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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31. Chapter 31

Bella headed straight for the shower as soon as she got home. Words couldn't describe how she was feeling at that moment. Having Scott back in her life meant everything to her, the relief she felt to not having to hide her feelings from Liam anymore was huge, she could finally breath and enjoy it. Things were finally good for her and she was happy......so why did she feel like she had to keep reminding herself of that fact? Why could she still not look at any pictures of Amy or be able to talk or think about her without wanting to break down and cry? Liam had the ability to distract her from having to think about anything but him, but when she was left alone with her own thoughts....she felt lost again.

After showering and drying off her hair, she tied her hair into a messy bun and changed into her favourite pair of sweats and her spaghetti top when the doorbell suddenly rang. Crap! Liam was here, how could she have forgotten! She looked down at her clothes and sighed to herself. Oh yeah, really attractive!

She cringed and walked downstairs to open the door. "Hey," she smiled, wrapping her arms around herself as she felt the slightly cold wind blow against her body.

"Hi, dressed for bed already?" he winked playfully, making her blush.

"Very funny," she smiled bashfully, as he walked inside and closed the door. 

Smiling warmly at her took a step forward. "You alone?" he asked softly. Her mum was still at work and her dad had still not returned from his trip so they were very much alone.

"Yeah, Scott dropped me home not too long ago."

"How did it go?" he asked her, watching her silently. 

She smiled lightly and nodded her head, "Really good, everything's ok," feeling overwhelmed from the relief of it all.

Liam squeezed her arm comfortingly as he moved in closer. He pulled the clip out from her hair letting it fall free down her back. 

"You smell good," he almost whispered, noticing that his eyes were focused on her lips. She forced herself to focus as he moved in closer and let one of his hands stroke down her arm. "You cold?"

"A little," she admitted, biting down on her lip as she felt her whole body start to shiver from just that one small touch.

"Want me to warm you up?" he suggested, putting both of his hands around her waist and bringing her body firmly against his own.

"Hi," he whispered with a small grin on his face, knowing exactly what he was doing to her. 

"Hi," she whispered back, loving how he always seemed to make moments like this seem like their first.

Bella could already feel herself warming up as he leaned down and kissed her, not taking long until it became more passionate. One minute they were standing there kissing and then the next she was lying on the sofa with Liam on top of her. It wasn't long from there that Liam started kissing down her neck, his hand up her top making her skin all tingly. She placed her hands under the back of his t-shirt as he pulled down the straps of her top, his lips softly grazing along her shoulders down to her chest. His hands wandering down her legs and around her waist driving her crazy with lust.

"I'm definitely warmer now," she chuckled. He smiled at her, his eyes burning into hers as he attacked her lips once more.

"Liam, as much as i'm enjoying this, we have to stop." Liam stopped and observed her carefully. Bella had to keep herself from laughing as she caught a look of tortured disappointment flash across his face. He would never complain when it got to much for her but she could tell it killed him everytime.

"The last time we did this on a couch, things didn't end too well," she explained, reminding him of the last unforgettable incident. 

Scott may know along with everyone else that they were officially a couple, but she still didn't want to get caught having a steamy make out session on the couch, what if her mother caught them or worse her dad. That was still the last thing they had to face.

Suddenly realising what she meant, he leaned down to kiss her one more time before pulling himself off of her. "You're right," he said mischievously while holding his hand out for her to grab. 

Bella studied his gaze knowingly but took hold of his hand anyway. As soon as she did she immediately regretted it as he grabbed her by her waist and chucked her over his shoulder.

"Liam!" she shrieked in surprise. Liam simply ignored her and began walking upstairs. "Liam. Put me down. You're gonna drop me!" she giggled, knowing he would never let that happen.

Liam laughed and gently tapped her on her butt, "You know you love it."

When they reached her room Liam placed her on her bed, looking down at her with that amazing smile as she laid on her back.

"I can walk you know," she teased, trying to be serious. 

"And you do it very well," he grinned, his gaze so intense.

She smiled up at him and felt a small blush rise to her cheeks as his eyes roamed down her body. It amazed her at how comfortable she felt as he took her in, almost like he was memorising every inch of her. If it were anybody else she would have bolted by now, but Liam was different, Liam was hers and she loved him.

Her train of thought suddenly jolted away from him.....why couldn't Amy have met someone like Liam? If only she had, she would still be here today. She deserved to be treated right, why couldn't she have had that. She never got the chance to really be in love, she would never know what it feels like to find that one guy that you know is right for you. She will never have that chance to walk down the aisle and say "I do". She will never have a family of her own. Her life was over before it had even started....how was any of that fair?

Bella suddenly snapped out of her daze as Liam leaned forwards and hovered above her, staring at her openly with a slight worried expression. "You ok?"

She stayed silent but nodded with a small smile. He stared at her carefully before asking, "What are you thinking about?"

This boy sure knew how to read her she thought. "Nothing," she muttered. "Just you." Leaning her head up to kiss him.

His eyes were thoughtful yet longing, she knew he could read her like a book, but instead of asking her about it he gently smiled and leaned down to kiss her, chasing all her troubles away just like he always did.

"Wait stop!" she pulled away suddenly. 

"What's wrong?" he asked, still hovering over her.

"Do you hear that?" she asked him, listening carefully.

"Hear what?"

"Bella, you home?" someone shouted form downstairs.

"It's my mum!" she gasped, scrambling out from under Liam and making sure her hair and clothes were in proper order.

Liam watched her amusingly, "She knows we're together Bella, remember." Relaying a couple of days ago when he climbed out of her window and rang on the bell to greet her mum. She had been as cool as she thought she would be and even invited him in for breakfast.

"I know but.....I don't want her to think we're.....or that we've.....you know," she blushed, amusing him even more. 

He stood up and walked towards her, his gaze soft and loving. "Yeah, I know." 

Bella smiled at him and kissed him quickly before taking hold of his hand and dragging him downstairs.

"Mum?" she called out when she saw no sign of her. 

"Over here," she answered from the living room. They both walked into the living room where she saw her mother standing next to someone else.

"Dad!" she gasped in surprise, running over to hug him. 

"Hey pumpkin," he grinned, wrapping his arms around her. It suddenly accrued to her just how much she had missed him. Apart form Scott and Liam, her dad was the only other man in her life that she loved and relied on. He had always been like a superhero to her.

"Did you just get here?"

"Your mum picked me up, I wanted to surprise you," he told her as he reached inside his coat pocket. "Here, I got you a little something. It's a different brand then what you usually wear."

Bella gazed down at the box of perfume titled Nina Ricci and smiled, she usually wore Dior but she loved trying new scents and the bottle looked like an apple which she thought was so cute. "Thanks dad."

"Who's this?" her dad suddenly demanded, looking over her head. Bella had been so distracted in seeing her dad that she had completely forgotten about Liam standing there. She turned her head to gaze at him, he looked so uncomfortable it made her melt.

"Oh sorry," she muttered nervously, slowly walking towards Liam. "Dad this is Liam, my...." 

Oh god, he wasn't supposed to find out this way! What if he flips and attacks Liam!? Ok, a little dramatic but still...after everything that had happened with Amy she couldn't blame her dad for wanting to hate every guy she was to bring home. But Liam was different, he wasn't just any guy he was special.

"Boyfriend," her mum finished for her, obviously sensing her hesitation. Her dad looked up at Bella and carefully studied Liam which was clearly making him extremely uncomfortable. Liam didn't have the best relationship with his father, who could blame him really! So she knew how nervous he was about meeting her dad, he never actually told her this but deep down she could sense it.

"So you're Liam," her dad frowned, her mum had no doubt told him all about it.

"It's nice to meet you sir, um Mr Roberts....sir," Liam stuttered, walking forwards as he held his hand out for him to shake. Her heart shattered inside as she resisted the urge to hold onto him somehow even if it was just to hold his hand, but not sure how her dad would react she thought against it.

"I've heard a lot about you," her dad stated, still watching Liam carefully as they shook hands.

"Same here," Liam smiled, gazing towards her quickly. Her dad followed his gaze and gave out a small "Hmm."

"Have you been home long?" her dad asked, looking down at them both. Probably checking to see if any buttons were undone, typical.

Noticing that Liam was about to say something she quickly beat him to it. "Not really, we were just....studying." 

She tried desperately to keep her face calm, but who was she kidding! It was times like this that she was an open book to everyone and she hated it.

Her mother began to laugh, "Honey, we weren't born yesterday!" Bella looked away with a frown noticing the small smirk that Liam was trying his hardest to hide. "Liam, would you like to stay for dinner?"

Liam looked up in surprise at her mum. "Oh, I don't want to intrude," he answered, glancing at her dad. "I'm sure you all have a lot to catch up on."

"You're not intruding, right dad?" Silently begging him with her eyes.

Bella didn't mean to push the matter but she wanted her parents to like Liam and now was a good a time as any....well that and the fact that once her dad was okay with their relationship, they had nothing else to worry about anymore. From the look in her dad's eye, she could tell he wanted to say no and banish Liam from ever seeing her again, but she knew her dad all to well and already knew what the answer would be.

"Of course not, you're more than welcome to join us Liam."

"Do you like Mexican food Liam?" her mother asked, she had always been good at changing the mood in desperate times and for that she was grateful.

"I love it."

"Mum is famous for her fajitas."

"Sounds good," Liam replied, clearly noticing how tense and uncomfortable he seemed. Maybe she shouldn't have pushed this so much....

"I'm going to unpack," her dad told them as he grabbed his suitcase and slowly disappeared out of the room. Once her mum had gone into the kitchen Bella turned towards Liam and smiled.

"See, it wasn't as bad as you thought right?"

He grimaced slightly and shrugged his shoulders, "I guess."

"He will like you Liam, he's just my dad you know. After what we went through...." 

Liam stepped forward just then and placed his hands on either side of her arms. "I know, I understand. It's just....i'm not good with parents. I mean my own can't even stand me, how can I expect yours to?" he muttered, more sadder then she had ever heard him before.

She stared at him for a moment in surprise, "Liam," she whispered, feeling a slight ache in her heart. How can he think that? "Once my dad sees how great you are it will be fine and my mum already loves you."

He smiled lightly and shifted from one foot to the other. It was like the confidence that she usually saw in him was slowly slipping away, seeing Liam uneasy about this made her feel tremendously guilty. It didn't occur to her just how nervous he was about this. Bella knew that his dad was horrible to him and that his mother had abandoned him and left him alone with that monster, hell she would be feeling just as unwanted and scared if it was her. How could she be so small minded!

"I'm sorry Liam, I didn't think. We don't have to do this today." 

His eyebrows suddenly pinched together with a frown," No, I want to do this. If he ends up hating me then fine, I can live with that. But I want to try, for you. For us."

"Are you sure?"

Liam studied her face and finally gave her that signature smile she had been waiting for, "I'm sure."

"Come here," he whispered, making her skin all tingly from just the sound of his voice. 

She stepped closer to him and slowly wrapped her arms around his neck before kissing him as passionately as she could. Slightly nervous and suddenly aware of where she was, she broke away from the kiss and leaned her forehead against his.

"Do you want something to drink?" she asked him, her voice shaky and slightly out of breath. 

Liam gazed down at her lips once more, "I'm ok." Gazing back into her eyes she watched as he studied her carefully and she could tell he could sense her nerves.

"I could use a glass of water though." His words soothed her a little but she was still a little shaky from the kiss. It may have been short but it definitely felt a lot longer.

"Ok, come on." Grabbing hold of his hand as she lead him inside the kitchen where her mum was preparing the food.

As she grabbed a bottle of water out of the fridge she watched as Liam hovered towards her mother. 

"Can I help?" he offered anxiously. 

Her mother was a little taken back by his offer and it almost made her laugh, past boyfriends never even offered to clean up after themselves let alone ask to cook. Her mum quickly slipped her an impressed look before turning to face Liam.

"That would be very nice, here why don't you chop these up and then stir it onto this," her mother smiled, passing Liam the vegetables.

Bella sat and watched as Liam and her mother were bonding, it meant a lot to her and she couldn't help but smile. It meant a lot to Liam as well, she knew that because he had told her once in confidence that he used to help his own mother in the kitchen, that it was a type of tradition for them. The smile on his face now almost made her want to cry for him. He would never admit to missing his mother but she knew deep down that he did.

**********

Dinner that night had gone surprisingly well, her mum was happy and did most of the talking which was never unusual and her dad was a lot nicer to Liam then he previously was. He asked him a lot of questions at first and when it came to his parents she was terrified of how Liam would react, but he handled it pretty well even if he did fib a little she knew he couldn't tell them everything. Other then that, her dad was pleasantly nice.

Bella waited that night for Liam to climb through her window just like every other night, it was impossible for her to sleep unless he was there, but she didn't realise how tired she was and before she knew it she had woken up from another recurring nightmare.

"Bella?"

Bella quickly turned to head to the other side of the bed only to find Liam sitting at the end of her bed instead.

"You ok?" he asked with concern. 

"Yeah," she nodded tearfully, trying her best to avoid his beautiful stare. He climbed off her bed and sat down next to her.

"Another nightmare?" She watched as he finally studied her face, hoping he wouldn't ask anything else. 

Just the image of seeing Amy lying there all bloody made her stomach turn and she quickly turned her gaze to the floor.

"Bella?"

"I'm ok," she spoke quietly and glanced up to look into his amazing face making her instantly feel better. She leaned her head up to level with his and kissed him softly, he was like a drug to her. One kiss and she was addicted.

"What's that?" she asked, noticing the medium sized notepad on her bed. 

"Nothing," he said, quickly taking hold of the notepad, a small blush creeping onto his cheeks. That had to be a first.

"Come on, let me see."

"No."

"Please," she pouted, trying her best to give him the saddest puppy dog eyes she could muster up. He chuckled at her attempt and gave a big sigh which meant she had won. "Ok."

He took his notepad and passed it to her which she gladly took, what could he be hiding anyway? Maybe he was into poetry, there was nothing wrong with that....although she would be very surprised, Liam and poetry just didn't really fit....

Seeing the nervous look on his face made her a little nervous as well. Without wasting anymore time she flipped the notepad cover over and gasped.

"Liam...."

"You like it?"

Bella gazed down at the drawn image of her, she was smiling and her hair was like it always was, curly and a little wild. "It's beautiful."

"Now you know what I see," he whispered, making the little hairs on her arms stand up.

"I never knew you could draw." Flipping through the notepad and finding even more images of not just her but some beautiful places.

"Only a little," he shrugged it off like it was no big deal. Bella looked up in surprise, "This is more then a little."

Putting the notepad aside she got up on her knees and straddled Liam's lap, blushing from the intensity of his stare. He pulled her down and kissed her deeply which she responded to immediately and allowed him to take over as he laid her down onto her bed with him on top of her. She could feel him smile against her lips as she let out a little moan, much to his enjoyment, his hands everywhere...

"So I guess you liked it then?" he teased, but not dismissing a slight blush on his face. "You know I did."

"I never did thank you," she whispered, constantly forgetting that they weren't home alone. 

"For what?" he asked, slightly confused.

"You promised you would make things better with Scott and you did."

He smiled sweetly and rested his hands on either side of her head.

"It wasn't all me"

"Sure it wasn't," she smiled pulling him down for another kiss.

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