[Chapter Twelve] Liam

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   Lean on me when you're not strong
              And I'll be your friend, I'll help you carry on

                                  Lean On Me, Bill Withers

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Chapter Twelve- Liam

For the past few days it's been a joy to see Addison really trying with her family, I could see how happy it was making them that she was coming around.

And for the past few days we always make time for her to practice with contact. I'm the only one that she seems to be able to touch, and after that night where I slept in her room with her, it seemed like she really knew I wouldn't hurt her.

We would go out and I would do things like hold my hands out for her so she could place hers in mine, she would give me hugs occasionally, and I think the scariest for her is when she lets me touch her.

She does a lot better when she initiates the contact because she can do It at her own speed, but when she sits in front of me totally still, and I move my hand to take hers, or I touch her arm she stills so much, like she's frozen in fear, but the fact that she lets me speaks volumes about her progress.

She was making her way deeper and deeper into my heart and she doesn't even realize it.

So I enjoy when she lets me in in this way. I love when she lets me touch her, when she holds my hand, I feel so much more connected to her and proud knowing I was the one she decided that she could trust.

She may not trust me with everything, but she trusts me with a lot if she's letting me touch her, though she only lets me when we're sitting down and focusing on it. It reminds me of being in school, but she is learning.

It's not natural to her, and I wonder if her parents ever shower her kind affection, if they ever held her hand when she was a child, hugged and kissed her. Probably not.

Her parents have messed her up so much, and I'm lucky that I was born into the type of family that I was. my parents believe in tough love, and I'm not saying it's all great all the time, I have gotten a smack for things I've done, around here people still believe in hitting their children and respect.

Not to the point where were black and blue and it's abusive, but if we mess up big time, we can expect it. We used to get spanked with wooden spoons when we were younger; Kalila and Faith aren't old enough to move up to that yet.

But I don't hate them for it, I don't mind it. I know what's right and wrong and it's not like they're just going to smack you over a small things, it's when you're being majorly disrespectful or sneak out of the house to go to a party and come home drunk.

I was expecting to get beat to death and buried next to Asher for that one.

But I always knew that my parents loved me, with her I'm thinking they were abusive her whole life and so she doesn't know how to not be afraid of someone.

When we walk around the fields or just the property she walks closer than she used to, but she's still tense and is constantly looking around like someone's going to jump out at her and murder her right there.

It makes me curious. It's so hard to not ask her what happened, I want to know everything, I want so badly to figure out all those things she hides in her silence, but I know I can't. I'm torn and the side that is protective of her always wins over my impatience.

If she want to talk about It I know she will, I just hoped she would.

When Addie brought Asher and I into the kitchen, she was so excited but nervous. We were being as encouraging as we could be, she got scared when Auntie jumped, but she was okay. What surprised us was that she nearly jumped at her for a hug.

They were both such little people, it was a funny thing to see.

When Ethan Kalila and Faith came in I think they did a double take. They were so proud. Faith was excited and when Addie said it was okay she ran over and jumped at her.

We were all holding our breath to see what she would do but she just caught her. It put the brightest smile on her face; I've never seen Addie look so happy before. Faith was such a pain but her personality was warm and friendly and just no threatening.

"You have a pretty smile" Faith told her. She mouthed thank you to me

"She said thank you, Faith" I relayed the message.

Seeing her with Faith was a truly beautiful thing.

She let Kalila walk over to her and they hugged tighter and tighter. It looked like those two were getting closer.

"Come here kid" Ethan told her and she immediately went over to him. There was no hesitation, she looked excited to be there.

"Where's my hug?" I teased her a bit. She just looked at me and then pushed me, almost knocking me over. "I see how it is" I pouted, but I couldn't help but smile when she rolled her eyes at me.

I opened my arms hoping she would come here, which she did, just not how I was expecting. I wasn't ready when she jumped on me and then I was falling. I landed with her on top of me so I got most of the impact. Then she squeezed me tight and got up.

She will never cease to surprise me.

She stuck her tongue out and signed that she was going to get some air. I bet she was. She was happy to do what she did, but it must have took a lot out of her.

I was still lying on the floor when Aunt Lalan decided to break the silence.

"That was amazing" she spoke and we all agreed

"I was so surprised, I didn't think she would hug everyone"

"Me neither"

"I'm so proud of her"

"Me too"

"Yeah, she's coming so far"

Everyone was speaking at once and then it died down.

"Liam honey, can you go tell your mom dinner's fifteen minutes and kids can you go set the table?"

"Yes ma'am" I helped them grab what they needed and took it outside. I was heading to my house when I just froze.

A blood curdling scream erupted from the fields and I turned quickly to see Kalila and Asher freeze too.

The door slammed open and the other three poured out.

We all stayed still until we heard another one, a longer one that was suddenly cut off.

"Girls stay here no arguments" Ethan said before he Asher and I took off towards the noise. Oh god what happened?

That had to be Addison.

As we got closer we heard the whine of an angry horse and I freaked out more. Did she get too close to it? Did the horse hurt her? I knew they shouldn't have kept him

I didn't know what I was expecting but what we saw was definitely not it. What I saw had my blood boiling, what I saw was something I never thought I would ever see around here, especially on this property.

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