I woke up still wrapped in Liam's arms. I was snuggled against his chest, and I was really comfortable. But sadly, he has a mate and he'd most likely regret cuddling with me, even though he was the one who initiated it. Better be the bigger person and stop it before it escalates.

I gently unwound myself from Liam's arms, careful not to wake him, but his arms just wrapped around me again. I sighed and tried again, with no success.

"Eager to leave me, huh?" he asked, his eyes still closed.

"I'm just trying to get up," I said.

Liam smiled. "Too bad, you're staying here with me."

"And if Bella walks in?" I couldn't help it, I was curious as to what he would do if she did walk in and see him holding me.

"Screw Bella, I'm comfortable right now," he said. "Besides, she's not allowed in the room."

"Oh really?"



"Because there are some things I don't want her to find out."

"Such as?"

"Such as why we're here in the first place and other things about my personal life."

"But she's your mate, she has the right to know those things." I was confused. Wasn't he the one who was always honest and always told people things, no matter their reaction?

Liam sighed, opened his eyes, and ran his fingers through his hair. "I don't know, Hales. I don't know why, but I'm not comfortable around her the way I am around you and Brooke. She puts me on edge, and I just don't want her knowing everything about me."

I looked at him, searching his eyes for some answer as to why he was feeling the things he was feeling. Sighing, I found nothing.

"I don't know Li," I said. "My mate rejected me, so I don't know how it feels to actually have a mate. Maybe you need to mate with her and mark her."

Saying that went against every fiber in my body and hurt just thinking it. But still, I had to play the role of the supporting best friend, not the love struck girl.

Liam looked at me in surprise. "I don't want to do that. Well, at least not yet."

I frowned. "Why not? She's your mate, that's the first thing you should have done when you met her."

He sighed. "I'm gonna be honest with you, the first time I saw Bella I didn't want to do any of that. I didn't know what to think when I saw her."

"I don't know what to tell you."

"What was your first thought when you saw Tyler?"

"That's different. I didn't want a mate then, and he was a douche anyway. So my first thought when I found out he was my mate was that I didn't want him and that if he wasn't going to reject me, then I was going to reject him."

Liam stared at me. "You didn't want a mate?"

I sighed. "Then, no. Now, well, I wouldn't mind having a mate. I mean, you and Brooke both have yours, so it would be nice to have mine. That way I wouldn't feel as excluded in things."

"You're not excluded in things."

"Not yet. But when things settle down and all, you and Brooke are going to have double dates. And I can't be part of that. So yes, I will be excluded in things."

Liam pursed his lips. He seemed to be thinking about something, but not wanting another fight, I didn't use the mind link to find out what it was. If I was going to be Liam's friend and only his friend, then I had to respect his privacy.

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