughter.

While they ate, Scott was talking to Liam about the football scores that weekend making her roll her eyes in boredom. Scott was so into his sports, he was always boasting about the day he was going to be dirty rich playing football or basketball. A few years ago, Bella had come over to visit and went to watch Scott play football. He was running with the ball when he was suddenly tackled to the ground,  badly spraining his foot in the process. He was laid up for weeks not being allowed to play, it was the first time she got to look after him for a change. She remembered how upset he was not being able to participate, it was then she realized and saw how dedicated he really was. Now whenever he played a game, she would be standing on the side, cheering him on.

She glanced up at the two boys and couldn't help the smile on her face as she watched them joke with each other. While she was listening she also discovered Liam's lack of knowledge to do with football. Scott was trying not to laugh as he tried to explain the rules of football and the many different positions, which only made Liam laugh and shrug his shoulders, she could tell he didn't care and probably wouldn't remember a single thing that Scott was telling him. The fact that Liam listened anyway seemed quite sweet to her. Like many times before, Liam suddenly noticed her watching and smiled at her with a slight twinkle in his eye, just like the other night. Not wanting him to see how he affected her she smiled back and quickly looked away.

He had done that a few times tonight, from the moment she was in the car to the moment they sat down to eat. Bella didn't know what it was about him, bu his gaze on her  always made her stomach flutter like crazy and caused her body to heat up a little. She didn't know what it was, but she didn't entirely hate it. Part of her knew that the main reason he was doing it was because of the fact that he had seen her in tears only a couple of hours ago, but sometimes the look of concern would turn into something else and she couldn't tell what he was thinking.

"Dude!" Scott groaned quietly. Liam looked up at him curiously. "What?"

"Alexis," he said with a cheeky grin. Bella looked over towards the bar to find a girl with long blond hair leaning against the counter. She had a short skirt on with a low cut top that was barely covering her clevage.

"Damn, she's looking good, I'll be right back," he said, sliding out of his chair and striding over to her.

"I didn't know Scott had a girlfriend," Bella watched as the girl and her cousin started flirting with each other.

Liam sat back in his chair, glancing over in their direction and frowned almost disapprovingly. "She used to be."

"What happened?" she asked curiously.

He leaned forward with his arms now resting on the table, shrugging his shoulders as he did. "You know Scott, he likes his girls," he told her.

She was a little taken back, she didn't know that at all! Sure he liked girls she knew that, she'd be worried if he didn't. But since when did Scott become such a....player!

She looked up at Liam who was sitting across from her and wondered if he was the same way? He was Scott's best friend after all.

"You're not like that?" instantly regretting it the moment she had said it. She hoped he didn't take any offence to it.

He simply nodded his head back and forth, "No, I'm pretty happy with just the one."

Bella felt a little relieved at that but also grew curious, did that mean he had a girlfriend? "You know if were going to be friends we should probably get to know each other a little better, don't you think?" she asked him.

"Of course," he nodded.

"How about twenty questions? Or is that too childish?" she asked, slightly worried he would think she was incredibly immature.

"No, it's not," he chuckled, flashing her that signature smile of his.

"Ok, you go first," resting her arms on the table the same as Liam.

"Favourite colour?" he asked her.

"Red."

"Mine too."

She smiled at him and thought of a question to ask him. "Uhh, favourite movie?"

He thought for a while before answering. "I don't really have a favourite, but I guess if I had to pick I'd choose the famous Saw films," he said making her grimace. "Not a fan huh?" chuckling at her reaction.

"Not really, Scott made me watch the first one with him when we were kids. He told me it was a comedy and they were just making fun of other movies. It wasn't funny!" she told him, making him laugh.

"So what about you, what's your favourite movie?" he asked, looking back at her with that charming grin on his face.

"P.S I love you. It's kind of a sad story, but also funny and romantic at the same time."

"Isn't that the one where he sends her all those letters?"

"Yeah, you've seen it?" she asked, a little surprised.

"No, I just saw it advertising once," he answered quickly. She had a sneaky feeling that he was bluffing though. "So have you always had curly hair?"

"Yeah, it's all natural," she told him.

"I like it," he smiled sweetly. She could feel herself blushing again. "Thanks."

Trying to find a way to recover from her blushing, she asked him, "Have you always lived here?"

"Pretty much, I'm originally from Canada though," he told her.

"Oh, do you miss it?"

Liam shook his head slightly. "Nah not really, I pretty much consider this my home," he said with a warm smile. "I guess it's my turn," he continued, quickly changing the subject.

"So, do you have a, boyfriend?" he asked, staring at her curiously.

She frowned a little at that. "No," she muttered.

Liam cocked his neck to the side. "What happened?"

"It just didn't work out," she told him, not wanting to go into detail. "So, do you have a girlfriend?"

"Used to, but right now I'm single," his eyes focused on her.

"Did somebody upset you earlier?" he asked carefully. It's not like she wasn't expecting this to come up tonight, after all she would be curious too. How was she supposed to answer him though? If anything she was certain Scott would have said something.

"Scott didn't tell you?"

"Tell me what?"

"Nothing," she muttered, avoiding his gaze. Maybe he didn't know after all, honestly it relieved her that he didn't. The last thing she wanted to do was talk about it. He would just pity her and that's the last thing she wanted from anyone.

"I'm sorry Bella, I didn't mean to pry. You just looked really sad that's all."

"I'm ok," she lied, as they shared a smile between them before Scott had scooted back in beside her with a pleased look on his face.

Getting to know a bit more about Liam was interesting and she wished she could have found out more about him, but they soon asked for the bill and headed off home.

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