.:Chapter Three: Closer:.


I see him look at me sideways from the corner of my eye, my attention straight ahead of me. He slows his pace so we're walking at a snails pace. Slow.

Shuffling closer to me, he bumps his shoulders against mine playfully. "Yeah, Ni?"

The sudden nickname startles me, causing me to nearly trip over and land face first on the concrete sidewalk but Liam quickly reaches out, grabs me around the waist and tugs me back with a laugh. "You're a clumsy one aren't you?"

My face burns in embarrassment "What? No, it's just that, no one really calls me Ni except for my best friends." I shrug, the blush still there "It's a bit weird but I think I'll live."

This time, it's his turn to stumble for a bit but before I can catch him, he straightens up and oddly enough, his skin is still pale. "Oh, uhm sorry," he laughs awkwardly "I didn't mean t-"

Noticing how nervous he is, I roll my eyes and sling an arm over his shoulder "Don't worry about it Liam, we're friends now right?" He nods shyly. "See? Friends call each other by nicknames. You're all good buddy. But you on the other hand, need a nickname..."

I trail off, thinking of possible nicknames for my newfound friend, when all of a sudden, a face pops up in my mind. "Holy shit!"

Liam twists around so he's facing me, my hands grasping my hair "What? Are you ok Niall?" He asks repeatedly in worry.

Holy fuck! I can't believe I forgot about him! Why didn't I remember earlier, crap, he's going to kill me. Or maybe not, after all, he likes me. 

"I forgot all about Harry, I was going to go visit him and his step-brother Louis today. But instead I'm here with you." I groan at my idiocy "They must be worried. I was supposed to be at their house some twenty minutes ago." 

I'm so dead. Louis, can be even more protective than a mother lion with her cubs when it comes to me and Harry. Knowing him, he's probably home bristling with anger, just waiting to yell at me. Crud.

Out of nowhere, I'm engulfed in a tight and cold embrace, my head nestled against what could only be Liam's neck. "Hey, come on Niall. Don't be scared, I'm sure they'll understand. Just give them a call and let them know you're safe." His soft voice whispers soothingly in my ear, cold breath giving rise to goosebumps along my arms and the back of my neck.

Despite the coldness, I'm comfortable in his arms. They feel familiar in a strange way. Either way, I don't feel like moving anytime soon but Liam has other plans. He pulls away from me gently, giving me an amused smile. "Comfy?"

Not knowing what else to do, I stick out my tongue at him childishly ignoring his laugh and dig out my phone from my pocket. I turn away from Liam as I dial Louis's number and wait for him to answer. Three rings later, I hear someone answer. But I am not prepared for the wrath of Louis Tomlinson.

"NIALL JAMES HORAN! Where on Earth has your bloody ass been?! Do you know how fucking worried we have been? We thought someone took you or killed you or something! I was literary ripping my hair out because of how anxious I was waiting for you to call or text us! But no! Not ONCE in the past hour have you done anything to let us know you were alive!

Don't even get me started about Harry! He's on the verge of tears right now! He's just so-so-UGHHH!!"

My apology dies on my lips as I hear his close to breaking voice yell at me. An hour? That can't be right, it's only been twenty or so minutes hasn't it? I mean, at least that's what it feels likes.

Harry is worried to death about me? I know it shouldn't and it's wrong, but I can't stop the smile that spreads across my face at this information. He cares.

I focus back on Louis's voice, much gentler now "You scared us Niall."

It's barely above a whisper but it tugs painfully at my heart. "I'm sorry Louis." A weak apology but right now, with Liam's presence close by and a sudden feeling of being watched, I can't say anything else.

"It's fine Niall, just don't do it again. I'm too young to die of fright. Anyways," I can hear him sigh loudly. "Where are you?"

Biting my lip, I glance back at Liam who's standing a few feet away to give me privacy, my smile getting bigger at his act. "I'm with a good friend of mine. He's actually, the new student."

In an instant Louis lets out a high squeak. "For real?! Holy crap Niall, is he hot?"

Is he hot? I never really looked at Liam THAT way, but now that Louis mentions it...I discreetly take a look at Liam, and eye him up and down. Hot? Almost as if reading my mind, Liam's lips turn up into a grin. "Hell yeah." I mutter in answer to Louis's question.

Hearing my answer, he lets out a long and defeated sigh "Life hates me. Well, just be careful and use a condom."

"Louis!" I hiss in shock but it's too late. He hung up. Fuck you Louis. Fuck you.

I shove my phone back into my pocket, mumbling random curse words aimed at Lou, too busy to notice Liam coming behind me until his hands are wrapped around my waist. Automatically, I tense up, more in surprise than anything else.

"So," his cool breath hits the spot beneath my ear, a shiver running down my spine at the feeling, "You think I'm hot?" Liam asks in a teasing manner, the ghost of his lips so close to my skin. I squirm lightly in his grasp, my body reacting in an odd way to his touch, almost yearning for more. "Do you?" This time, I can't stop the gasp that leaves my mouth, how can I, when Liam's cold lips press against my warm skin. He hums, the vibrations making my body tremble, wanting him to be closer, so much closer than how he already is. "I'm waiting Niall."

My mind is screaming at me to answer him, to put a stop to whatever is going on, but my body is taking a different path, it wants closer to Liam. I don't know what to do. It's practically tearing me apart.

"I'm still waiting Nialler." Liam continues to croon into my ear, my eyes closing of their own accord.

Dammit, why can't I answer him? Gathering my thoughts and self-control, I manage to finally open my mouth to answer him at last, when Liam peels himself off my back. The urge to be closer to him disappears in a flash, leaving me standing there with my mouth open. The chilliness from his skin still lingers, but I don't mind. What I do mind is the fact that I wanted Liam.

I'm frozen to my spot at the sudden revelation, not knowing how to react to it or even why I felt that way. An icy hand on my shoulder snaps me out of my thoughts and brings with it, a burning feeling all over my face.

"Sorry Niall, just messing with you. I kinda heard your conversation with Louis and well, I couldn't stop myself from doing that." Liam apologizes, this time away from my personal space, not like before "Still friends?"

A huge wave of relief rolls over me, pushing the blush away. So he doesn't think of me that way. In a sense, it makes me feel happy. I turn around to face him, smile on my face "You're not getting rid of me that easily LiLi." And back comes the furious red to my cheeks.

He throws his back with a laugh, and brings me in for a quick hug, and I realize that in slowly getting used to his weird temperature. "That's good. You're a great friend Niall. I see you've found a nickname for me. I don't know if I like it yet. Although, I think I better starting getting used to it." Liam spins me around so I'm facing a small cabin which, I swear to God, was not there before. "You coming with? It's safe, I promise."

Without a second thought, I nod my head yes. It's getting dark which makes me wonder how time flashed by so quickly. It's not normal but then again, Liam isn't normal. With Liam's around around my waist, and mine around his, we walk the short distance to the cabin.


A small squeeze on my waist tells me that he's listening.

"I think you're pretty hot."

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