3 WEEKS LATER~
(Just to speed the story along)
“There’s so much to do,” Carole said in a high panicky voice. She was currently running in all directions, trying to get everything perfect. Christmas was approaching fast and Carole was out of her mind with decorating. She wanted everything to be perfect.
“Mom, maybe you should rest a bit,” Liam spoke up, looking worried.
“No, no, no,” she snapped in agitation, unpacking a box of decorations. “I don’t have much time. Christmas will be here before we know it. I’m so late.” She grumbled to herself.
“Do you want help?” I asked softly. Carole looked up at me with a smile.
“No, I’m fine. Go play with Liam.” She shooed me away. My cheeks grew warm as I thought of how dirty that sounded. Liam seemed to sense my thoughts like he always did and wiggled his eyebrows mischievously, his grin wicked.
“Yeah, come play with me, Yvonne,” he said suggestively. I rolled my eyes as I walked over to him. He grabbed my hand immediately, kissing the palm of my hand tenderly. He never even broke eye contact. My heart was racing as he led me toward the staircase, trying to lead me upstairs. We hadn’t had sex yet and Liam was patient with me, but things between us were very intense. And I honestly didn’t know how much longer I could hold out.
We were stopped in our tracks by a knock at the door. Liam groaned in frustration. Walking to the door he muttered,
“Better have a good reason for interrupting.” I giggled, walking behind him. He swung the door open in agitation and there stood Simon. His eyes flickered over Liam, then to me and back again.
“I’m here to talk to Yvonne,” Simon said, glaring at Liam.
“Sure, go ahead,” Liam responded.
“ Alone, ” Simon emphasized. I blinked. What the hell could he possibly want to talk about? I couldn’t see Liam’s face, but I saw his back stiffen.
“No,” he said, his voice hard. I touched Liam’s back absentmindedly. I could feel the hard muscles of his back through his thin T-shirt. I bit my lip, my heart karate kicked against my chest, trying to get free. He turned to look at me.
“It’s okay,” I said, nodding at him reassuringly. “I’ll talk to him. It’ll only be for a moment.l” Liam frowned. He obviously didn’t like the idea, but he nodded once.
I grabbed my coat from the coat rack. After I put it on, I turned to Liam and stretched up on the tips of my toes. I stretched my neck up and he bent down. His lips were gentle on mine, his fingers tickled my hips. I giggled and pulled away reluctantly.
“I’ll be back,” I promised, touching his cheek. Liam nodded, but glared at Simon. I walked toward Simon. I took a deep breath, steeling myself as I stepped out into the cold December morning.
Liam was anxious. He hated Simon’s guts. For one he’d hurt Yvonne. He’d hurt her deeply. When they’d first met outside of the club, Yvonne had been drunk. Her eyes filled with unshed tears and he could tell she was hurt. Instead of taking advantage of her—which he would normally do to a drunk girl—he found himself helping her. He found himself unable to stop thinking about kissing her. He had been unwilling to admit that he had fallen in love. Unwilling to admit what was right in front of him. But he had finally realized on Halloween when Ryan—he thought the name venomously —had kidnapped her. His heart felt empty, cold when he thought she was out of his life forever. And that’s when he knew that, yeah, he did like her.
So, the thought of her ex fiancé showing up at the door, asking to speak to her alone made him feel something he hadn’t felt in a long time. Jealousy.
They had only been together for four weeks, but Liam was the kind of man who rarely fell for a girl and when he did finally fall, he fuckin collapsed. And he’d collapsed pretty d–n hard for Yvonne. And between keeping a close eye on Gretchen and keeping that assbag, Simon, away from Yvonne, Liam was pretty sure he’d go prematurely gray. He’d seen the way Simon looked at Yvonne and he didn’t fuckin like it. He’d be more than willing to give him a black eye, a busted lip and a broken rib if he even so much as tried to touch a hair on Yvonne’s head.
“You look livid,” said a bored voice from behind him. Liam turned and came face to face with his good friend Lucas. His expression was bored as always. Liam chuckled as he thought of the similarities between Yvonne’s brother and his best friend.
“Not livid at all,” Liam lied cheerfully. Lucas looked like he didn’t believe him, but shrugged.
“She hasn’t made anymore moves. She tried to go to her father, but after a visit from Ryan and Daniel Grover he saw things our way,” Lucas informed him. Liam nodded, his lips tightening when Ryan’s name was brought up.
“Good. And Kate?”
“She’s switched to Gretchen’s side, exactly as you predicted.” Liam nodded again.
“Good, then they’re falling into the trap nicely. Chauncey,” Liam called. Chanuncey walked in, took one look at Liam and Lucas and nodded.
“Is it time for Phase Two already?”
“Yes, it is. Call my father and tell him to alert the others.”
“Right away.” Chauncey turned on his heel and left. Liam turned and looked out of the clear window and at Yvonne. He had promised her he’d take care of this mess and that’s exactly what he would do. He’d take care of Gretchen and Kate. When he was done with them, they’d be too far away to ever bother his Yvonne again.
I looked at Simon and he looked at me. I felt awkward. We were just looking at each other. I feel nervous but this nervousness isn’t the nervousness I used to feel in his presence. This isn’t a case of the butterflies. I was nervous because I hadn’t talked to him one-on-one in so long. We had been friends once— best friends. And now look at us, staring at each other awkwardly. How sad, I thought.
“I don’t think Kate loves me,” he blurted out. I blinked at him. I was caught off guard. I hadn’t expected this. I sighed, shifting my gaze skyward and silently asking the Lord to give me strength because in that moment I wanted to hit Simon. I wanted to punch him in the mouth. And not because he broke my heart in what seemed like an eternity ago, but because he was stupid. Kate didn’t love anyone but herself. Even the dumbest of the dumb could figure that out.
“And you’re telling me this because?” I asked him, my voice uncharacteristically harsh. Simon swallowed and looked at me.
“Because I want you back, Yvonne.” I just stared at him. Was he kidding me? After mangaling my heart and leaving it in pieces, he wanted me back. After cheating on me and dumping me an hour before our wedding he had the nerve to stand here before me and say he wanted me back. My next move was involuntary. I pulled my arm back, curling my hand into a tight fist and punched him. There was a meaty thwak! sound and he groaned, clutching his jaw.
“No,” I said simply. “You had your chance. You blew it. I love someone else now.” I surprised myself a little. Did I just say I loved Liam? I didn’t have a chance to ponder over this, however, because Simon lifted himself up and he glared at me.
“You won’t be able to keep him,” he spat, blood flying out of his mouth. “Not when you don’t even f–k.” I laughed in his face. I laughed at how pathetic he was. I laughed as I wondered what I ever saw in him. I laughed as I truly realized the difference between this boy and the man I now had.
“Goodbye, Simon.” I turned to walk away.
“No, we’re not done talking,” Simon shouted grabbing my arm with brute force.
“Ow,” I cried out involuntarily, before struggling to get free. He smirked at me. I don’t think I could ever forget how he looked in that moment: wild, crazed. “Where’s the man you love now?” he taunted, tightening his grip.
“Right here, ” I heard that unmistakable voice say before a fist shot out past my face and hit Simon right in the nose.He yowled and let go. I turned and hurled myself into Liam’s strong arms. My solitude. He held me tightly to him, kissed the top of my head. He handed me over to a strong pair of arms immediately after. I glanced up into the dark, emotionless eyes of Lucas.
“Hi,” he said, looking bored. My lips twitched as I fought a smile. I turned back to Liam and saw that Simon had gotten up, his nose bleed perfusely. He glared at Liam with so much hate that my heartbeat quickened for Liam’s safety. “Don’t worry about Liam,” Lucas said to me as Simon readied himself. “He can take on that kid. He was trained by five of the most dangerous assassins in the world.” This surprised me, but I had no time to think about it.
Simon put his head down and charged at Liam like a wild bull. But Simon never even touched Liam because once Simon was close enough, Liam dipped low and his leg shot out, knocking Simon off balance. Then he shot up quickly and before Simon could fall to the ground, he punched him. Twice. His fists moved so quickly, they were nearly invisible. Simon fell to the ground in agony, but still reached for Liam who sidestepped him.
“Leave,” was all Liam said, coming to stand beside me. Simon looked at me sadly. And despite everything, I felt bad for him. His face bruised and bloodied.
“I love you,” he whispered in agony. I noddded.
“I loved you too, a long time ago. But that part of our lives is over now. I’ve moved on. You should do the same.” I grabbed Liam’s hand and the three of us walked back inside the house.
After a few minutes of being inside, Lucas finally left. Liam and I were now in his room. I was sitting up, propped against the pillows. Liam was resting his head against my chest, his arm sprawled over my waist. I stroked his hair and he closed his eyes, sighing in contentment.
“Can I ask you something, Yvonne?” Liam asked me, his eyes still closed.
“You just did,” I told him, fighting a smile. Liam opened his eyes and rolled them before sitting up and looking at me.
“You know what I meant.” I laughed and nodded.
“Okay,” I said, looking at him.
“I heard you tell Simon that you loved someone else.” His gaze was intense as he said this, his blue eyes shining into mine. I was shocked. And frankly a little embarrassed.
“You heard that?” I asked, my cheeks burning. Liam nodded.
“I was worried about you, so I decided to check on you. I was still quite a distance away, but I heard you.” I nodded, thoroughly embarrassed. He tilted his head to the side. “You love me.” It wasn’t a question, it was a statement. He knew. I couldn’t bring myself to say it. How could I? The last time I told a guy I loved him, he had sex with my best friend. Still, some part of me was saying that Liam was different. But was he? His eyes gentled and he smiled softly. He leaned forward and kissed my lips. Once. Twice. A third time.
“You don’t have to say it now,” he whispered against my lips. “But I just want you to know I feel the same way.” I couldn’t speak, I just pulled him close to me and kissed him passionately. I was definitely falling in love with him. I knew that for sure. But I couldn’t bring myself to say it. Not now anyway. Maybe one day I could. But for right now, I was content with keeping things the way they were.