Johnny had his head in his hands. Jake looked really angry again. “What’s wrong?” I asked, looking between the two of them. Jake looked at me, he looked really stressed and worried. I didn’t see Jake like this very often, he was always so strong and it actually made me feel a little sick to see him like that now.
“He’s doing it again. He’s hit Johnny and his mom a few times,” Jake growled, looking disgusted. Damn it! I told Jake we should have called the police instead of just kicking him out, but he insisted he didn’t want Amber to go through that. And now he was doing it to someone else!
“My mom was talking about leaving him last year. Then we moved here instead. She said it was a fresh start and that we should all start over, but it hasn’t helped,” Johnny said sadly. I knelt down next to him and put my hand on his shoulder. I didn’t really know him that well, he was more Angel’s friend than mine, but I knew he was a good kid.
“Johnny, does your mom still want to leave him?” I asked, looking at Jake, who looked like he was ready to explode any minute. I’d have to keep a close eye on him. If the time came then I’d be there at his side, but we couldn’t go rushing into anything, it would need to look like self-defence.
Johnny shrugged. “I haven’t spoken to her about it since we moved here, so I don’t know. I know that she’s scared for Matt. He hasn’t hit him yet, but he’s only a year old,” he replied, his voice breaking.
I squeezed his shoulder supportively. That as**ole was a real sick piece of work. Jake sat down next to him and patted his back awkwardly. As guys, we weren’t really too good at support. Angel would be perfect for this; she was so damn loving and kind.
“Johnny, you need to tell your mom that he’s done this before. It could be the push that she needs to leave him before he does anything to Matt,” Jake said kindly.
Johnny nodded, standing up. “I’ll go home and speak to her when I can.”
“Johnny, if you ever need help you call me. Day or night, understand? And if you need a place to stay for a few days, your mom and brother too, then you can stay here,” Jake said fiercely. He meant it, Jake was a great guy and he would never let anyone hurt his family or friends, I guess technically Johnny was his family too.
“Thanks. I’ll wait until he’s not there, and then I’ll talk to her.” Johnny nodded, looking really sad, and a little scared.
“Call me and let me know how it goes. And I’m serious about the place to stay, my mom won’t mind, and she’s not even due home for another two weeks,” Jake stated, walking Johnny to the door. He put his arm around his shoulder. “Everything’s going to be fine,” Jake assured him. Johnny looked like a little lost boy, he didn’t look ready for this at all, but I guess he’d need to man up quickly like Jake did when he was younger.
“I don’t think you should tell Amber any of this stuff. She doesn’t really need anything else to worry about, and I don’t even know what my mom’s going to say about it all,” Johnny muttered, frowning.
I nodded. That was probably a good idea. If Angel knew any of this she would be getting herself all worked up, worrying about Johnny and Matt, and for all we knew his mom might not even want to leave him in the first place. We could tell her when the time comes. “Yeah, good idea,” I agreed, nodding.
“OK thanks. See ya.” He smiled sadly and headed out of the house.
Jake shut the door and pressed his forehead against it. “Liam, you need to give me one good reason why I shouldn’t go round there and slit his throat,” he growled, his whole body stiff.
“Because then you’d be in jail, and Angel wouldn’t have her big brother here to protect her,” I said quickly, knowing that Amber was the one thing that would keep him calm and restrained.
Jake turned to me and did something I’d never seen him do in his life; he slumped down against the door, pulled his knees up to his chest, and cried. I felt my insides squirm at the sight of it. I was so angry again that I needed to remind myself of the exact same reason I couldn’t go around there and slit his throat. I sat down next to Jake and put my arm around his shoulder while he cried. I don’t think he’d ever had a proper release before.
~ Amber ~
Things had been really strained for the last week between me and Johnny. I knew that he knew about what my father had done to us, well, some of it anyway. Jake assured me that he didn’t tell him too much about me because he knew I wouldn't want people knowing about it. I’d told Johnny that I didn’t want to talk about any of it, which he respected. He seemed to hang out with Jake and Liam more than he did me and Kate at the moment. They were always off talking in hushed whispers, and would stop whenever I went near them. I wondered if they were talking about me, but to be honest I really didn’t want to know. I didn’t want to talk about that man ever again, so if they were happy to talk about me and leave me out of it, then good.
When I woke up on Friday morning, Liam was already up and getting dressed quietly. “Hey, are you doing the walk of shame?” I teased, wondering why he was sneaking out of my room. He never woke up before me.
He laughed and pulled his t-shirt on before climbing back in the bed. I hooked my fingers in his belt loops, pulling him closer to me. “The only shame I have is that I have to get out of your bed. I would happily stay in bed with you forever, but I have something I need to do today so I’ve got to go.” He kissed me softly, causing the usual little flutters in my stomach that his kissing evoked in me.
Something he’s got to do? What’s that about? “What have you got to do, lover boy?” I asked, pulling him closer to me, stopping him from getting up.
He smiled and rolled onto his back, pulling me on top of him. “Nothing interesting. I just need to sort something out for college that’s all,” he replied, looking uncomfortable. Was he lying to me? I looked at his face, his eyes were a little tight, he was definitely looking uncomfortable about something.
“Liam, is something wrong?” I asked worriedly. Oh crap, is he seeing someone else or something?
He smiled and tangled his fingers into my hair. “Nothing’s wrong. Don’t worry your pretty little head about anything. It’s just a couple of scouts want to meet with me, and this is the only time they could come,” he explained, still looking uncomfortable.
I nodded, he obviously had something he was trying to keep from me, he’d tell me eventually. I trusted him. I was sure that he wouldn’t cheat on me - that had just been a stupid spur of the moment thought. I knew he loved me. I bent forward and kissed him, pulling away to bite his chin, he loved it when I did that. His hands tightened on my waist as his breathing started to speed; I smiled and bit his earlobe.
He groaned. “Angel, I need to go. Don’t tease me,” he whined.
I smiled against his neck and sat up, pouting, deciding to have some fun with him before he left. I sighed dramatically. “OK, well I guess I’ll just have to shower alone then.”
He groaned again. “Angel, don’t do that to me, it’s not fair you know,” he grumbled, frowning.
I couldn’t help but laugh at his lustful expression as I climbed off of him. “Well, have fun with your scouts. Go impress them with your awesome talents, lover boy,” I instructed, kissing him again softly.
He brushed my hair behind my ear. “I love you. I’ll see you after school.”
I frowned. He wasn’t coming to school? “You’re not coming to school after?” I asked, disappointed that I wouldn’t get to see him much today.
He sighed and shook his head. “No, I’ll see you after though,” he countered, kissing me again as he climbed out of the bed.
“Liam?” I called just as he was about to walk out of the door. He stopped and looked back at me, curiously. “I love you too, and good luck with the scouts. Just remember, they’ll be lucky to have you, not the other way around,” I said honestly. Scouts were falling all over themselves for Liam, he didn’t need to work too hard to impress people, his skills spoke for themselves. He smiled and winked at me before heading out of the door.
I showered and went out to get some breakfast; Jake was sitting there in pyjamas even though it was almost time to leave. “Hey, you’d better hurry or we’ll be late,” I scolded, frowning at the thought of a detention.
He shook his head. “I’m not feeling well, so I’m not going. I’ve asked Casey to drive you because Liam’s with the scouts,” he said quietly.
Jake hardly ever got sick. I walked over to him a little worried, and put my hand on his forehead. He didn’t feel hot or anything. “I don’t think you have a temperature. What’s wrong?” I asked, concerned.
“I feel sick that’s all. I’m going back to bed. Casey will be here in fifteen minutes,” he replied, standing up and heading towards the hallway.
“You want me to get you anything, Jake?” I asked.
He shook his head. “I’ll be fine, Ambs. See you later.” He waved over his shoulder and disappeared into his room.
Casey was funny on the drive to school, I always liked him and he didn’t hit on me once, which was great. The guys all seemed to have stopped making their comments to me since I’d been with Liam. When we pulled up, I spotted Kate, Sarah and Sean so I skipped over to them
“Hey,” I chirped, smiling.
“Hey, Amber. Where’s Jake and Liam?” Sean asked, looking over my shoulder.
“Liam’s meeting some college scouts,” I said proudly. “And Jake’s sick,” I added, turning my nose up. I hope he doesn’t throw up anywhere and leave it for me to clean up!
“Yeah? Johnny’s sick too. He called me this morning,” Kate said, pouting. He still hadn’t asked her out like he said he was going to. I hadn’t told her what he’d said about her, I thought it would be better coming from him.