Suddenly, there was a scratching, tapping noise on my window. I snapped my eyes up to see Liam outside, looking at me sadly. I got up and ran to the window unlocked it and slid it up quietly wondering what on earth he was doing here. Shouldn’t he be at home?
“Liam, what are you doing here? You need to go, now!” I whisper yelled at him, shaking my head fiercely. But the stupid boy just climbed into my room through the window, closing it silently behind him.
I held my breath, looking at my door with wide eyes. If my father caught him here he would go crazy, he didn’t like Liam to come over and play at our house, he always said he was too noisy. “Liam, get out!” I whispered, desperately trying to push him back towards the window. I winced, wondering what my dad would do if he had heard my window open and knew that Liam was here. Liam didn’t budge; he just wrapped his arms around me tightly, and pulled me against his chest. I tried to push him away but he just held me tighter.
“It’s OK,” he whispered, stroking my hair. I started to cry again into his chest; thoughts of Jake being hurt earlier flooded my brain.
Liam was tall for his age; he was ten, the same as Jake. They were best friends, and had been since we moved in four years ago. He had chocolate brown hair, which he usually spiked up with too much gel, and light blue eyes that were like windows to his soul. When Liam looked at you it made you feel like you could fly. He was very cute; all my friends had crushes on him for some reason. Liam and I didn’t get on at all though. He teased me all the time, he trips me, pulls my hair, and he has this annoying habit of calling me Angel for some reason, he’s called me it since the moment he met me and it really makes me mad.
What on earth was he doing here now? And why was he hugging me? Maybe he thought this was Jake’s room, maybe he went to the wrong window – but that couldn’t be right, because Jake’s room was on the other side of the hallway, his window faced onto the backyard.
I pulled back to look at him. For some reason he looked so sad; he had tears in his eyes as he just continued to hold me. He knew about my father, Jake had been covered in bruises once and had blurted out the truth to him. Jake and I had both begged him not to say anything though, and he never has.
“What are you doing here, Liam?” I whispered, wiping my face, but the tears continued to fall.
He pulled me onto the bed, rocking me gently, just like Jake always did when I cried. I looked at his chest and realised he was in Power Rangers shorts and t-shirt. I frowned, a little confused as to why he would be wearing that, it was freezing outside. Then it dawned on me that he was wearing his pyjamas. I looked at the clock to see it was almost half past eight. I’d been crying for over an hour.
“I saw you through the window. I just wanted to come and make sure you were alright,” he whispered back, still hugging me tightly.
I looked back at the window. Liam’s room was directly opposite mine and I could see into his room, which meant that he could see into mine. I bit my lip, oh God he’d seen me crying, I must look so weak to him. The only people I ever cried in front of were my mother and Jake.
“I’m OK. You need to go,” I whispered, pushing him again, trying to get him off of my bed.
He just shook his head. “I’m not leaving until you stop crying,” he stated, pulling me down so that we were now laying on my bed, facing each other. He had his arms wrapped around me so tightly that I couldn’t even squirm away. I felt safe and warm. I scooted even closer to him, pressing my whole body into his and sobbed on his chest.
I woke in the morning, still tightly wrapped in his arms; I gasped and looked at the clock 6:20 a.m. “Liam!” I whispered, shaking him.
“Ahh, what, Mom?” he asked with his eyes shut.
“Shhhh!” I hissed, quickly covering his mouth before he spoke again. I can’t believe we fell asleep, this is so bad.
His eyes snapped open and he looked at me, shocked, then looked around my room. “Oh no, did I fall asleep?” he whispered, sitting up and rubbing his hand through his hair, which was sticking up everywhere but actually looked better than when he has all that yucky gel in it.
“You need to go home, Liam. Quick!” I hissed, pushing him towards the window. He opened it and started to climb out but I grabbed his hand making him stop. He looked up at me a confused expression on his face. “Thanks,” I whispered, smiling gratefully at him. I really needed that hug last night, that was probably the nicest thing Liam had ever done for me.
He smiled back. “You’re welcome, Angel,” he replied, smiling and climbing out.
I watched as he went through the hole in the fence and climbed back into his own window. He closed it and waved at me, I waved back and then went to go get dressed. The thought of Liam sneaking over here and being in the house when he wasn’t allowed, made my stomach hurt. We were so lucky not to have gotten caught. I dreaded to think what would have happened if his parents had gone into his room in the night and saw his bed empty, or what would have happened if I hadn’t have woken up early. I shuddered at the thought of what my father would do if he had walked in here to find Liam in the house at night-time.
~ 8 years later ~
I woke to the familiar sensation of being crushed; I wriggled, pushing my shoulder backwards. Liam shifted his weight off of me slightly. He was spooning me from behind, breathing deeply into the back of my hair. His heavy arm was draped over me, pinning my arms to my chest, he was holding my hand tightly, our fingers interlaced, his leg was slung casually over mine. I could feel the usual ‘morning glory’ pushing against the small of my back.
I quickly silenced my phone alarm and elbowed him in the stomach. “Six o’clock,” I mumbled sleepily, closing my eyes.
“Ten more minutes, Angel. I’m still tired,” he murmured, pulling me tighter to his chest.
“Nope, no ten more minutes. Last time it turned into another hour, and Jake nearly caught you in here,” I mumbled, elbowing him in the stomach again.
He moved his arm and pinned my hands down to the bed near my head, in a praying position. “Just ten more minutes, Angel,” he whined. I sighed and closed my eyes again. There was no arguing with him when he was like this, I just didn’t have the energy this time of the morning to get into a fight with him. We both drifted back to sleep, instantly.
“Amber, you had better already be up!” my brother shouted, banging on the door. I jerked up and so did Liam, it was almost half past seven.
“Er…. yeah I’m up already, Jake,” I shouted back, glancing at Liam who was rubbing his face, looking a bit dazed.
“Good. I’m going to have breakfast. Hurry up will you. Liam’s driving today so be ready to leave in thirty minutes,” Jake called through the door, before stomping off down the hall.
“Jeez, Angel, why didn’t you wake me up?” Liam accused, frowning.
I looked at him warningly and gave him my best death glare. “I did, you jerk! You said ‘ten more minutes’ then pinned me to the bed to stop me from elbowing you!” I growled sarcastically, doing a bad impression of his voice.
He chuckled and pushed me back down on the bed, pinning my hands above my head and rolling on top of me. “Pinned you to the bed? Were you dreaming about me again, Angel? I could make that dream come true for you,” he mocked, with his face inches from mine.
“Yeah, you wish! Now get the hell off me, Liam, and go get ready. You’re driving today, apparently,” I hissed, nodding to the window. He sighed and pushed himself off me, pulling on his jeans and t-shirt. He climbed out of the window, silently, sliding it back down after him. I walked over and locked it before heading in for the quickest shower ever.
Exactly twenty-six minutes later, I trudged into the kitchen with a frown, Liam was there leaning casually against the counter, eating my cereal. Damn it, every morning! His brown hair was messy in his usual just got out of bed look, which to be honest he did get out of bed and it looked just like that. All he ever did was run his hands through it a few times and add a bit of wax.
He looked the same as he did every morning, like a freaking supermodel. He wore low slung ripped jeans that showed his boxers a little, and always made the girls swoon. Today he wore a white t-shirt that showed off his perfect sculpted body, and an orange and grey checked short sleeve shirt over it, which he wore completely unbuttoned. His blue eyes were glittering with amusement as he looked at me.
“Running late this morning, Angel?” he asked with a smirk.
I gave him a drop dead look, making him chuckle. “Shut up, Liam! Why the hell are you eating my cereal again? Don’t you have any food at home?” I asked, snatching the bowl from his hands and eating the contents. He just watched me with an amused smile.
Jake threw me a juice box. “You do look a little harassed this morning, Ambs. Everything OK?” he asked, looking at me a little concerned.
I glared at Liam again as he started to laugh. Of course I looked harassed, I had half an hour to get showered and dressed. “Slept in,” I muttered with a defeated sigh.
Jake had no idea that Liam slept in my room with me every night, if he did he would go crazy. Jake was very protective of me, he always had been, but he had gotten worse since my dad had left when I was thirteen. Well, I say left, but in reality Jake and Liam came home early from hockey one day to see that my father had beaten me senseless, and was trying to rape me. Jake had finally snapped, and he and Liam had beaten the crap out of him, almost killing him in the process. They had thrown him out of the house and told him that if he ever came back, they would kill him. He never came back though, that was three years ago.
A little while after that, my mom got a job with a huge electronics firm, she was the PA to the director and so she travelled a lot. She was gone twice as much as she was here, so we only saw her for about one week a month, if that. Jake was my only supervision, although at times it was more like I was the one taking care of him.
Liam was also very protective of me, but we still didn’t get on - even though he had literally spent every single night wrapped around me in my bed for the last eight years. He had snuck back into my room the following night after seeing me crying again and we had ended up falling asleep again. After two weeks it had just became a regular thing. It wasn’t something that we ever talked about, I just left my window unlocked and he let himself in once his parents had checked in on him to make sure he was asleep. We had never once been caught in eight years. We’d come close a couple of times though. A couple of years ago, Liam’s mom had found his bed empty, but he took the hit and lied, saying he’d snuck out to a party and stayed at a friend’s. No one suspected he was next door with me.